About H&S Group

H&S Group is one of Europe’s largest logistics service-providers within the liquid foodstuffs industry. With Heineken, Pepsico and Friesland Campina among its satisfied customers, H&S Group offers the whole package: from intermodal transport to the filling, mixing and storage of liquid foodstuffs. At home and abroad, especially between the UK and Russia. For more than 70 years.

Challenge

Temperature of foodstuffs: vitally important

“One of the main challenges when transporting foodstuffs is ensuring the correct temperature during transportation”, explains Jos van den Hurk (Manager Fleet & Equipment at H&S Group). “The temperature affects the quality and, even more importantly, the safety of the product. As the transporter, it is our task to maintain the temperature of the product. That is our responsibility from the moment it goes into the tank-container until the moment it comes out again.

Our customers want to know exactly what goes on with their product during transportation. That is why we wanted to find a solution for tracking, monitoring and managing the tanks. Remotely. So not only do we have an insight into their location and condition but we can even take action if the temperature threatens to go below the minimum or above the maximum.”

You might say that it is vitally important for foodstuffs to be at the correct temperature and that temperature also determines the quality and safety of the product. With the SBS solution, we are able to guarantee our customers that conditions will be just right during transportation.” 

Jos van den Hurk (Manager Fleet & Equipment)

Solution

Track and trace and temperature monitoring for 100 containers

H&S Group has around 100 containers fitted with SBS equipment, i.e. a type of cabinet which provides an insight into the location of the container and the temperature of the cargo. That information is displayed via a single central customer portal. “We consult the portal on a daily basis: it’s one of the first things we do” explains Jos. “Then we go over the tanks and make sure that everything is working properly. If there is an emergency or the temperature does not match the specification, then we can take action immediately.”

Adjusting the temperature remotely

Things were very different about 10 to 15 years ago: “Before we started using the SBS equipment, we had to read the data loggers manually. Can you imagine that?” laughs Jos. “You had to actually go to the tank in order to see the temperature, by attaching a laptop to it, for example. It wasn’t yet possible to do that remotely. But nowadays, if I see that one of our tanks in Russia is too cold, I can set the heating system remotely. From -10 to +80 degrees Celsius. We can read the specifications for the whole journey in detail remotely, via our portal. So we don’t need to go to the tank ourselves any more, not even to change the batteries!”

Everything demonstrably under control

“Once the vehicle has arrived at its destination, we can print out a graph for the customer so that they can see all the temperatures recorded, from the date of departure to the time of unloading as well as in-between. Sometimes we do get asked for additional information but if it is still within the desired bandwidth, then that is generally sufficient.”

Result

Innovation is teamwork

H&S Group focuses on cost efficiency, flexibility and innovative solutions. Our suppliers play an important part in this. Our customers are also innovating because we provide them with innovative solutions. You might say that it is vitally important for foodstuffs to be at the correct temperature and that temperature also determines the quality and safety of the product. With the SBS solution, we are able to guarantee our customers that conditions will be just right during transportation.

A small team needs good partners

The Fleet & Equipment team at H&S Group has five members who are jointly responsible for a long list of equipment: trucks, tank trailers, container chassis, containers, etc. Jos: “The only way that we can function effectively is if we have good partners who we can rely on. Reliability is extremely important to us. Imagine if these cabinets didn’t work properly: we wouldn’t then be able to convince our customers of the quality of their product and wouldn’t be able to unload the product at its destination. In that case, the customer doesn’t want it.

Fortunately, in all those years maybe 2 or 3 cabinets have been replaced and hardly any faults have occurred. And then bear in mind that some people are not always as careful with tank containers as others: the cabinets need to be resilient! “But if it does happen, efficient service in the event of a fault is important for H&S Group”, says Jos: “If a fault does arise, it is important to be able to react quickly so that together you can stay in control of the quality of the products you are transporting. For us, that was a substantial argument in favour of this supplier.”

Visit the website of H&S Group.

SBS track & trace solutions form part of the range offered by Imbema. With our broad offering, we can help to improve the safety of your fleet, cargo and people on the road. Many of our solutions are developed at our own service centre, always as a result of collaboration with customers and suppliers. Innovation is teamwork!

 

Want to find out more about SBS track & trace solutions? Contact Joost Brand, Solution Engineer, joost@sbsnl.com, +31 (0)88 130 6030

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