Apr 25, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.
April 25, 2005—RFID supply chain solution provider Savi Technology and the Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH) last week announced a joint venture aimed at bringing track-and-trace to ocean shipping. The companies have put $50 million in the newly-formed Savi Networks LLC, which will specialize in deploying active RFID-based technology on the containerized cargo that passes through shipping ports the world over. Aimed at shipping, transportation, and logistics providers, the company hopes to build out a network that will allow clients to not only track and trace their "smart" containers, but also monitor environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and light.
HPH will hold a 49% stake in the company and will grant Savi access to its port operations. Savi will hold the remaining 51% and will be charged with leading the venture and growing the network. It will offer hardware and software services to extend the network's span beyond the port, reaching as far up the supply chain as the shipped goods' point of origin. According to the company, the business model emulates that of a telecommunications network service provider: Savi owns and operates the network, charging clients access to the network's associated service on a per-usage basis. In this case, clients will pay per container tracked using the SaviTrak service.
Along with funding Savi Networks, HPH also made a $50 million investment in Savi's parent company, Infolink Systems, giving it an almost 10% stake in the company. HPH is one of the world's largest port operators, with operations in 39 ports worldwide. Savi and HPH have worked together before, so the new venture is hoped to be a natural fit.
Savi is positioning itself aggressively to take advantage of the emerging demand for RFID services among industry and government. Even before the U.S. Department of Defense's RFID mandate, the company had already worked extensively with the department to deploy early RFID initiatives, having won a $70 million contract in 1994 to provide technology-based supply chain solutions to the U.S. armed services. In another recent high-profile boon to the company, the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, joined the board of directors just two weeks ago.
Read the press release at Savi Technology