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GPS & Wireless >> Representative Applications >> Cargo & Shipment Tracking
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Recent developments in the realm of international trade have increased the need for heightened security to prevent multi-frontal attacks. The dual missions of protecting national security and collecting duties and taxes drive governments’ interest in maintaining the integrity of the supply chain. The interest of private companies in just-in-time, reliable delivery, cost-effective logistics, and maintaining the integrity of goods leads to the development of many tracking systems.

Supply chain vulnerability is often overlooked as the movement of goods from the manufacturer to the port or border crossing, or from the port to the distribution center. Tracking represents an additional layer of security to ensure goods reach their destination in the same condition as they began their journey, though other layers must be put in place to achieve a more comprehensive level of safety for vehicle and cargo transit.

Lost or resting cargo containers and vehicles represent the point in the supply chain at which goods and conveyances are most vulnerable. Some studies have indicated that 70 percent of senior executives are not satisfied with their ability to track their moving assets to ensure integrity and safety. Tracking cargo and vehicles allows for advanced processing of information by border and intelligence agencies and assists in defeating the vulnerabilities associated with inland drayage, the most vulnerable aspect of the supply chain. To adequately provide security, the cargo and vehicle must be able to be tracked independently, but the tracking mechanism needs the capability to associate the two data points.

Reltronics Technologies is a leader in developing, deploying and supporting novel technologies for tracking assets, fleet, and various types of resources, had developed most innovative way of tracking cargo and shipment using integrated technologies like GPS, GPRS, RFID and Sensors. Reltronics Technologies utilizes complete advantage provided by ReALTrack Framework for application development and support of Cargo and Shipment Tracking System (ReALTrack – CST), which in-turn help the organizations to utilize their current eco system without much change, in-order to provide better Return On Investment (ROI) in shorter period of time.

ReALTrack – CST is the integrated solution that consists of components as below:

  1. RFID

  2. GPS & GPRS

RFID Technology in Cargo and Shipment Tracking

Radio frequency identification devices (RFID) are low-cost tags that assist in the tracking of goods and vehicles. These devices are placed on individual items and can either be active, i.e., constantly emitting a radio frequency signal; or passive, i.e., only emitting a signal when queried by an outside source.

In order to track goods, readers (either hand-held or fixed) need to be installed to track and record the numbers from the RFID devices affixed to each product or container. Installation of these readers, however, adds additional costs which would be assumed by the shipper or passed along to the consumer/end user.

RFID tags are limited in the number that can be screened by each reader at one time. For large numbers of loose goods, individually tagging each good is not an efficient use of resources. Tagging the unit containing these loose goods is a more practical solution. RFID tags may not be practical for all applications, including tracking liquids and items wrapped in metal or foil, as these environments can create interference.

The RFID tags only serve as a tracking Cargo and vehicle tracking is the ability to trace goods, their containers, and their conveyances from the point of origin to their destination. Tracking is increasingly associated with information transfer using smarter tools such as radio frequency identification devices and global positioning systems.

The RFID tags only serve as a tracking mechanism; they do not possess any effective security applications. To work properly, specific frequencies will need to be designated for RFID use only. Government assistance and cooperation is needed in order to prevent interference with other existing devices and applications.

While RFID development is progressing rapidly, three issues could limit its spread in the near future. First, there is an ongoing intellectual property dispute regarding parts of the specifications related to commercializing the electronic product code (EPC) technology. Second, EPCGlobal, the nonprofit organization charged with commercializing the EPC technology, and the International Standardization Organization (ISO) differ on the specification dealing with the numbering systems to which RFID tags relate. Finally, many of the products being sold are not fully upgradeable to the next generation of RFID technology that will be released shortly.

Authentication/Legitimization of Customs Procedures Tracking can help verify the identity and contents of a vehicle or cargo container, and its use—coupled with risk management techniques—make some of the current customs procedures redundant. Elimination of those redundant procedures would expedite the customs examination process and increase the assurance that the vehicle or cargo container is safe and originates from an authorized or legitimate shipper.

RFID uses radio waves to automatically identify an object, often by storing a serial number (and any additional information up to 2 MB) on an antenna. A receiver emits a short-range alert when the integrity of the bulk has been compromised. Some RFID tags also monitor environmental conditions.

