Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Covid-19 boosts need for cargo tracking, says Berg

Steve Rogerson
July 14, 2020

Covid-19 has highlighted the need for real-time cargo tracking, according to market watcher Berg Insight.
The global Covid-19 pandemic is anticipated to create an increased focus on supply chain visibility and security going forward.
“In light of recent events it has been made clear that real-time data on the location and condition of cargo in transit are crucial for an efficient and reliable supply chain,” said Martin Backman, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
According to the report, 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 7.5 million worldwide in 2019. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4 per cent, this number is expected to reach 23.2 million by 2024.
In terms of installed units, trailer telematics is the most developed market, followed by tracking devices for general cargo applications and intermodal containers. The markets for tracking for rail freight wagons and air cargo containers are considerably smaller but are estimated to grow during the coming five years.
The total market value for trailer and cargo container tracking reached an estimated €1.1bn in 2019. Growing at a CAGR of 16.2 per cent, the total market size is forecasted to reach €2.2bn in 2024. 
Berg ranks Orbcomm as the largest vendor of tracking products for cargo loading units, having a significant installed base of trailers as well as containers. Orbcomm, SkyBitz, Spireon, CalAmp, PowerFleet and Samsara are the leading players on the North American trailer telematics market in terms of number of active units.
The European trailer telematics market is smaller than the North American and is dominated by Idem Telematics, Schmitz Cargobull, Transics/Wabco and CLS Group.
Five major vendors in the container tracking market are Malaysia-based Envotech, China-based ZillionSource, France firm Traxens, and Sierra Wireless and Geoforce from the USA. Mecomo and Agheera, both based in Europe, are major vendors in the adjacent swap body segment.
Nexiot, Siemens, Savvy and Dot Telematik based in Europe and Amsted Rail in North America are significant vendors of tracking products for rail freight wagons. Sensitech, Roambee, OnAsset Intelligence and Controlant are notable players in the general cargo segment, also offering products for air-freight cargo tracking.
Low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks developed specifically for IoT applications such as Sigfox, Cat-M1, NB-IoT and LoRaWan are increasingly available around the world, which lowers the barriers for adoption of tracking services.
“There are great opportunities for providers ahead as there will be a surge for cargo tracking post Covid-19 and there will be various communications technology options available to support different customer needs,” said Backman.