Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cargo tracking market to top 20 million units by 2023, says Berg

Steve Rogerson
June 4, 2019
The installed base of active cargo tracking units reached 6.1 million in 2018, according to Berg Insight, which predicted the market to grow at a CAGR of 27.3 per cent to reach 20.4 million by 2023.
The number of active tracking devices deployed for cargo loading units including trailers, intermodal containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 6.1 million worldwide in 2018. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.3 per cent, this number is expected to reach 20.4 million by 2023.
Trailer telematics is the most developed market, followed by tracking devices for general cargo applications and intermodal containers. The markets for rail freight wagon and air freight cargo tracking are considerably smaller but will grow quickly during the coming five years.
The total market value for trailer and cargo container tracking reached at the same time an estimated €857m in 2018. The market for remote tracking for cargo containers has entered a period of healthy growth that will continue for several years. Growing at a CAGR of 16.3 per cent, the total market value is forecasted to reach €1.8bn in 2023.
Berg Insight ranks Orbcomm as the largest vendor of tracking for cargo loading units, having a significant installed base of trailers as well as containers. Orbcomm is with SkyBitz, Omnitracs, Spireon and ID Systems as the leading players on the North American trailer telematics market in terms of number of active units.
The European trailer telematics market is much smaller than the North American and is dominated by Idem Telematics, Schmitz Cargobull, CLS Group and Transics/Wabco.
On the market for container tracking, three major vendors are Malaysia-based Envotech and Sierra Wireless and Geoforce based in the USA. Mecomo and Agheera, both based in Europe, are strong vendors in the adjacent swap body segment. Future Telematics, Intermodal Telematics and Nexiot based in Europe and Amsted Rail in North America are significant vendors of tracking for rail freight wagons. Sensitech, Roambee and OnAsset Intelligence are notable players in the general cargo segment, also offering products for air freight cargo tracking.
Technological developments in the telematics industry in recent years have resulted in more advanced tracking technology.
“Today’s telematics solutions generate an increasing amount of data on the status and location of cargo and cargo loading units,” said Martin Bäckman, IoT analyst at Berg Insight.
Along with the development of more capable tracking, low-end products are becoming increasingly affordable.
“The price for real-time tracking technology is now at a point where customers find it viable to track also low-value goods such as non-perishable food,” said Bäckman.
This enlarges the addressable market significantly and tracking of trailers, containers, rail wagons and cargo boxes is expected to become increasingly common in the next decade.