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Feb 10, 2012

CARGO THEFT * UK

* Telematics and cargo: Cracking down on theft

London,EN,UK -Telematics Update, by Ursula Sautter -Feb 1, 2012: -- Cargo theft has been around as long as people have transported raw materials and manufactured goods from one place to another. Unfortunately, as the methods of freight carriage became more complex, so did the criminal methods focused on them... In the EU alone, cargo theft costs businesses more than €8.2 billion per year. And that's just for reported incidents; experts believe official statistics reflect only a small percentage of actual thefts. In the US, the FBI estimates, the figure has reached $30 billion a year and is likely to increase further. Most of the goods—electronics, pharma products, clothing, footwear, cigarettes—are stolen from trucks but sometimes also from shipping containers, cargo lanes and warehouses... The good news is, under the aegis of the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA), a growing number of producers and manufacturers, logistics companies, freight insurers, security firms, supply-chain consultants and other stakeholders in Europe, the Americas, and Africa are using telematics to address the threat... The organization's Web-based Incident Information Service (IIS), for instance, continuously captures and shares online data on where a theft has happened to a TAPA member, what kind of load was stolen, and which modus operandi was used so that other TAPA members can use that real-time intelligence "to avoid incident hotspots"...     In addition to locks that prevent the separation of tractor and trailer and brake release/shut down devices, there are plenty of other telematics tech that can help. Geofencing devices can trigger an alarm if a rig travels outside its predetermined route or enters high-risk areas. GPS-enabled track and trace solutions can locate stolen vehicles. Both, especially when equipped with anti-jam mechanisms, may significantly improve vehicle or load recovery processes, especially handy when stolen property leaves a state or country jurisdiction... Yet security mechanisms are no longer just found in the driver's cab. Holistic telematics security units like Novacom Europe's externally powered Vwise, for instance, provides real-time information and analytics about truck, trailer and load, including a whole array of wireless sensors placed at strategic points in or on the tractor-trailer. When one of these concealed devices registers certain pre-defined events—a door opening, a lock unsealed, a curtain tampered with—the unit's modem sends out an alarm to the network-operating center via GSM/GPRS or satellite. The center can then alert the end user... Even the freight itself can be tracked and traced. Affixed to pallet, crate, carton, or even individual items, always-on M2M sensors can monitor asset condition (factors such as ambient and product temperature, air quality, weight, lighting) and location along the entire supply chain, keeping fleet managers informed of any unauthorized or unscheduled events...

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