IBM and Maersk Logistics are introducing a wireless tracking system for the international shipping industry.
The pair have developed tamper-resistant embedded controllers, or Trecs, for large shipping containers. The Trecs are supported by back-end software and a wireless network, and a sensor system gives shippers a remote view of the state of their cargo in transit.
Maersk is a leader in freight movement and logistics and is set to use the system in its own business. The companies said they expected the solution to go commercial for the wider industry next year.
The system is designed to give users the opportunity to manage their supply chain more easily and to make changes in advance of cargo arriving at its destination.
It is also designed to offer greater security, as the developers claim that Trec sensors can detect whether a container door has been wrongly opened, for instance.
The data can be sent via antennas on a container roof over short-range wireless networks such as Zigbee or Bluetooth, and over longer-range mobile and satellite networks.
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