Tracking and monitoring equipment in military supply chains typically falls under the remit of military logistic departments. You might, therefore, expect them to provide the best cargo-monitoring services around. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

After all, without a proper etracking system, tens of thousands of military containers and pallets go missing each year. At the same time, it is not unusual for key shipments to arrive late or miss trans-shipment. Though these shipments are usually small, they can occasionally include entire vehicles, conditioners or earth-moving equipment. Apart from wasting huge amounts of money, these disappearances threaten troop safety – or at very least risk leaving them hungry through lack of supplies.

Going off the grid

Broader logistical problems hardly help. Some countries or ports struggle to cope with the logistical challenges of transporting such large shipments, while others have been known to hide their problems, dumping containers in obscure corners of ports or other ‘off the grid’ facilities. These unscrupulous operators are often reluctant for customers to monitor and analyse the transport process, making it hard to ensure that their money is being spent well. Some operators even have the gall to overcharge clients for demurrage fees.

Technological difficulties can also stymie the efficient transportation of military supplies. Many companies use radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology, but this system often depends on a costly infrastructure of porticos and hardware at fixed sites, or unreliable handheld transceivers that need constant maintenance. RFID devices can even be weaponised – for instance, as a triggering device – designed to attack a specific shipment. Moreover, some tracking devices can also be very expensive to use. Companies often charge clients monthly fees to use the service, or demand payment for every communication received by customers.

Quick and efficient

The situation is far from hopeless, though. With modern, technologically advanced real-time monitoring, these problems can be eliminated quickly and efficiently. The Zenatek Tracking Service (ZTS) is at the centre of these advances. After all, ZTS leaves RFID technology and its associated problems behind. It has robust experience with the global tracking of goods.

With this in mind, ZTS was designed with an eye to maintaining strict cost control. Clients have access to a one-price package, as well as help from its excellent customer service team. ZTS devices do not need to be retrieved at destination because all traced route and shipment information is in the system, and has already been transmitted; the device can be used on a one-way basis. This eliminates all the costs associated with unit and data recovery, including recovery personnel costs and unit forwarding, reconfiguring and restocking.

ZTS devices do not need to be retrieved at destination because all traced route and shipment information is in the system, and has already been transmitted.

Taking aim

The primary aim is to develop a goods-tracking system that remains affordable, while still meeting the needs of its customers. This begins with the essentials. Its system is stable and simple to use, based on user-friendly online software. Nor is it necessary to implement unnecessary monitoring systems that increase battery costs and may lead to the hardware device being returned to the sender.

What is important, though, is the ability to determine and trace shipments’ routes and to receive immediate alert notices when something unexpected or worrying happens to a shipment. These alerts are sent by Zenatek’s web-based system via email and text to any computer, mobile phone or other device assigned by the client. To provide the accurate geographical position of a specific shipment at all times, the ZTS tracking device may use its internal receiver, which is compatible with the GPS, Glonass standard and Galileo. The system can leverage information from mobile phone towers. Users are able to remotely configure communication parameters themselves, even after a shipment has left the loading point.

This web-based approach also lets ZTS store a container’s packing list online, as well as landing documents and health certificates, allowing clients to trace a shipment’s contents and route with a mere swipe of their tablet. Additional security features ensure customer peace of mind. For example, its device will trigger an alarm if a reefer container’s internal temperature gets too high or low. It then alerts the user when the temperature returns to normal. Additionally, the system can alert users if flammable goods within a container are about to combust, or if container doors or pallet seals are being tampered with. Similarly, ZTS will inform the user if a container or pallet is turned on its side, capsized or suffers damage.

Superior standards

The ZTS device also has geofencing capabilities. This means that if a trailer or container is placed in a new location, the device will ‘wake up’ and alert the user. The device also provides geocoded proof-of-delivery information to the client, who can rest secure in the knowledge that the shipment has reached its destination, and that its journey has been as smooth as possible.

In short, ZTS improves on other tracking technologies, which often fare badly in comparison with its offerings. This is especially true for military logistics applications. After all, ZTS can trace goods in full container loads, as well as in conventional pallets or other shipment units and it is conforms to international regulations, including FCC and EC standards, not to mention that it is HERO compliant.

The company’s device can be used also for aerial operations. And because pallets can be transported and tracked in containers, they can easily be transferred to train or truck, and then reloaded into containers. Again, this demonstrates that the ZTS system is versatile enough to be used in a military context.

Sharpening services

Apart from the technical quality of the products, Zenatek is immensely proud of its training and business services. For instance, it boasts robust experience conceiving and projecting new tracking services, as well as working closely with clients to help them achieve their strategic objectives.

The company does not simply abandon customers once it has implemented and started using ZTS technology. Instead, the staff conduct process analyses and re-engineering to sharpen its services long after deployment. The company also assists with solution selection, the management of suppliers and new projects. This means that Zenatek can keep its tracking service secure even as threats develop.

Civil care in the current climate

The world is increasingly unstable, and plenty of groups would happily use this to an advantage, by implementing destruction and violence to disrupt civil and military supply chains. By working with Zenatek, these potential threats can be seriously reduced.

Even better still, military outfits worldwide can be completely certain that with Zenatek, they are getting the most excellent value for money, which is naturally something that will always prove useful for armies looking to save cash at a dangerous time.