December 9, 2022
Coles Group has deployed an IoT-powered track-and-trace system to help cut equipment losses in its poultry supply chain, in the form of 4500 “smart food bins” that move poultry between farms and its distribution centre. Coles said that as part of its digital transformation, it is seeking to make its Protein Cold Chain (sourcing and…

Coles Group has deployed an IoT-powered track-and-trace system to help cut equipment losses in its poultry supply chain, in the form of 4500 “smart food bins” that move poultry between farms and its distribution centre.

Coles said that as part of its digital transformation, it is seeking to make its Protein Cold Chain (sourcing and stocking poultry) more resilient.

Its goal is to cut the number of food bins it loses, get a better understanding of whether and where they are being damaged, improve pooling of equipment for transit, and increase stock turnaround.

Loscam (providing the track-and-trace solution with the food bins it manufactures) and Thinxtra (providing connectivity over its low-bandwidth 0G network) won a competitive tender to provide the system.

The solution tracks food bin location in real time, as well as shock impact events, temperature, and bin status.

Coles can also optimise transport routes and equipment pooling, based on how the bins are used. This information is available to supermarkets via the LoscamOnline tracking platform.

Prior to the rollout, the granularity of data available to Coles was at the truck level.

“The smart food bins ensure that we can track the poultry from the moment they are loaded by our suppliers at farms, right through to the time they reach our distribution centre, reinforcing our food safety standards, while saving time and minimising waste,” Coles’ national meat processing general manager Larry Kavanagh said.

Quality assurance for poultry, as well as waste elimination, comes from the ability to monitor temperature and other aspects of asset performance. 

Coles claimed a 25 percent cost saving for the asset pool, and said cost and waste are reduced by tripling the number of empty bins returned.

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