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February 10, 2012

Embedded M2M Solutions - Wireless Tracking Systems Gain Momentum in Tracking Shipping Containers


Analyst firm Berg Insight has been following the use of wireless technologies in tracking shipping containers, both inland transportation in North America and the global port-to-port container transport chain. The latest report generated by the research firm shows that the number of active remote container tracking units deployed on intermodal shipping containers was 77,000 in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2011. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66.9 percent, this number is expected to reach 1.0 million by 2016, according to Berg Insight’s latest study.


As per this report, the adoption of remote tracking systems in the total population of containers is estimated to increase from 0.4 percent in 2011 to 3.6 percent in 2016. Per Berg Insight’s definition, a real-time container tracking solution is a system that incorporates data logging, satellite positioning and data communication to a back-office application.

According to Berg Insight, the market for container tracking solutions is still in its early stage. The data show that aftermarket solutions mounted on high value cargo and refrigerated containers will be the first use cases to adopt container tracking.

After recent acquisitions of Startrak and PAR LMS, Orbcomm has emerged as the largest vendor of wireless container tracking devices with solutions targeting refrigerated containers, said Berg Insight. The Berg Insight report has labeled Qualcomm, ID Systems (News - Alert) and Telular as prominent vendors with focus on inland transportation in North America, which is so far the most mature market for container tracking solutions. Likewise, the report names PearTrack Systems, Honeywell (News - Alert) Global Tracking, EPSa and Kirsen Global Security as examples of companies offering dedicated solutions targeting the global end-to-end container transport chain.

In a statement, Johan Svanberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight, said, “Ever since the events of 9/11, there have been a lot of activities to bring container tracking solutions to the market.” He added, “It is however first now that technology advancement, declining hardware prices and market awareness are starting to come together to make remote container tracking solutions attractive… Container telematics can help stakeholders to comply with regulations and meet the high demands on security, information visibility and transportation efficiency that comes with global supply chains,” concluded Svanberg.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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