Boost container shipping security with IoT
Container security has long been one of the shipping industry’s biggest challenges. Shipping lines often find themselves in the unenviable position of having to counter claims of a breach of cargo integrity, many being far from genuine. Finding the evidence to disprove the allegations is never an easy task and has a high labor cost associated with it. This hits hard not just in terms of lost revenue but also a dented reputation and lowered client trust. And cargo integrity is just one part of the problem.
The last decade has seen a rise in narcotics, contraband, stolen cars and even trafficked humans smuggled in shipping containers. According to a study, of the 500 million marine container shipments, which account for 90% of the world’s cargo, only 2% are inspected. Against this backdrop, achieving any level of transparency in container shipping appears to be a huge challenge. That’s where IoT technology steps in.
The role of IoT technology in enhancing cargo security
Telematics, driven by IoT technology, is playing a key role in helping protect containers from intrusion by minimizing the potential for theft and smuggling. Here’s how telematics can help solve some of the cargo security problems faced by the shipping industry.
Combating cargo breaches with IoT door sensors
As cargo integrity is increasingly becoming a major concern for shipping lines—with high-value cargo being especially vulnerable—monitoring container doors is key to preventing intrusion. The usual method used by criminals is to steal from or smuggle into unmonitored containers and then use fake seals on the doors, which helps evade detection.
Our dry container tracking solution supports IoT door sensors that can track unauthorized or unexpected door openings, helping minimize cargo theft. These sensors monitor door status and send alerts to personnel on door openings outside a pre-determined geofence. Data from door sensors can also protect carriers from having to pay heavy penalties if a door seal is accidentally broken. A broken door seal can result in rejected loads, as it can be difficult to prove cargo integrity. Shipping lines can use the door sensor data to provide evidence to BCOs and shippers that there’s been no breach in cargo security. This proof adds an extra layer of credibility to the reporting, helping create transparency on shipments and building trust between customers and shipping lines.
Reduced insurance costs
The internet age has seen the rise of fake companies making false insurance claims that in turn result in higher insurance premiums. But with the availability of live location data and continuous monitoring of cargo status, such false claims can easily be refuted. With improved security comes a decreased risk of intrusion or loss of cargo, leading to lower insurance costs. Container telematics is widely acknowledged as an effective strategy to counter and mitigate the risks of cargo theft, smuggling and trafficking.
Identify security risk hotspots in the supply chain
Door sensors provide data that can reveal hotspots of theft or unauthorized access to the cargo. Based on historical data analysis, customers can take steps to optimize their global transportation networks by minimizing the risk factors. Learn more about how IoT technology can help protect your cargo and promote greater safety and transparency in supply chain processes worldwide.
Christian Allred is ORBCOMM’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Sales. With more than 25 years of experience in managing global sales and marketing teams in IoT, Christian is responsible for managing ORBCOMM’s international sales teams around the world across key vertical markets including transportation, heavy equipment, containers and ports and maritime.