Martina Weidmann

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Smart trackers in the international transport sector

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Every year the volume of cocaine smuggled in containers increases by 20 Percent. An intelligent tracker on the inside of containers sends a warning when unauthorized persons open the doors. Telekom's sensor network plays a major role here. 

Container ship

Smart weapon against smugglers

The tracker on the inside of container doors measures light, temperature, shocks and movements, and triggers an alarm in the event of unauthorised access. With Deutsche Telekom's sensor network and the freight tracker "Babbler", smuggling in the international transport sector will become far more difficult. According to the UNODC report, 50.000 kilos of cocaine were intercepted in 2017, half of which was destined for Europe. Most of it was hidden in containers from unsuspecting exporters. Somewhere in or on the way to the port, the smuggler breaks into the container and hides his illicit goods. In the port of destination, his accomplices take it out again. The usual protection consisting of a high-security seal as a steel band between the two container doors, is completely ineffective at keeping smugglers away. In addition, a hole can be cut into the container at any time. For the transport sector, smuggling does not just mean extra work and stress. Higher insurance premiums and delays due to inspections and damage to the outside and contents of containers are also negative consequences for the industry.

Intelligent container protection

T-Mobile Netherlands has been working with the Dutch app developer Itude Mobile for a long time. Together, the two companies developed a secure solution for transport containers on the Internet of Things. T-Mobile contributes the nationwide machine and sensor network to the project, while Itude Mobile provides the trackers and the app. The freight tracker Babbler looks like a hockey puck and is attached to the inside of container doors. It measures light, temperature, shock, movement and magnetic field. After activation, Babbler registers suspicious activity in the container. If someone in South America removes the hinges of the container doors, the transport company in Holland receives a message. For this, Babbler needs a net that works deep inside container ships and in secluded docks. Deutsche Telekom's machine and sensor network (NarrowBand IoT, NB-IoT) with its very low power consumption and extremely good range is particularly suitable.