TrakLok helps bolster container security

Though it’s not an issue that may grab many headlines around the United States or even the world, cargo theft has become a multi-billion-dollar problem for a myriad of organizations. Obviously, the retail industry has been among the hardest hit, but there are many other companies, such as those in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, that are also under intense pressure to secure their products against would-be thieves.  

Looking to provide shippers of high-value goods with a better solution against cargo theft, Knoxville, Tenn.-based TrakLok Corp. was launched more than two years ago. The TrakLok solution, which has been on the market since mid-2011, is a combination lock and tracking mechanism that fits on the doors of shipping containers.

TrakLok’s Dean Ford and Brian McLean stopped by the Cygnus Security Media offices in Atlanta on Thursday to provide us with a demonstration of how the solution works. Weighing about 25 pounds, the TrakLok can be installed on a container in about 60 seconds.  It enables access to the container to be programmed, controlled and tracked in real-time by the user.

In addition to just being a heavy-duty lock, TrakLok, which comes in a GSM and a combination GSM/GPS model, allows for the tracking of shipments anywhere in the world. Users can also create a “geo-fence” around the container that enables it to only be opened within a certain location. Should someone try to tamper with the device, or if it moves to an unauthorized area outside the user-created geo-fence, the lock can send an alert to the proper authorities.

According to Ford, the solution has been used by a number of chemical companies, government agencies and intermodal shipping firms, including FedEx, C&K Trucking and Visionary Solutions, which transports radioactive materials and hazardous chemicals.

McLean said that there has been a "void" in the security industry when it comes to protecting cargo and that despite intensive security measures companies may have in place at their manufacturing or storage facilities – such as thermal imaging cameras and security guards – all they do to safeguard their products when they are shipped is a mere padlock on the shipping container. What differentiates TrakLok from other anti-cargo theft products on the market, according to McLean, is the merging of physical and electronic security into a single device. "Nobody has taken physical security and integrated it with electronic security," he said.

Also, because TrakLok uses the best-of-breed GPS technology, Ford said there is not a place on the globe that users of the device can’t see where their goods are at all times. "Literally, we can see you anywhere in the world," Ford said.   

For more information about TrakLok, visit