According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of active remote container tracking units deployed on intermodal shipping containers was 137,000 in Q4-2012, up from 89,000 a year earlier.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.1%, this number is expected to reach 1.0 million by 2017. The penetration rate of remote tracking systems in the total population of containers is estimated to increase from 0.7% in 2012 to 4.1% in 2017.
Berg Insight’s definition of a real-time container tracking solution is a system that incorporates data logging, satellite positioning and data communication to a back-office application.
The market for container tracking solutions is still in its early stage. Aftermarket solutions mounted on high value cargo and refrigerated containers are the first use cases to adopt container tracking. Orbcomm has after recent acquisitions of StarTrak, PAR LMS and GlobalTrak emerged as the largest vendor of wireless container tracking devices.
Omnitracs, ID Systems and Skybitz are prominent vendors focusing on inland transportation in North America, which is so far the most mature market for container tracking solutions.
Envotech, Pointer Telocation, Savi Technology, PearTrack Systems, Honeywell Global Tracking and Kirsen Global Security are examples of companies which have been successful in offering dedicated solutions targeting the global end-to-end container transport chain.
‘The installed base of intermodal containers worldwide has now reached 20 million, which represents a significant market opportunity for the telematics industry,’ said Johan Svanberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
He added that several prominent wireless M2M operators including Orbcomm, AT&T, Everything Everywhere and Telenor even have assumed the role of end-to-end solution providers of container tracking. Container telematics can help stakeholders to comply with regulations and meet the high demands on security, information visibility and transportation efficiency that comes with global supply chains.
‘It has been challenging to find the right business models to suit the diverse range of players in the intermodal transportation chain, but technology advancement, declining hardware prices and market awareness are starting to come together to make remote container tracking solutions attractive,’ concluded Svanberg.