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Sensors Track Consumer Goods Bound for Troops in Afghanistan

To combat theft or security breaches, American President Lines is using Cubic's Container Tracking and Monitoring Solution to monitor overseas shipments to U.S. post exchanges.
By Claire Swedberg
"Any sensor anomalies, as defined by the business rules on the tag, are reported immediately," Wagner says, "with alert data usually being received by the user in less than two minutes from any point on the globe." If transmission is blocked—for example, if a container is stored within the hold of a ship at sea and thus is unable to transmit via satellite—alerts and status reports are stored and reported at the first opportunity once communication becomes available.

"By adding the Global Sentinel GS-5B for intrusion detection and container monitoring," Wagner states, "the Exchange was able to deter theft of the valuable items inside the containers and provide asset visibility for the entire move, which resulted in enhanced asset utilization."

By tracking and monitoring the containers, the Exchange hopes to deter theft before it can occur. However, in the event that goods were stolen, the Exchange would be able to determine where this happened and take steps to prevent such instances in the future. Furthermore, if a container were breached—if, for instance, its door were opened so that something such as an explosive could be placed within—the Exchange would be aware of the situation and be able to take special precautions regarding that container.

During the DOD's proof-of-principle project, Cubic Global Tracking Solutions identified a single container that had been diverted from the scheduled route, and reported that it had been breached. Once that particular container was delivered to Afghanistan, it was moved to a secure area in which its contents were carefully inspected to determine if any items were missing, or if anything had been placed inside the container.

During the full deployment, GS-5B devices are being attached at multiple points of origin (the Exchange declines to provide specific details), and are read until being removed at multiple receiving points throughout Afghanistan.

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