Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maersk invests in smart container firm Traxens

Steve Rogerson
June 4, 2019

Danish container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk is investing in Traxens, a French firm providing data and services for the supply chain industry. Maersk joins CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping as shareholders and customers of Traxens.
Founded in 2012, Traxens has been developing smart container products and services for the cargo logistics arena and has created a container monitoring and coordination system. CMA CGM first invested in the start-up in 2012 and was joined in 2016 by MSC.
The agreement will see Maersk invest capital in Traxens, in which it will have similar shareholder rights as CMA CGM and MSC. Maersk also commits to order up to 50,000 Traxens devices, a similar order to those placed earlier by CMA CGM and MSC.
Traxens’ technology addresses challenges in the shipping industry faced by vessel owners and cargo owners. With the combination of telematics and smart data processing, vessel owners can control costs and develop more agile business problem solving, while cargo owners can keep track of their containers, bringing improved business processes and decision-making capabilities.
Traxens can now focus on strengthening its products and drive interoperability based on non-proprietary technologies and open standards. The development of Traxens as an open industry service could benefit the strategic ambition of digitising the container shipping industry.
“Creating visibility into the condition and location of containerised cargo is bringing Maersk’s strategy to offer digital end-to-end solutions to life,” said Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard, vice president of AP Moller-Maersk. “Having pioneered IoT-technology in our reefer fleet, we are excited to join Traxens and collaborate on the huge potential within connected containers. With this investment we look forward to working with key industry players to advance a leading solution within connected products and technologies for high value cargo, while ensuring customer choice through interoperability and open standards.”
Now counting among its customers and shareholders three of the world’s leading shipping lines, operating nearly half the global container fleet, Traxens offers the entire logistics ecosystem an interoperable smart container system.
Reduced operational costs, improved supply chain efficiency, enhanced security and the opportunity to extend offerings to customers are among the benefits that can be gained through Traxens’ technology. The whole shipping ecosystem, including ports, freight forwarders, insurance and financial institutions, could also benefit from the value-added data gathered.
“We are delighted to welcome Maersk among our backers alongside CMA CGM and MSC,” said Jacques Delort, general manager of Traxens. “Having three of the world’s largest shipping companies now supporting us, this will help accelerate our international development and contribute to us becoming a global market standard for the entire supply chain.”
Traxens generates, collects, consolidates, enriches and transforms logistics asset data into actionable insight for its clients in the maritime, rail and supply chain industries.
The company’s IoT technology provides, real-time information for managing logistics assets anywhere in the world. It digitally transforms multi-modal supply chains, letting users reduce costs, optimise investments, comply with environmental regulations and deliver premium services.
Traxens has also announced that its cargo tracking IoT system will be used on CFL Multimodal’s connected freight wagons throughout the European corridor and the New Silk Road to China.
Traxens and CFL started their co-operation with a pilot project at the end of 2018, when CFL fitted Traxens Box devices on flat wagons travelling between European destinations. As this initial trial was successful, it was extended earlier this year to over 20 wagons delivering cargo to more distant European destinations. In April, Traxens’ rail freight telematics technology was then tested on wagons travelling to China.
As part of it digitalisation strategy, CFL aims to streamline train preparation operations through automation, including digital brake testing. Traxens’ Digital Freight Train offering can consolidate, secure and accelerate brake safety testing.
“Traxens’ rail freight solution helps our operations by enabling the monitoring of assets and their surroundings, which significantly improves operational efficiency,” said Marc Valette, innovation director at CFL Multimodal. “The technology used by Traxens, enabling the local interconnection of different devices without wiring, opens up new opportunities in train condition and composition monitoring. This is a huge opportunity to improve operations and service effectiveness in rail. It will allow the connection of different elements of the train ecosystem in the future, providing transparent and accurate information, improving the quality of service and information delivered to clients.”
CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company will join TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world's ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens.
"While carrier participation is critical, it is important to note that the TradeLens platform relies on participation from across the entire supply chain ecosystem," said Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer of AP Moller-Maersk. "Increasing ease of doing business for our customers and providing visibility across the container journey is at the centre of the Maersk strategy. And TradeLens is all about that in its aim to transform the supply chain industry and provide value to all players, from freight forwarders, to ports and terminal operators and inland transportation providers, to customs and other governmental agencies, and ultimately to the customers themselves."