Installed base of container tracking systems grew 54 percent in 2012

Market for container tracking systems expected to grow sevenfold over the next five years

Aftermarket solutions mounted on high value cargo and refrigerated containers will be the first use cases to adopt container tracking. The satellite communication provider Orbcomm has after the recent acquisitions of StarTrak, PAR LMS and GlobalTrak emerged as the largest vendor of intermodal container tracking solutions featuring GPRS or satellite communication.
The company had achieved an installed base of 19,000 units at the end of 2012. Envotech and Skybitz are the second and third largest providers having 18,000 and 15,000 systems respectively installed on intermodal containers. Omnitracs, Pointer Telocation, Savi Technology and PearTrack Systems all have an installed base of approximately 10,000 units. ID Systems, Honeywell Global Tracking and Kirsen Global Security are other major vendors with an installed base of over 5,000 units each. In the recent years, the intermodal container tracking market has attracted wireless M2M communication providers.

There has been a consolidation trend in the container tracking market in the past two years with several major M&A activities. Orbcomm acquired StarTrak in May 2011, followed by the acquisition of PAR LMS in December 2011 and GlobalTrak in April 2013. EMS Global Tracking was acquired by Honeywell in August 2011, which formed the new business unit Honeywell Global Tracking. Furthermore, Telular acquired asset tracking specialist SkyBitz for US$ 42 million in December 2011.

In April 2012, Emerson acquired the marine container and boiler business of Johnson Controls enabling Emerson to expand its refrigeration technology and solutions offerings in the global transportation sector. In June 2012, FreightWatch International was acquired by Sensitech, a part of United Technology Corporation. Later in September 2012, Lockheed Martin divested Savi Technology to LaSalle Capital. ABB furthermore signed an agreement to acquire APS Technology at the beginning of 2013.

Berg insight anticipates that there will be a continued strong focus on container transport security and increased supply chain visibility in the coming years which will favor the container tracking market. Tracking solutions can help transportation chain stakeholders to comply with regulations and security programs as well as increase the transportation efficiency and decrease the carbon footprint from container transportation. Proving the commercial value, finding efficient solutions for reverse logistics and bringing down hardware prices are key components to increase the adoption rate for container tracking solutions.