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Emprevi Launches Service for Securing, Tracking Cargo

Using Savi active RFID seals and interrogators, the Colombian logistics provider expects to reduce security costs by $350 per container and cut shipment time by two days.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 27, 2007Since June, Colombian logistics provider Empresa de Prevención y Vigilancia (Emprevi) has been using a Savi Networks RFID solution to track shipments of goods from their point of manufacture to the port of Buenaventura on their way out of the country. The logistics company expects the system to reduce security costs by $350 per container, says Álvaro Mauricio Durán Lopez, Emprevi's director of operations and protection, and also save two days' time spent in port facilities waiting for inspections.

"As of June this year, the system has been fully operational," says Neil Smith, Savi Networks' CFO. Eight manufacturers are participating, he explains, with RFID interrogators installed in their facilities. Lopez expects that number to grow to several dozen within the coming year. Emprevi transports goods for the pharmaceutical, health-care, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage industries.

After loading a container at a factory or distribution center, a manufacturer uses the ST-662 to secure the container. The driver then employs a handheld interrogator to read the seal, capturing its unique ID number.

"In Colombia," Lopez says, "most of the companies are investing a lot of money to protect their containers, without expecting greater efficiency." That includes hiring security guards, who travel with a shipment to physically protect it from such criminal acts as theft or drug smuggling.

Containers spend many days at ports, waiting to be inspected. This often results in agents completely unpacking a container that had already been packed by the product manufacturer, leaving it to be hastily repacked at the port, in such a manner that could damage the products.

As of June, however, after more than a year of piloting and building the infrastructure, (see Colombian Shipper to Use RFID), Emprevi's system provides greater efficiency and return on investment by saving the cost of employing security guards, Lopez says. The infrastructure includes RFID interrogators installed at the port, manufacturing sites and distribution centers, as well as along highways between those points, at locations about two hours' driving time apart.

All transit data received from those readers is transmitted to the SaviTrak information network, a global system hosted by Savi Networks, a joint venture between RFID equipment maker Savi Technology and Hutchison Port Holdings, an operator of shipping terminals around the world.

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