Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Captain Peter helps Maersk users track cargo

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2019



Danish shipping company Maersk is testing a virtual assistant with select users. As part of its RCM remote container management platform, the Captain Peter avatar will assist users along the journey of their cargo.
 
Technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the RCM platform. In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the platform with a revamped design and product features that will be enhanced by the virtual assistant, named Captain Peter.
 
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app,” said Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, head of global reefer management at Maersk. “There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain.”
 
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example SMS or email, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
 
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, users will receive information configured to their specific needs.
 
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his or her supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving millions of dollars in lost cargo.
 
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” said Karlsen.
 
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with M2M technology. Today, more than 2300 users have signed up for the RCM, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.