Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Goods tracking market to hit $5.6bn by 2021

Steve Rogerson
June 16, 2016:
The goods tracking market will swell from US$3.6bn this year to $5.6bn by 2021, according to ABI Research, which says companies find goods tracking technologies to be increasingly essential in effectively tracking and monitoring transported goods to cut down on cargo theft.
Sophisticated goods tracking technologies mitigate cargo theft and play a key role in the recovery of stolen assets by detecting the location of stolen premium goods, for example pharmaceuticals, electronics, jewellery, tobacco, alcohol, cash and retail products.
They also provide additional security by enabling companies to track and recover stolen shipments, even when those shipments are reloaded into a new container or trailer, which is not being tracked.
“These solutions are covertly placed into product packaging so that they can continue to ping its location in real time, enabling companies to track and recover stolen shipment and apprehend criminals,” said Raquel Artes, industry analyst at ABI Research. “This is particularly suitable given the market’s complex ecosystem wherein products are handled and transferred among a handful of different players and the risk of theft is high.”
The compact, portable and rechargeable goods tracking devices use satellite and/or cellular networks to obtain a shipment’s location. As the devices are relatively small, they can be covertly hidden inside the product, packaging, box or pallet and then monitored via the internet, making them difficult for cargo thieves to detect.
Companies mentioned in this space include goods tracking service providers FreightWatch International, 3SI Security Systems, Ctrack, Telenav, Starcom Systems, Sendum Wireless and Rockwell GPS Tracking, as well as chipset vendors Qualcomm and MediaTek, module vendors Telit and U-Blox, third-party logistics providers FedEx and DB Schenker, and telecoms operator AT&T.
But thieves are adapting as new technologies emerge. Many are altering their stealing techniques by committing cybercrime, GPS and cellular jamming, GNSS spoofing, and deceptive pickups. The new threats are reshaping tracking requirements. For instance, if a thief attempts GPS jamming, the goods tracking device will send a real-time alert of a possible theft via cellular technology, enabling companies to act immediately. GNSS and cellular technologies are standard features of goods tracking devices.
New cellular network technologies will also reduce connectivity costs to drive further adoption. Goods tracking will migrate either to EC-GSM, an extended coverage version of 2G, or leverage the more network efficient LPWA LTE technologies in LTE categories 1, M1 and M2.
The global cold chain RFID market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.1% from 2016 to 2022, according to P&S Market Research.