ORBCOMM Inc (Nasdaq: ORBC) has partnered with Vobal Technologies to enable end-to-end visibility of refrigerated smart containers and other IoT-connected assets transporting temperature-sensitive, high-value cargo across international waters.

Based in Evanston IL, Vobal has developed and deployed its CargoGSM network over the past five years, thereby extending IoT connectivity to sea. ORBCOMM is deploying Vobal’s maritime GSM technology as part of its new VesselConnect solution, which allows shipping lines to monitor and control smart containers and cargo on board their ships. Early adopters of VesselConnect include TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, a shipping carrier specializing in moving cargo between the US mainland and Puerto Rico.

VesselConnect allows carriers to receive critical data from smart containers loaded on their ships above and below deck, including reefer status, temperature and slot location, as well as to adjust reefer container set points and conduct pre-trip inspections on-board, reducing manual labor and expediting cargo distribution on land. The solution enhances crew efficiency and safety by eliminating the need to manually check reefer and other containers carrying perishable cargo. Status reports and alarms are automatically displayed on the VesselConnect console on board and can also be viewed by shore-based personnel on ORBCOMM’s Cloud platform for immediate action.

“Vobal’s core GSM technology was developed specifically for use at sea, which means that not only does CargoGSM work with VSAT but also, uniquely, with FleetBroadband. CargoGSM on board enables ORBCOMM VesselConnect to extend reliable network coverage throughout the vessel’s cargo spaces, above and below deck,” said John Nix, Vobal founder and chief executive officer. “Using Vobal’s system to plug the mid-ocean connectivity ‘black hole’, ORBCOMM can now provide shipping lines with end-to-end traceability of reefer containers throughout the supply chain both on land and at sea in real time.”

Access www.orbcomm.com or www.vobal.com for further information.