In military supply chains, tracking regulation and security fall under the control of military logistics departments and authorities. One might assume that these authorities provide cargo monitoring at its best, but evidence suggests that this assumption is not warranted. Zenatek has responded to this demand by providing an unparalleled tracking service.

There are military deployments in which tens of thousands of containers or pallets remain unaccounted for each year without a proper e-tracking system. Such waste or misplacement of costly resources is bad enough, especially if the resources represent depreciating or perishable assets. Much more importantly, the troops involved may suffer the consequences of improper tracking by not getting the protection and nourishment they need.

As well as food items and supplies to sustain troops and keep them healthy and safe, containers also hold materiel such as vehicles, air conditioners, earth-moving equipment and more. It’s not unusual for key shipments to arrive late or miss trans-shipment. They may even be untraceable in ports and countries suffering critical logistics issues themselves. Moreover, some transporters have been known to hide their problems, keeping missing containers in certain port yards at off-the-grid facilities. Such transporters are not always happy that clients may want to monitor and analyse the entire transport process to be sure their money has been well spent. There’s also the problem that transporters frequently overcharge demurrage fees to clients.

A monitoring solution
With modern, technologically advanced, real-time monitoring provided by Zenatek Tracking Service (ZTS), these problems can be eliminated quickly and efficiently. Its service is very reasonable and cost-effective, and the company has a proven track record of excellence. Today, it tracks goods globally and has recently expanded its services, extending them to a much broader range of goods without sacrificing the discretion client demands.

ZTS was designed with an eye to maintaining strict cost control. Its primary aim was to develop an affordable, rock-solid goods tracking system that would meet the needs of end users.

The company created a system that is intentionally simple and stable, based on user-friendly web-based software. For practical purposes, it is neither necessary to verify the location or positioning of the goods every 30 minutes, nor to implement overstated monitoring requirements that increase battery costs and may lead to the hardware device being returned to the sender. However, it is vital to be able to determine and trace all shipments’ routes and receive immediate alert notices in the case of an unexpected event. These alerts are sent by Zenatek’s web-based system via e-mail and SMS to any computer, mobile phone or other device assigned by the client.

To provide an accurate geographical position for a monitored shipment at any point, the ZTS device may use its internal GPS, which is compatible with the GPS/Glonass standard and is Galileo-ready. Alternatively, it can leverage information from mobile network cellular towers. The user can remotely configure all of the system’s communication parameters, even after a shipment has departed the loading point.

ZTS can also store in the web-based application a container’s password-protected packing list, together with lading documents and health certificates, thereby enabling the receiver to trace the shipment’s contents and route with a mere click on their tablet. The ZTS device will also trigger alarms when a reefer container’s internal temperature deviates from a predetermined level set by the client. It then alerts the user when the temperature returns to the required level. Additionally, it will alert the user if flammable goods within a container are approaching ignition point, or if a container’s doors or a pallet’s seals are tampered with. It will similarly alert the user if a container or pallet is turned on its side, capsized or involved in a destructive incident.

The ZTS device has geo-fencing capability. This means that if a trailer or container is placed in a new location or moved to another part of the current port, the device will wake up and trigger the corresponding alert. The device also provides geo-coded proof-of-delivery information to the client, who can then rest secure in the knowledge that the shipment has reached its destination, and that there has been no unauthorised opening of a container’s doors or tampering with a pallet.

The affordability advantage
Other currently available tracking technologies do not fare as well in performance comparisons with ZTS, and some of those products can be costly. In fact, some operate on the basis of monthly fees or payments for each communication received by the client, or both. Zenatek, on the other hand, designed and manufactured ZTS with affordability in mind.

ZTS devices need not be retrieved at destination points because all traced route and shipment information is in the central system and has already been transmitted – the devices may be used on a one-way basis. This eliminates all costs associated with unit and data-recovery tasks, such as recovery personnel costs, and unit forwarding, reconfiguring and restocking. These aspects of ZTS in particular make it ideal for military logistics applications.

ZTS can trace goods in pallets, and conforms to air safety regulations for use in air transport. Pallets may be transported and tracked in containers; they may be transferred to train or truck, and then reloaded into containers based on any intermodal chain. ZTS will track accurately and provide status reports throughout, monitoring for any damage, tampering, interference or deviations.

ZTS was designed with an eye to maintaining strict cost control. Its primary aim was to develop an affordable, rock-solid goods tracking system that would meet the needs of end users.

Real-time status updates and event alerts allow users to respond quickly to changes and emergencies. ZTS affords users the possibility of prompt, effective damage control, even to the extent of rerouting an entire shipment if necessary. The benefits are obvious, particularly with respect to time-sensitive or temperature-sensitive shipments.

Users can also provide receivers with access to ZTS web-based applications so that they are equally informed of a shipment’s status and current location. Clients can predetermine the range of the information made available; they may change access to and frequency of status updates for any or all of the available information. All data is contained within an encrypted data stream for full security, maximum confidentiality and protection.

Reducing the threat of terrorism
We live in a world that seems increasingly insecure, and there are those who would resort to violence in their attempts to disrupt international civil and military supply chains. The threat of terror attacks targeting global logistics through vulnerable transport systems can never be eliminated, but it can certainly be reduced. The continuing use of unchecked and unmonitored containers, pallets, trailers and rail cars, when viewed in combination with current business practices in many congested ports, represents a hidden but very real danger.

Today, one of the most frequently used tracking technologies is radio frequency identification (RFID). Unfortunately, RFID depends on the acquisition of a costly infrastructure of porticos and hardware at fixed sites, or unreliable hand-held transceivers that need constant maintenance. In fact, an RFID device could, at least theoretically, be manipulated to form part of a weapon (for instance as a triggering device) designed to attack a specific shipment. But ZTS leaves RFID technology and its associated problems and expenses behind. With ZTS, clients now have access to a one-price solution that includes all costs associated with the technologies and services provided.