Berg Insight: Logistics companies must prepare for rising remote data

Logistics companies must ready themselves for an onslaught of data generated by growing usage of cargo tracking units, according to Berg Insight.

The research company predicts the number of active tracking devices will grow from 1.5 million units globally in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 4.1 million by 2018--a compound annual growth rate of 22.3 per cent. Tracking units are already deployed in truck trailers, swap bodies, containers (intermodal, and air cargo), cargo boxes and pallets, it noted.

Berg Insight predicted technology advances will make it economically feasible to track smaller logistics units in future, such as individual pallets and cargo boxes. That rise in availability will, however, increase the amount of data generated by tracking units.

"Logistics and transportation companies need to be ready to take advantage of the increasing amount of data generated by cargo tracking solutions in order to effectively improve productivity and customer service levels," said Berg Insight senior analyst Johan Svanberg.

The research company noted that North American companies lead the way in terms of trailer telematics, with an installed base of 600,000 active tracking units compared to 20,000 in Europe.

Svanberg said smart tracking systems can help companies comply with myriad regulations and programmes relating to cargo security, tax collection and handling special cargos including food, dangerous goods and animals.

While Berg Insight named several specialist European tracking companies as leading players in the logistics tracking sector, the space is also attracting the attention of telecom equipment vendors.

In June Magnus Lundgren, vice president of Ericsson's Connected Vehicle Cloud division, told FierceWireless:Europe that it is technically possible for third-party companies to access individual containers in transit on ships, in what would be an extension of a remote control system the company has deployed on around 400 vessels in shipping company Maersk's fleet.

Such technology would allow supermarkets to adjust the temperature in refrigeration units to ensure produce is in peak condition, or for remote monitoring of livestock through video feeds.

For more:
- see Berg Insight's release

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