Avoid food waste by sensing during transport

Avoid food waste by sensing during transport

23 Jun 2021 | News

Lots of fruits and vegetables are being produced in Africa for European consumption. The Netherlands acts as a gateway to Europe, imports from Morocco and Senegal are mainly transported via sea and road. About 14% is being lost during transport, warehousing and distribution. Transport losses represent almost 4%. Apart from using temperature-controlled transport with fixed settings, there is no monitoring of the quality loss during transport.

Can this food waste be prevented and how can we maintain the quality of the products? Can we monitor the product quality loss and intervene in the transport chain if needed? And is this possible against acceptable cost? To answer these questions, a consortium of collaborating parties has started the IoT4AGRI project. The research is performed by TNO and Wageningen Food & Biobased Research in collaboration with Van Oers United, Environmental Monitoring Systems, Purfresh, SmartPort, Het Internet Huis, Euro Pool Systems and Thermo King.

Opportunities and challenges
Research has indicated that we can intervene and avoid waste and quality loss in three consecutive steps: using sensors to collect data about the product quality, real-time modelling of quality loss and recommend logistics interventions to optimise the value accordingly. These process steps pose challenges, such as how we will get the right sensor data available in real-time for modelling and how we can intervene in the transport chain. These process steps are integrated into the IoT4AGRI project. More information and links to the reports that have already been delivered can be found in the two-pager “Avoid food waste by sensing during transport”.


Practical application
In the course of 2021, technical and practical proof of concept is being demonstrated onto a number of shipments of Van Oers United. These shipments will be equipped with sensors, capturing data as input for a quality loss model, which in turn provides the basis for recommendations to intervene in the logistics process. Results are expected by the end of 2021.

Do you want to know more about the research? Please contact one of us!

Anique Kuijpers, Project developer Smart Logistics, SmartPort
anique.kuijpers@smartport.nl | +31 (0) 10 40 20 338

Gerwin Zomer, Senior Business Consultant Logistics, TNO
gerwin.zomer@tno.nl | +31 (0) 6 2252 2983

Joost Snels, Senior researcher supply chain development, Wageningen University & Research
joost.snels@wur.nl | + 31 (0) 317 48 11 55