Asia News: Successful trials push GSM-GPRS-GPS container tracking into market

Asia News:  Successful trials push GSM-GPRS-GPS container tracking into market

An international consortium has deployed the successful land-sea-land trials of intermodal container tracking technology into commercial reality.

Conducted from Singapore to Thailand to China (Shanghai and Hong Kong) and back to Singapore during January and February 2007, the trials were independently monitored by the Singapore Technologies Education & Training – Maritime Bureau.

Co-operation between CargoTrax (Finland), TriaGnoSys (Germany), ThermoKing Ingersoll Rand (US), Hansabaltic Oy (Finland), Pacific International Lines (Singapore), STET-Maritime Bureau (Singapore), Maritime & Ports Authority (Singapore), Globaltrax (Singapore), AETOS Military Police (Singapore) has produced a successful credible end result.

The most important function in the trials were to prove the efficacy of the GSM<->GSM connectivity on mid-seas via Inmsarsat satellite, as well as the seamless hand-over of GSM-over-satellite to terrestrial transmitters whenever the ship encounters land GSM coverage, thus maintaining the global GSM legalities.

The SECURED by CargoTrax® solution, which is based on real-time GSM, GPRS and GPS technology, allows 24/7 global anywhere-anytime security monitoring of containers and – of particular importance to reefers – monitoring of critical conditions to ensure the integrity of containerised cargo that can be worth up to US$10million.

The status of the cargo and the security of the container are constantly monitored by an officially compliant RFID container door eSeal, which transmits a pulse every 1.5 seconds to control centres, both on the ship and on the ground. These can include the consignee, shipper, shipping company's HQ, the ships' home port operator or government security services. If the e-seal is compromised in any way, a panic alarm signal is transmitted immediately, as are changes in temperature, humidity, vibration, light, and volumetric pressure, as well as levels of oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

A series of pilot trials conducted between August 2006 and March 2007 was the result of more than four years of R&D. The trials, initiated by Maritime & Ports Authority (MPA) of Singapore, and monitored by the Singapore government owned STET-Maritime Bureau, confirmed a 100% success rate.

Globaltrax’s TEXEL® GSM-GPRS-GPS-RFID ‘black boxes’ installed onto ThermoKing Reefers were interrogated several thousand times during the sea voyage, giving a 100% successful return in combined GSM-satellite communications.

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