Tracking automates the customs clearance system, thus minimizing the opportunity for corruption through bribery of customs personnel. Barcode scanning simplifies the tracking process by identifying the cargo and conveyance through an individual code and a fixed reader and transmitting that information to a central point.

Benefits of Cargo and Vehicle Tracking Satellite Systems and GPS & GPRS

Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking utilizes satellites to monitor fleets of vehicles or cargo containers, thereby ensuring there are no unplanned stops and that a pre-planned route is followed. Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite systems use satellites that orbit the earth in order to continuously monitor a particular area continuously.

These satellite mapping areas can be as large as North America or Australia, yet can identify individual containers and vehicles. Networks of multiple satellites that sweep the globe and monitor activity all over the world comprise Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems. This category includes voice-capable “big LEO’s” and lower cost, data-only systems dubbed “little LEO’s.” Satellite systems are only viable options for tracking when the transmitter located on the vehicle or cargo has a direct line of sight to the satellite. They are consequently impractical when utilized on double-stacked railcars, in the holds of vessels, and in the stacks at container yards.

GPRS is utilized to send the information to and fro from a GPS enable device in the remote areas. GPRS also helpful in integrating and sending information on additional units like sensors and other functionalities based on the requirements.

 ReALTrack CST

ReALTrack CST is the easy to use, platform-independent system utilizes graphical user interfaces, relational databases and supports EDI messaging. Its fully web-enabled modular design and flexibility facilitate enhancements and integration with new or existing third party systems such as accounting and customs.

ReALTrack CST available as Licensed, Hosted and SaaS options. This solution is best suited for industries mentioned below;

  1. Air  Transport

  2. Shipping

  3. Land Transportation

ReALTrack CST provides following benefits on the usage.

Implementation Benefits 

  1. Fully integrates the processing of all cargo-related business activities

  2. Accelerates the capability to react to market and operational changes

  3. Easy to integrate with existing or new third party systems

  4. Improves speed and accuracy of invoicing and reporting

  5. Can reduce unit costs of processing

Operational Benefits

  1. Prevent lost/damaged cargo costs

  2. Improve recovery of lost/misplaced containers

  3. Easily identify which containers are in the wrong place

  4. Improve equipment maintenance schedule

  5. Reduce equipment inventories

  6. Increase asset utilization (ex: One extra trip per year due to tracking efficiencies)

Productivity Benefits

  1. Asset visibility & inventory management

  2. Simple tracking of shipments or equipment in real-time

  3. Efficient Dispatching

  4. Helps achieve schedule integrity

  5. Better timeliness of cargo shipments via fewer delayed and misrouted shipments

  6. Fewer missed delivery windows

Cost Benefits

  1. Eliminate increased expenses from lack of equipment availability

  2. Reduce theft and insurance costs

  3. Reduce equipment inventories and increase asset utilization

  4. Reduction in undelivered cargo

  5. Fewer customer allowances (late penalties)

  6. Lower insurance premiums

  7. Potential headcount reductions (customer can track their own cargo, eliminates calls to help desk)

Customer Satisfaction Benefits

  1. Improve customer service and responsiveness

  2. Tells users where a shipment is supposed to be and if delivery is ahead or behind schedule

  3. Lower cancellations due to late service delivery

  4. Improved Customer retention

  5. User On-line cargo tracking available 24X7, via Internet browser

Additional ReALTrack-CST Benefits

  1. Increased Billing Accuracy

  2. Our products help to resolve Customer Disputes related to delivery time, service duration, and delivery location

  3. Revenue from Premium service (charge additional fees to let your customer track his shipment)

How Reltronics Technologies can assist :

Reltronics Technologies specializes in Security Software and Tracking Solutions. Appropriate team members can be assigned who can provide expertise in manufacturing, deploying, and monitoring Security Software & Tracking systems. The team can assist in integrating systems which involve technologies such as radio frequency identification, GPS, wireless technologies, critical condition monitoring, intrusion, access control, RFID, data encryption, closed circuit television (CCTV), and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems. The experience that Reltronics Technologies has garnered in deploying numerous security software systems, including GPS and wireless based automated vehicle location systems, asset management systems, record management systems, automated content management systems, and automated sensor systems, can easily be translated to meet any requirement in the Security Software and Tracking arena. Reltronics Technologies has and continues to add value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, and dealers that enable implementation of Security Software & Tracking Systems worldwide. For further information, contact us via email at