Goods tracking tech increasingly used to thwart cargo theft

The market for tracking technologies for cargo shipments will grow by around $2bn in the next five years to reach $5.6bn, says a new report.

Use of tracking technologies such as GPS devices is on the rise, as companies find them to be increasingly important tools in monitoring good shipments in order to cut down on cargo theft and assist in the recovery of stolen assets.

The report from ABI Research notes that covert and rechargeable devices satellite or cellular networks to obtain a shipment's location even allow asset recovery when shipments are reloaded into a new container or trailer which is not being tracked.

Tracking devices can be "covertly placed into product packaging so that they can continue to ping its location in real-time, enabling companies to track and recover stolen shipment and apprehend criminals," according to ABI analyst Raquel Artes.

"This is particularly suitable given the market's complex ecosystem wherein products are handled and transferred among a handful of different players and the risk of theft is high."

However, ABI notes that thieves are adapting as new technologies emerge. Many are changing modus operandi by committing cybercrime, GPS and cellular jamming, GNSS spoofing, and deceptive pickups.

"The new threats are reshaping tracking requirements. For instance, if a thief attempts GPS jamming, the goods tracking device will send real-time alert of possible theft via cellular technology, enabling companies to act immediately. GNSS and cellular technologies are standard features of goods tracking devices," notes ABI.

The report predicts that new cellular network technologies will reduce connectivity costs and encourage further adoption of tracking technologies.

Goods tracking solutions will migrate either to EC-GSM, an extended coverage version of 2G, or leverage the more network efficient LPWA LTE technologies in LTE Category 1, LTE Category M1, and LTE Category M2, says ABI.

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