COA tackles standards for container tracking

The Container Owners Association is establishing a work group to consider standards for container tracking and telematics to address the issue of a lack of interoperability between container tracking and telemetry systems. There are ISO 10368:2006 establishes the information and interfaces required for communicating with a reefer controller, and ISO18185 covers frequency and communication protocols for electronic container seals using RFID. There is, no standard for IoT tracking and telemetry devices.

Very few dry freight containers today have a tracking and monitoring system permanently installed. One of the main reasons is the cost, some devices came onto the market priced in hundreds of dollars, which is well above what the market is willing to pay for all. Devices that cost US$30 and under, could be a viable proposition.

A standard that would allow a container owner or lessee to connect to an IoT device on a container using different communication platforms and allow different hardware devices to send a common message to a software platform would certainly help make the case for container tracking more compelling.