Smart containers have the potential to ’radically’ transform the utility and value of shipping container equipment assets, according to Drewry’s latest Container Census & Leasing Annual Review & Forecast 2019/20 report
Smart containers have increased in prominence in a very short space of time and the pace of adoption is expected to accelerate over the next five years. A container becomes ’smart’ when fitted with a telematics device that provides real-time tracking and monitoring, enabling operators to increase turn time of their container equipment and so utilisation. It also allows beneficial cargo owners to understand the location and status of their cargo so that they can better control their supply chains.
“There are a number of factors driving this market growth, including growing calls for greater transparency and security across transport value chains,” said Drewry director of research products Martin Dixon. “Meanwhile, in shipping there is a demand to know the location of the container and above all the status of that container and the condition of the cargo inside it.”
Drewry estimates that by the end of 2018, around 2.5% of the global container equipment fleet was fitted with smart technology devices. However, take-up varies considerably by equipment type, with penetration already strong in intermodal and reefer containers but much lower in the dry box sector.
Indeed, CMA CGM and MSC are boosting the efficiency of their supply chains through smart containers. Each carrier is to equip 50,000 smart containers with technology from French company Traxens. This consists of a tracking and environment monitoring device permanently fitted to the box, which records data including GPS position, temperature, impact, movement and vibration. The shipping lines access the data generated via Traxens’ web portal hub or through API.