Tacoma port tests wireless container-tracing system (12/3/2008)


The Port of Tacoma, Wash., is testing a tracking system to trace intermodal containers as they move via rail from waterfront terminals to Midwestern and Eastern destinations.

The tests, which began in June, are being conducted with BNSF Railway Co., ocean carrier Yang Ming Line and Safefreight Technology, which developed the system. The Global Positioning System-based system will enable intermodal planners to better understand inland rail issues, and work with railroads and shippers to improve transportation speed and reliability, the port said.

"We will be able to proactively work with our steamship and rail partners to plan for the future and make sure that Tacoma remains a high-velocity transit point in the global supply chain," said Rob Collins, the port’s manager of transportation and supply chain planning, in a prepared statement.

The wireless system features a portable tracking device originally designed for truck trailers and vehicle fleets, and gathers data on a container’s location, speed, direction and movements. The port obtains the data via the Internet.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News