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In 2021, the global market size for fresh fish was USD $228B. RedLore is engaging with the world’s largest fishing companies to leverage asset tracking solutions to reduce spoilage, track real-time inventory, and reduce labor costs. This article takes a closer look at the case for asset tracking in the fishing industry.
- In 2023, the value of high-quality fish variants is on avg. USD $17,000/ton.
- After the catch, fish is typically transported and stored in large containers (see Exhibit 1).
- Containers are stored in large temp controlled industrial warehouse-freezers until they are processed and sold (exhibit 2).
- A large fishing company can have upwards of 25,000+ containers and 20+ industrial freezers.
- As a commodity, fish prices do not vary substantially amongst competitors, operational efficiency is therefore essential for companies to be competitive.
- One large fish processing company estimated their product loss at upwards of $1.2M/yr. They concluded this was due to human errors causing spoilage, when containers remained outside of freezers for too long during container movements in/out of freezers, exceeding temperature thresholds. Shrinkage was also a contributing factor.
- They estimated a lack of real-time inventory controls accounted for increased labor costs of $300K+/yr. Paper logs created inaccuracies in container inventory, containers got lost or placed in the wrong warehouse-freezer; this caused increased labor costs from time spent locating lost containers and resolving inventory discrepancies.
- First the company tested RFID to implement real-time inventory at the freezer level but they found reliability issues, mainly that when containers were moved in/out of freezers some went undetected creating inventory mis-counts. It also fell short of their ideal visibility goals, to get real-time location of containers across the site, not just in specific movement points.
- The company determined that an active asset tracking solution was needed to increase reliability. Furthermore, they required a battery powered solution since running power or communication wires into freezers would not be feasible. In addition, an easy to install solution was desirable to avoid downtime in their operations.
- RedLore anchors are placed across the facility, every 12m, including in freezers (IP rated devices to meet the freezer environment). Anchors communicate wirelessly between each other and to asset tags using Wirepas Mesh (exhibit 3)
- An asset tag is mounted on each container in order to track container position and to provide container level temperature monitoring (exhibit 3).
- A handful of cellular Gateways are deployed to provide standalone connectivity to the cloud analytics platform. As a standalone solution, company IT infrastructure was not required.
- The site-plan is uploaded to the RedLore RedBoard dashboard and zones are mapped out for every freezer, in order to provide freezer level inventory accuracy.
- Zones are configured for alerts based on in/out freezer movements.
- Temperature alerts are set based on configurable thresholds, to allow for corrective action prior to spoilage occurring.
- Custom fields are configured to allow the company to log product specific data (date of catch, quality of catch, sell by date)
- The company is now able to see real-time container inventory, location, and temperature, solving the spoilage and inventory tracking labor problems they set out to address.
- At scale, payback is expected less than 1 year from implementation, with annual net savings from year 2 onwards of $1.1M/yr.
If you would like to learn more about this use case or use cases related to other industries, please reach out to us for a consultation.
Exhibit 1 – Example Container:
Exhibit 2 – Example Industrial-Warehouse Freezer: