Do You Know Where Your Container Is?

ship-containerDevelopers believe a new generation of tracking devices will overcome some limitations of RFID. The new system will be capable of tracing containers globally in real-time by hooking up to GPS or mobile phone GPRS. The devices will also monitor temperature conditions inside containers, and alert of damage.

SaviNetworks, the world’s largest provider of active RFID tags, is close to launching a new generation container tracking solution that it believes will revolutionise the industry, by allowing containers to be located real-time anywhere in the world.

Nick Cova, SaviNetworks’ VP of commercial operations, told delegates attending a technology day at the port of Felixstowe on 20 November that volume production of a new generation of tracking devices, capable of hooking up to GPS satellite networks or the mobile phone GPRS system, would start shortly.

The new technology had many advantages over RFID-based solutions, said Murray Gibson, Hutchison Ports UK’s general manager for marketing and logistics solutions. “With RFID, while it is possible to track, say, a container’s arrival in a port if there is an RFID reader there, this new system is completely independent of any infrastructure that may or may not be provided by a port operator.

“This [new solution] will work almost anywhere in the world,” he went on to say.

The new devices can also monitor physical shocks or increases in humidity inside a container, alerting shippers to possible damage before the container arrives and would reduce many claims handling costs, claimed Cova.

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