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RFID Seals Provide Border Security in Eastern Europe
Kazakhstan and Lithuanian customs officials are using electronic seals to ensure truck cargo doors are not opened en route.
This system's focus, explains Anthony Dublino, Hi-G-Tek's managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, is on sealing a truck's cargo doors at one border, then ensuring there has been no tampering to the seal when it is removed at the other, rather than tracking the truck on the highway. The company installed the RFID system about 18 months ago, he says, and has been expanding it since then. As with Kazakhstan, most cargo arrives from China, while empty trucks return from the west. Hi-G-Tek—which, Auerbach says, almost always works with local integrators—is partnering with INTA, a Lithuanian system integrator.
If a truck is stored for any length of time in the border-crossing yard or terminal, a tilt-and-motion sensor function in the seal is activated. Thus, if anyone attempts to remove the truck's cargo door or cut a hole in it, the sensor detects the seal's movement and an alert is sent to Hi-G-Tek readers deployed in the area.
Once the truck reaches its final destination, the tag is read again with a handheld reader, to confirm the vehicle was not opened before the seal is removed and reused. All data is stored in an Oracle database using INTO software. The Lithuanian customs deployment has been growing, Dublino says, as the agency becomes accustomed with the system.
"They started with high-value or sensitive cargo," Dublino says, including chemical or nuclear-related cargo. The next step has been securing trailers that open on top and are secured with a tarp over the cargo. Such shipments, which typically carry products such as cigarettes, are vulnerable to theft, since the tarps can be opened and reclosed without detection.
The customs agency is presently securing the tarps with a cable, joining together the two ends of the cable by means of a Hi-G-Tek RFID seal. The agency is using about 36 handheld readers to read seals.
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