Real-Time Anomaly Detection in Cold Chain Transportation Using IoT Technology

James Gillespie, Tamíris Pacheco da da Costa, Xavier Cama-Moncunill, Trevor Cadden, Joan Condell, Tom Cowderoy, Elaine Ramsey, Fionnuala Murphy, Marco Kull, Robert Gallagher, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


There are approximately 88 million tonnes of food waste generated annually in the EU alone. Food spoilage during distribution accounts for some of this waste. To minimise this spoilage, it is of utmost importance to maintain the cold chain during the transportation of perishable foods such as meats, fruits, and vegetables. However, these products are often unfortunately wasted in large quantities when unpredictable failures occur in the refrigeration units of transport vehicles. This work proposes a real-time IoT anomaly detection system to detect equipment failures and provide decision support options to warehouse staff and delivery drivers, thus reducing potential food wastage. We developed a bespoke Internet of Things (IoT) solution for real-time product monitoring and alerting during cold chain transportation, which is based on the Digital Matter Eagle cellular data logger and two temperature probes. A visual dashboard was developed to allow logistics staff to perform monitoring, and business-defined temperature thresholds were used to develop a text and email decision support system, notifying relevant staff members if anomalies were detected. The IoT anomaly detection system was deployed with Musgrave Marketplace, Ireland’s largest grocery distributor, in three of their delivery vans operating in the greater Belfast area. Results show that the LTE-M cellular IoT system is power efficient and avoids sending false alerts due to the novel alerting system which was developed based on trip detection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2255
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 25 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the REAMIT project, funded by the Interreg North-West Europe grant number NWE831.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Management
  • Renewable Energy
  • Geography
  • Building and Construction
  • Monitoring
  • Policy and Law
  • Sustainability and the Environment
  • Planning and Development
  • Internet of Things
  • food waste
  • IoT
  • cold chain
  • remote monitoring
  • sensor technology


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