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IoT a reality in maritime tracking

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The number of active tracking devices deployed in cargo loading units including trailers, intermodal containers, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 1,8-million worldwide in 2014, according to a report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26,2%, this number is expected to reach 5,8-million by 2019. The North American trailer telematics market is the most developed segment, followed by the emerging segment of intermodal container tracking which has achieved considerable growth in the past years.
The maritime shipping industry has started to embrace real-time container tracking on a large scale.
“The foremost example to date is Maersk Line that recently announced a major implementation” says Johan Svanberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
After several years of pilot projects, AT&T has now, in collaboration with WAM Technologies (acquired by Orbcomm in October 2015), connected 290 000 of Maersk Line’s refrigerated intermodal containers. Other major providers of intermodal container tracking solutions are Orbcomm, FreightWatch International, Savi Technology, Zenatek, Envotech, Honeywell Global Tracking, EPSa, Emerson and Track24.
The top providers in the North American trailer telematics market including SkyBitz, Omnitracs, Spireon, Orbcomm and ID Systems have together an installed base of close to 800 000 active units today.
In Europe, Mecomo, Idem Telematics, Agheera, Schmitz Cargobull and Novacom are major trailer and swap body telematics solution providers. Sendum, Moog and OnAsset Intelligence are examples of actors which offer specialised solutions for real-time tracking of air freight cargo. There are also vendors offering disposable low-cost tracking devices that are only meant to be used once such as Locus Traxx.
Logistics and transportation companies are now accelerating their IoT efforts to take advantage of the increasing amount of data generated by cargo tracking solutions in order to effectively improve productivity and customer service levels.
“Technology advancements make it economically feasible to track ever smaller logistics units and it will be commonplace to track not only trailers and shipping containers but also individual pallets and cargo boxes” says Svanberg. Regulations related to cargo transport have furthermore a significant impact on the market environment. Numerous countries worldwide have introduced regulations and programs related to cargo security, tax collection and handling of special cargo such as food, dangerous goods and animals. Smart tracking solutions can help stakeholders to efficiently comply with this myriad of regulations and programs.