Container Tracking Gears Up

An analysis of efforts to provide real-time global tracking of freight containers conducted by ABI Research concludes that it will take years to fully deploy such systems, though there should be “substantial” commercial and security benefits once tracking networks are in place.

Over 20 million freight containers are currently circulating the world with about 7 million of them passing through U.S. ports every year, according to ABI Research analyst David Schrier. Right now, he said, only about 2% of those 7 million containers entering the U.S. are physically inspected.

Schrier said that deployment of container security and tracking systems— based on technologies such as RFID, cellular and satellite communications— will not occur overnight and that the overall number of commercial containers equipped with some sort of tracking system should remain in the single digits until the latter part of this decade.

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