Only the Dutch Could Create a "Living Beer Lab!"
"Where's my beer?"
When most ask that question, it’s about which coaster it’s parked on.
At Heineken, it's serious business. The brewer is collaborating on a project, the “Beer Living Lab,” with IBM, the liner company Safmarine, the University of Amsterdam and customs in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The new project will track cargo container shipments of Heineken beer from Europe to the United States using satellite and cellular technology.
IBM said the goal is to test technology that will provide real-time visibility and interoperability through an advanced wireless sensor platform. Rather than build and maintain a large central database with huge amounts of information, distributed data sources are linked, allowing data to be shared in real time between Heineken, Safmarine and customs in the three countries.
Safmarine will ship 10 containers of Heineken beer from locations in both Netherlands and England, through their customs authorities, to the Heineken U.S. distribution center. The University of Amsterdam will coordinate the project and provide best practices documentation to share across the European Union.
When IBM first announced its Secure Trade Lane initiative last year a key component was to be a container security device that could provide updated information on possible tampering or intrusion. IBM's release talks about a wireless sensor platform but doesn't specifically indicate if this includes intrusion detectors and alarms.
IBM also had stated its intention to conduct a major test with 1,000 loaded containers in the Spring 2006.
IBM said that according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, more than 30 different documents are associated with one single container crossing a border, which equals roughly five billion documents annually.
"The goal is to create paperless documentation through better system interoperability, resulting in faster deliveries and reduced costs for international trade," IBM said.
Many shippers would raise a glass to that. You know its Friday, so I think I just might do that myself! Have Great weekend!