When people conjure up images of a shipping container, what they generally imagine is just a giant metal box that you put stuff in, either for storage or for transporting. They look about as high tech as a house brick, and for the most part they are, unless they’re the refrigerated version.
Around the world each year there are an estimated 20 million or more shipping containers moving from port to port, transporting trillions of dollars of goods from place to place. This accounts for around 90% of global trade.
With so many cargo containers on the move transporting so much stuff, how on earth does anyone keep track of it all?
In this post we’ll be taking a brief look at some new tech innovations in the world of shipping containers, technology to make tracking each cargo container far easier and essentially streamlining and securing this mammoth global industry.
Recent Technology Innovations
A German-based provider of smart solutions for the shipping container industry – SecureSystem – is one of a number of companies designing software and logistic solutions for easing tracking and routing of cargo containers.
Essentially this new technology is transforming the basic and very humble shipping container into a “smart container”.
Key benefits include:
· Much better container security
· Profitability is increased by streamlining the process
· Time is saved and containers can reach their destinations sooner
Just a single shipping container can produce around 28 different data points as it travels from one destination to another, including things like customs, carriers, ports and forwarders. There is a lot to keep track of.
What the technology from companies such as SecureSystem does is track shipping containers and ensure they are secure as they travel through this very complex logistical world.
One of the things the cargo container is equipped with in this instance is a tracking device, which means its location can be monitored by GPS and other methods.
These containers are also equipped with sensors, with gives operators real time information about the current condition the container finds itself in, including the internal temperature and moisture levels, and whether the container is physically secure.
The entire journey of a single shipping container can be monitored from start to finish, with a wealth of data analytics available at any given time.
On top of all this is personal security of the goods housed within the container. The person shipping the goods has full control over if and when the container can actually be opened. Without their authorisation to open it up, the container remains sealed shut to protect its contents.
The data attached to these smart containers can also expedite the container through customs so there are no delays.
This new smart system easily attaches to the doors of the shipping container, meaning no modifications are required.
Shipping containers are a mammoth industry that is becoming “smarter” by the day due to logistical necessity. As more and more technology is applied to the industry, waiting times for goods to be transported and received will continue to be reduced, and the integrity of the contents more secure.