Globe Tracker International (GTI) has introduced a product for tracking and monitoring cargo and assets such as shipping containers.
“After working for over half a decade to develop, test and pilot Globe Tracker’s devices and networks, we are thrilled to offer GTI’s game-changing supply chain tracking, monitoring and trade data sharing technology to the global shipping industry,” said Jim Davis, founder and chief executive officer of Globe Tracker, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The company introduced its “Smart Autonomous Asset Solution” at the TOC Container Supply Chain Asia conference in Hong Kong this week. It combines three products:
- Globe Tracker Communications Unit, which is permanently installed on assets such as shipping containers, truck trailers or railway cars. The unit can securely report an asset’s global position along with data from any installed GTI wireless peripheral devices (such as a sensor being used to monitor the temperature inside a reefer container) to the asset owner’s private database, from anywhere in world. The data can be used to monitor an asset’s position over time, or other information such as load status, contract status, temperature profile, and door open/closed status.
- GTI’s Trade Data Exchange Network, which allows supply chain partners to securely and selectively share data from their own databases, behind their own security firewalls so they do not give up control of their private data.
- GTI’s Smart Autonomous Asset Network, which tracks and monitors assets for the purpose of improving the assets efficient use and as a by-product provide the asset owner with real-time data that can be shared with its supply chain partners. The company said refrigerated cargo shippers in particular benefit from Globe Tracker’s tracking and monitoring and data analysis.
Don Miller, director of sales and marketing, said the company has been testing its equipment for several years on ships operated by the Icelandic shipping line Eimskip and is now deployng them in larger numbers.
He said the company is in discussion with "at least five of the 10 top ocean carriers of the world and two out of the five largest freight forwarders."
Miller said the GTI tracking device is GPS-based and can communicate through the GSM or cellular network, but also has WiFi and radio frequency capability. The unit is operated with a battery that has a life of five years.
“Our model is you pay for it once, and we maintain it with our network, and as long as you are a customer on our network… Beyond the five years, we will maintain the hardware for the life of the asset at no additional cost, so you only pay for the hardware once,” he said.
Miller said the cost of the hardware unit and two network products comes out to 99 cents per day per asset.
Globe Tracker is initially targeting ocean trade and shippers of high-value cargo, both dry, reefer, and tank container cargo. But Miller said “based on our price point” the product could be used by all container fleets.
He said with reefer boxes, the company is able to offer two-way communication so that real-time temperature can be measured, alarms cleared, and pre-trip inspections made. Equipment can be installed on ships so that containers under deck can also be monitored.
“Ocean carriers are our primary market, but it being an asset tracker we get approached by logistics companies, freight forwarders, and even for some rail applications," Miller said.
The units can also be used in terminals—and information about when a container is removed from a ship or where it has been placed in a stack of containers are measurable.
Globe Tracker originally was part of a fleet tracking company called @Road. While most of that company was sold in 2007 to Trimble Navigation, the segment working on solutions for the the shipping industry was cleaved off to become Globe Tracker and Miller and others have spent five years researching and developing new products. - Chris Dupin