On its two-year journey Container 42 collects a lot of data and stands as a symbol for the transformation of an entire industry.
On its two-year journey Container 42 collects a lot of data and stands as a symbol for the transformation of an entire industry.
( Bild: Hafen Rotterdam)

world tour Connected container travels around the world

Author / Editor: Hendrik Härter / Florian Richert

Equipped with sensors and solar modules, Container 42 goes on a two-year world tour from Rotterdam. The container collects a variety of sensor data and lays the foundation for future autonomous shipping.

A container goes on a journey: At first glance, this does not seem to be a message worth reporting. But this container is something special. Its name: Container 42. He travels around the world for two years to collect data. The start is the port of Rotteram. Container 42 is equipped with sensors and communication technology to measure vibrations, gradients, position, sound, air pollution, humidity and temperature during the voyage. But that's not all. Container 42 is also equipped with solar modules to determine how much energy a container can generate on a container ship, train or truck during its voyage.

The networked container represents the digital transformation of ports and logistics, making Container 42 a symbol of the transformation of an entire industry. The project aims to answer the question of what influences a container load is exposed to during sea voyages and overland transport. The sensor container records all influences during its journey.

In-depth information on transport and logistics

With the collected data, the project managers hope to gain an insight into the challenges transport and logistics will face in the future. In addition, the data will be used to create a so-called digital twin of the port, a digital representation of the actual physical port. The basis for this is the current Internet of Things (IoT) platform of the Rotterdam Port Authority. Using this cloud platform, the port operator collects and processes data from sensors on the port premises. They collect real-time data on infrastructure, water and air, among other things.

Container 42 thus lays the foundation for autonomous shipping. Standardization also plays an important role. With global and open standards, data can be accessed in real time at every link in the logistics chain.Container 42 is a platform on which the Rotterdam Port Authority, IBM, Cisco, Esri, Axians, Intel, HyET Solar, Van Donge & de Roo, Awake.ai, Betta Batteries, Simwave, Advanced Mobility Services, Kalmar and Shipping Technology cooperate intensively.

This article was first published in German by Elektronik Praxis.