Urban Logistics from Matthias Brunner is a startup in area of last mile logistics. The team wants to improve the last mile distribution of perishable goods by combining modern trend predictions with today’s research results in the transportation of perishable goods to provide a predicting functionality for the temperature of the cargo. The developed platform can then initiate automated counter-actions. These could be additional cooling before the storage conditions reach the critical limits according to the applicable food safety regulations. The development project is called FI-PACOLO – Smart Food Delivery for the Last Mile. The first prototype of the robust sensing unit, called “tsenso” has been available on the market since end of 2015. Please check www.tsenso.com for details and prices.
What are the main aspects of FI-PACOLO and tsenso?
The core idea is very simple. We place a “tsenso” temperature sensor inside the cargo and let it broadcast the cargo temperature periodically to the outside of the box. Using Bluetooth low energy, we collect the sensor data in the cloud and assign the right data value to the corresponding transport order. This is not only done inside the warehouse but all along the transportation chain. For this, they don’t need additional infrastructure, except the smartphone of the worker or driver. Some data packages might get lost, but that is not a problem, because lost data will be retrieved automatically upon reconnect. With every data package reaching the cloud, we can recalculate our temperature prediction and tell the driver or the transportation company for how much longer the cargo will be safe.
Is there something in particular that has inspired you?
A former colleague of us now hosts a website for local agricultural products. When we started with our last mile logistics idea, we asked him how he runs his logistics. And we were amazed how well organized his supply chain is. The only thing, as he admitted, was, that he was not able to fulfill customer requests on the same day as the order. The reason was not the time, but the need to optimize the usage of this trucks. We were happy, because this was exactly the need we wanted to solve with our start-up.
What can you tell us about FIWARE?
FIWARE is a great collection of useful open-source software. We are using Keyrock and Wilma to secure access to the server and the Orion context broker together with the rush relayer to process and publish the sensor and order data. We are big fans of FIWARE. We like the open source approach and there is a lot of potential still waiting to be uncovered. To help FIWARE on its way to become independent, we see the need for a direct feed-back from the SMEs and end-users. That is why we joined the FIWARE Association. Have a look at http://www.fiwareassociation.com/ and join us.
And the future … where do you see tsenso in a couple of years?
We are very happy that we were able to sell the first monitoring contract to a local catering company in January. For the middle of 2016, we plan to enter the pharmaceutical market as well. We have entered a strategic partnership with a leading pharmaceutical packaging provider to develop a fully calibrated shipping solution for long distance shipments of vaccines.