Research: 'Smart Box' Sensor Technology a Boon for Shippers

Management consulting firm says 'smart' container security can deliver sizable investment returns


"Smart Box" sensor security technology for containers can deliver sizable investment returns for shippers when linked to a proven global asset management and security network, according to research by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

Kearney also applauded the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for recently promoting the technology for special "green lane" clearance under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection should be commended for its forward-looking recognition of 'Smart Box' technology in helping to further strengthen Homeland Security while also providing economic value for its users," said Omar Hijazi, an A.T. Kearney principal who oversaw the report conducted for Savi Technology.

CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner recently announced that he was ready to take the (C-TPAT) program to the next level as C-TPAT Plus. C-TPAT Plus would provide "no inspection upon arrival--immediate release" for low-risk shippers using technology that can detect and record whether tampering has occurred on a container seal after being affixed at the point of origin.

"Our study validated that logistics executives for major importers and exporters believe that a tracking and security solution using radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies linked to a networked platform that goes beyond simple tamper alerts can provide significant value," said Hijazi.

"Based on a number of potential benefits, we calculated that users could realize net benefits averaging $1,200 per container shipment. This would be added on top of benefits received through fast-track Green Lane qualification and could create major productivity gains that outweigh the costs of implementation."