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RFID Tracks Fuel Trailers to Prevent Theft in Chile

Technology provider GPS Chile is offering its fleet-management solution to an oil company using Agorabee active RFID technology to link each trailer with a truck, identify the location of the truck and trailer, and gain visibility into when the vehicle leaves its expected route or stops.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 18, 2018

Truck-fleet and asset-management technology company GPS Chile has deployed an RFID-enabled solution for a national oil company to manage the location and security of its loads, using RFID technology from Switzerland-based Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm Agorabee. Since being taken live last summer, the system has enabled the company to view where fuel tank trailers, loaded with its product, are located, based on an RFID link between each tagged trailer and a reading device, coupled with GPS, on the truck.

The system is designed to accomplish several tasks, the company reports. First, it tracks which tractor is linked to each trailer, and whether that tractor-trailer match is incorrect (meaning that a driver might be taking the wrong trailer). It also provides visibility into the oil-filled trailer's location via the truck's GPS coordinates, linked to the unique ID number on the trailer's RFID tag.

Lastly, the system can help the company to detect if someone is attempting to access the oil in the trailer, by matching the location data for that trailer with data from wired sensors regarding the particular valve being opened. If the location for that opening valve does not match that of approved customers, the system can issue an alert to managers. Overall, the firm indicates, the solution is intended to prevent fuel theft, as well as manage logistics as the tank trailers travel across Chile.

GPS Chile, a solutions provider for fleet management, provides GPS-based data to monitor the performance of vehicles, as well as their location and when a traffic accident has occurred. In some cases, a company needs RFID technology to track not only a truck, but also the trailer it is pulling. In such a scenario, GPS Chile works with Agorabee, which provides active RFID tracking systems.

The oil company, which has asked not to be named, provides fuel to more than 285 gas stations across the country. It contracts out to five different trucking companies throughout Chile that deliver fuel to the stations. Trucks travel, on average, about 200 miles daily.

Before installing the GPS Chile solution, the oil company had no way to monitor the trailers and the fuel loaded into them. Once the trailers were dispatched to a customer, or to multiple customer sites, says Tomás Gantes, GPS Chile's innovation and product manager, the fuel company could not view specifically where a particular trailer went, whether it had ever left its intended route or whether any fuel was unloaded from it. Therefore, fraud occasionally took place, which could range from one trailer being swapped with another to some fuel being siphoned from the trailer before it reached the customer.

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