CIMC, Savi Ally on "Smart Container" System

Partners developing solution to monitor container's contents in real time for visibility, security

Mesa, AZ — May 27, 2003 — China International Marine Containers (CIMC) and Savi Technology are partnering to co-develop a new class of "smart and secure" shipping containers designed to capture, sense and wirelessly transmit real-time intelligence on the container's contents, along with its condition, location and security status.

Headquartered in China's Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, CIMC is the largest manufacturer of freight containers in the world, holding over 40 percent market share globally, or over 750,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Savi, with headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., provides real-time solutions for the security and management of supply chain assets. Savi also is a co-founder of the Smart and Secure Tradelanes (SST) initiative.

The two companies said their "smart containers" would be a key part of a newly emerging class of in-transit visibility systems for logistics — systems that will improve operational efficiencies and inventory management while ensuring the security and integrity of the shipment. These solutions range from external electronic bolt seals to factory-installed intrusion detection, sensing and tracking systems.

"There are many ways of making a container 'smart'," said retired Gen. John Coburn, chairman of the Strategic Council on Security Technology (SCST). "The right answer is to build a smart container system where many enabling technologies can be modularly integrated as needed." Coburn added that the solution being built by CIMC and Savi should help address both security and operational objectives.

The companies said in a statement that their jointly developed "container of the future" will help improve operational efficiency and shipment security while addressing international ISO standards and U.S. government programs to counter threats of terrorists concealing weapons of mass destruction in cargo containers.

"More than 90 percent of world trade moves in ocean containers, and as the leading supplier of intermodal containers we have a great responsibility to ensure that we offer our transportation customers the most secure and efficient products available, especially in the post-9/11 era, to further develop CIMC's Smart & Secure Container series," said David Wong, senior technical consultant at CIMC.

The companies plan to introduce the first version of their product for use in the Smart and Secure Tradelanes network during the fourth quarter of this year.

Savi is primarily responsible for the design and development of the smart seal tag's circuit board using its proprietary EchoPoint technology. CIMC will have primary responsibility for the mechanical design of the container integrated electronic seal, and both companies will jointly develop ways to integrate the electronic tags onto new containers and retrofit them onto existing containers.

For more information on transportation management systems, see the Global Enabled Supply and Demand Chain Series article on this space in the upcoming June/July 2003 issue of iSource Business.

For more information on solutions for supply chain security, see the Net Best Thing article in the upcoming June/July 2003 issue of iSource Business.