Frequently Asked Questions

BASICS

What does ConexBird do?

ConexBird has developed a unique solution for analyzing a container’s physical condition: we provide accurate, real-time information which allows you to make informed, reliable decisions on what to do with your boxes.

How does it work?

ConexBird’s data is produced using our patented combination of hardware and software. Our hardware units, installed on container spreaders, read physical vibration data from each container as it’s being lifted. This data is then processed in the cloud by our machine-learning algorithm, which produces an individual assessment of the container’s structure and durability.

How do you know it works?

The science behind our method has been known since at least 1939 [1]. Similar techniques to ours were used by NASA to test the structural integrity of the command modules for the Apollo Program [2]. Today, vibration testing is used throughout a variety of engineering and technical practices.

ConexBird’s unique advantage is that the “raw” vibration data we receive from our hardware is processed by a machine-learning algorithm. Our software can compare this data to thousands of previous inputs, filter out any noise and produce a comprehensive analysis of each reading, far faster than existing procedures and with unprecedented precision.

[1] Mitchell, J. S. (2007). From vibration measurements to condition-based maintenance. Sound and Vibration, 41(1), 62.
[2] https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19730019785.pdf, p. 55

What does it actually look like?

Our hardware is simple to install, and looks like this:

What are the advantages?

Container owners currently spend over $110 billion a year on operating their container assets [1]. This includes large sums dedicated to unnecessary maintenance and costly repairs on containers which may not need them, or which may be too fragile to be worth saving. Moreover, containers are often rejected by shippers who don’t consider them able to safely transport their goods. This is entirely reasonable; billions of dollars’ worth of cargo gets damaged [2], and hundreds of containers are still lost at sea every year [3].

Container owners’ inadequate knowledge of their assets is the root cause of a host of inefficiencies within intermodal transport. This lack of information is precisely why the ramifications of this problem have yet to be fully quantified, but it is known to be costing the industry billions of dollars a year [1]. Our own financial projections confirm this.
With ConexBird’s unique insight, all these problems could become a thing of the past. Knowing the precise condition of your boxes will allow you to:
- Improve your resource usage/reduce inefficiency
- Increase the availability of your containers, and decrease the likelihood of rejection
- Reduce the risk of damage, malfunction or accident
- Reduce CO2 emissions
- And more!

[1] https://transportgeography.org/?page_id=9481
[2] https://iumi.com/document/view/IUMI_Stats_Report_2018__5c62966a7392d.pdf
[3] http://www.worldshipping.org/news/articles/2017/07/10/containers-lost-at-sea-2017-update

What do I have to do to get started?
Get in touch with us!

If you own and/or operate containers, all we need from you is some container metadata. 
If you operate a container terminal/depot, all we require from you is a suitable opportunity to install our hardware, as well as some metadata.
If you own cargo and are looking to make its shipment safer and greener.

HARDWARE

Will it get in the way?

The hardware can be installed to existing container spreaders without the use of drilling or welding. This can be done in under four hours, after which the device is fully operational and the spreader can be returned to regular use. Moreover, the hardware is fitted in such a way that it will not interfere with normal operation of the spreader. Additionally, our results can be seamlessly integrated into existing operating systems, or can be provided in spreadsheet form.

Which containers does it work on?

Our technology currently solves a variety of problems with the following ISO intermodal container types:
- 20’ and 40’ units
- Regular and High-Cube varieties
- Open-top, flat-rack variants
- Reefers

Our algorithm’s potential is growing all the time, and we expect to be able to widen our scope in the near future (e.g.: loaded containers).

Does it work on full containers?

Currently, ConexBird’s solution can produce structural assessments of empty containers. While ConexBird’s immediate focus is on producing structural assessments of empty containers, our system will soon be able to analyze full containers.

Which cranes/spreaders will it work on?

Our hardware can be fitted equally well onto Ship-to-Shore, RTG, reach-stacking or straddle-carrier cranes. Furthermore, it can be fitted onto all existing single- or twin-container spreaders, regardless of type or manufacturer.

Can you detect residue/odour inside a container?

Our sensors do not perform any chemical analysis, so this is not a feature that we offer.

SOFTWARE

What is a “digital twin”?

ConexBird’s structural analysis can be used to render a “digital twin” of each container, which will visualize any defects within the unit. This can then be used to remotely assess the container’s suitability for particular uses.

What do the provided results typically consist of?

The provided results usually look like this:

What is the ConexBird “cloud”?

Our “cloud-based” digital infrastructure allows us to receive data from our hardware units, clients and partners across the world, send this data to our in-house processing algorithm and disseminate its outputs accordingly.

What data do you need from me?

If you are a container owner and would like to know more about the condition of your boxes, we need:
- Container ID
- Container type
- Year of manufacture

If you are a terminal/depot operator and would like to know more about the boxes passing through your facility, we need:
- Container ID
- Lift device ID
- Lift device location
- Lift time

How does this “machine-learning” work?

A machine learning algorithm is used by computers to interpret and analyze data, without explicitly being instructed how to do so.

ConexBird’s algorithm has been trained on thousands upon thousands of containers, representing all levels of structural integrity. Our software can now use the lessons from this “training period” to make quick, precise judgments on any new container inputs we feed it; every time it does so, it gets even smarter.

OPERATIONS

Who do you sell to?

ConexBird’s information services primarily benefit the owners and operators of the containers we analyze: however, other stakeholders in the logistics chain (such as terminal operators and cargo owners) also stand to gain from our insights.

How much does it cost me?

Installation of our hardware is 100% free, no strings attached. Once installed, we offer a two-month trial period for you to see what we can do, before you commit to using our services.

We offer container data on a usage basis: contact us for more details.

How much can it help me?

At ConexBird, we believe that every container you own is costing you hundreds of dollars a year due to problems we can help you solve. To find out more, you will soon be able check out our added-value calculator.

How does this help the environment?

The logistical inefficiencies resulting from inadequate container knowledge correspond to significant emissions of CO2, SOx and other GHGs.

Who is involved in this process?

Our hardware partner is a leading port equipment manufacturer, who will be in charge of manufacturing, installing and maintaining ConexBird’s hardware across the globe.

Cooperation with whoever operates the cranes is necessary to provide valuable information to whoever operates the containers they move. Therefore, ConexBird aims to work closely with both container owners and terminal operators, to help ensure a more prosperous future for all.

Why isn’t this everywhere already?

We are confident that it soon will be. After nearly a decade of research and development, ConexBird can now offer a versatile, scalable solution that is ready for the market; coincidentally, this comes at a time when the market in question is looking for innovative ways to grow. This growth won’t happen overnight, and we understand that excitement and innovation must go hand-in-hand with patience and diligence, in order to secure a brighter future for all.

It's your call.
Be fast. Know more.
Get in touch with us to find out how our patented technology and services can improve your processes and how you can get on board.
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