Securing cargo / monitoring the supply chain

April 26, 2019
Technology keeps bad guys out of containers while letting good data broadcast.

There are hundreds of ways bad guys can breach a container while leaving the inert security seals intact. One remedy: implementing internal breach-detection technology that uses a device installed inside shipping containers. Telit recently partnered with Eye-Seal to develop internal breach-detection technology to enable port authorities and shippers to monitor when a container’s door is opened as well as the internal environmental condition in the container throughout the entire logistics chain. This technology protects cargo during shipping and improves transparency in the logistics chain by identifying breaches immediately.

We chatted with Luis M. Balzac, Eye-Seal’s chief communications officer and Scott Ellis, Telit VP of connectivity sales (Americas), to learn more. Take a look…

Smart Industry: Describe how your technology works.

Luis: Eye-Seal provides verifiable data with the where and when of an unauthorized breach to shipping and cargo containers. It is an internal breach detection device that makes any container “intelligent” and connected.  

Eye-Seal is the only product that monitors each container door independently, while monitoring internal environmental parameters; including temperature, light, humidity and dew point. Our device is the only one that can last at least 120 days on battery (no need for an external power source), which is longer than any international voyage.

Smart Industry: How does smart technology like this affect the world of insurance, for both insurance provider and user? 

Luis: It helps insurance providers pinpoint time and date of incident to identify jurisdictions with high theft rates.  This allows insurance companies to save investigative resources in claims. It helps insurance users by providing the insurance company with verifiable data of the when and where of an unauthorized breach.   

Smart Industry: Describe the breach-detection technology? How is it different than previous iterations? 

Luis: Our devices include two patented sensor packages that monitor each door independently from the inside of the container. We are mounted 100% inside the container. We are not dependent on any external components such as antennas—anything external may be easily defeated.

Smart Industry: What internal conditions do the monitors monitor? How do these conditions change during the course of transport? 

Luis: Temperature, light, humidity and dew point. Long voyages and storage conditions throughout the logistics chain often mean changes in temperature, humidity and dew point. For example, this impacts agro products like cocoa and coffee. A recent case study with an agro distributor helped identify spikes in dew point affecting weight and cargo conditions.

Smart Industry: How does the immediate notification of breaches benefit cargo-handlers?

Luis: Immediate notifications benefit all parties involved in the logistics chain. Cargo handlers want to provide good service; identifying a weak link is valuable information. This allows service providers to avoid jurisdictions with high theft. The individual that benefits the most from immediate notifications is the shipper/cargo owner.  For example, owners of high-value scrap metal benefit with immediate notification because it provides verifiable data in case of an unauthorized breach, which helps them with their insurance companies through a claims process. 

Smart Industry: What most excites you about this partnership? 

Luis: We are excited to have a top partner with proven experience in IoT.  Telit’s experience, in collaboration with our engineering team at Paragon Innovations, gives us the necessary tools to impact shipping and improve the logistics chain through IoT technology.

Scott: We see the Eye-Seal concept as a game-changer for an industry that must constantly evolve and adapt to new regulatory and compliance guidelines from industries and governments around the world. A high-performing containerized cargo transport sector is fundamental for economic growth and sustainability. Eye-Seal is doing much more than simply tracking a shipping container location; they are protecting cargo and adding value to the transport industry. 

Want more on the evolution of the supply chain? Click here.