Strengthening Cargo Security Across the Supply Chain

Strengthening Cargo Security Across the Supply Chain

Cargo security keeps goods safe. On freighters, docks, trucks, railcars, warehouses, and ports, cargo shipments are vulnerable to theft during several stages of the transit process. If a container isn’t properly and securely sealed, it can be opened many times during transit with its contents stolen and easily sold on the black market.

Stolen cargo can cost suppliers thousands to upwards of millions of dollars. An estimated $223 million in cargo was stolen during 2022, according to a new analysis by Verisk’s CargoNet. CargoNet recorded 1,778 supply chain risk events in the U.S. and Canada in 2022, a 15% increase from 2021. The average value of cargo stolen in an event was $214,104, CargoNet said.

The consequences of not sufficiently protecting cargo can be devastating, ranging from financial loss and damaged reputation to long-term, intricate legal disputes. And, today’s thieves are now highly tech-savvy and constantly developing modern ways and strategies to steal cargo from shippers. Because of this, more advanced container security measures have been developed helping to reduce burglaries and resulting theft claims.

High security bolt seals, like this one by J. J. Keller, help protect cargo against tampering and theft. J. J. Keller image.
High security bolt seals, like this one by J. J. Keller, help protect cargo against tampering and theft.
J. J. Keller image.

Best Practices

Josh Lovan, industry business advisor at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Fort Smith, Arkansas, explains that ensuring cargo security during transit is crucial and cites the following best practices to make this happen:

Use High-Quality Seals: Invest in security seals made of durable materials like metal or heavy-duty plastic. Avoid using seals that can be easily tampered with or broken.

Proper Application: Apply seals correctly, ensuring they are securely fastened to prevent tampering or unauthorized access.

Unique Identification: Use seals with unique serial numbers or barcodes for easy tracking and identification. This helps in verifying the integrity of the cargo.

Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections of seals and locks throughout the transit process to detect any signs of tampering or damage.

Multiple Layers of Security: Utilize multiple layers of security, such as container locks in addition to seals, to provide added protection against theft or unauthorized access.

Security Protocols: Implement strict security protocols and procedures for handling, loading, and unloading cargo to minimize the risk of tampering or theft.

Monitoring and Tracking: Employ GPS tracking systems or other monitoring technologies to track the location and status of cargo in real-time, providing visibility throughout transit.

Training and Awareness: Train personnel involved in handling cargo on security protocols and the importance of maintaining the integrity of seals and locks.

truck seal

Seals, like the ones shown here made by J. J. Keller, are simple, cost effective ways to secure containers.J. J. Keller images.
Seals, like the ones shown here made by J. J. Keller, are simple, cost effective ways to secure containers.
J. J. Keller images.

Seals and Locks

Security seals and container locks are requisite to keep cargo secure in transit. Not all seals and locks are created equally. Each type of seal or lock offers different levels of security and suitability for specific applications.

Different industries employ a variety of security seals tailored to their specific needs and cargo requirements. For instance, the transportation industry relies on heavy-duty seals like bolt seals or cable seals to secure shipping containers and trailers, safeguarding valuable goods during transportation. Industries dealing with retail and consumer goods prioritize tamper-evident seals with unique identification features to maintain the integrity of products as they move from manufacturers to retailers.

“Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies often opt for advanced seals equipped with RFID technology, enabling real-time tracking and monitoring of sensitive pharmaceutical products to comply with stringent regulatory requirements and maintain product integrity,” Lovan says. “The food and beverage industry may utilize seals designed to withstand environmental factors and provide clear evidence of tampering, ensuring food safety and compliance with regulatory standards.”

The Equipment Lock Company produces this heavy duty cargo door lock built to secure semi-trailers and sea containers by locking the innermost vertical locking bars together. The Equipment Lock Company image.
The Equipment Lock Company produces this heavy duty cargo door lock built to secure semi-trailers and sea containers by locking the innermost vertical locking bars together. The Equipment Lock Company image.

It’s essential to assess your cargo security requirements and choose the appropriate seals and locks accordingly. Overall, Lovan believes the choice of security seals varies across industries based on factors such as cargo value, sensitivity, transportation mode, and regulatory compliance needs, with each industry selecting seals that best meet their unique security requirements. He cites the following types of security seals and container locks available for cargo security.

Bolt Seals: These are high-security seals that require bolt cutters to remove, making them difficult to tamper with.

Cable Seals: Made of steel cables, these seals are flexible and suitable for securing irregularly shaped items. They offer high tensile strength and are resistant to tampering.

Bar Seals: These seals feature a metal bar that is inserted into a locking mechanism, providing a secure closure for containers and trailers.

Plastic Seals: These seals are commonly used for securing shipping containers, trucks and trailers. They are lightweight, cost-effective, and offer tamper-evident features.

RFID Seals: These seals are equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, allowing for electronic tracking and monitoring of cargo in real-time.

Kingpin Locks: These locks are installed on the kingpin of a trailer, preventing unauthorized access to the container when it is attached to a truck.

Wheel Locks: These locks are placed on the wheels of trailers or containers to prevent them from being moved or accessed without authorization.

Below are criteria for determining the best seal for your application:

• Determine if an indicative or barrier seal is required.

• If using a barrier seal, determine what strength level is needed.

• Make sure that the seal type that you choose fits the device.

• Choose a seal that has the appropriate level of strength and security.

• Measure seal cost vs. security risks.

• Use a manageable locking system considering the tools and resources you have at your disposal.

• Consider the durability of the seal in relation to its environment.

• Below are criteria for handling and use of cargo seals:

• Know the locking procedure, design and features of this seal.

• Give seals only to authorized persons.

• Document all seals taken from storage.

• Apply seals securely according to instructions for this model. Note any problems or unusual visible damage like bent hasps, worn holes, unusual conditions or cosmetic damage to seals in applying.

• Destroy seals completely after use. Do not simply toss them out or leave parts or cut seals intact; or under conditions where they may be collected by others. Ideally it is good practice to return them to a central facility for destruction by an authorized and trained inspector.

PassTime’s GPS solutions utilize technologies to help connect, monitor and protect a wide range of mobile assets. PassTime image.
PassTime’s GPS solutions utilize technologies to help connect, monitor and protect a wide range of mobile assets. PassTime image.

Reliable Line of Defense

While these locks and seals are a reliable line of defense, criminals can compromise security seals and container locks through various methods such as brute force, and tools like bolt cutters to break seals or manipulate locks. They also employ tampering techniques, like duplicating seals or picking locks, to gain unauthorized access to cargo.

C-TPAT stands for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Founded shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, C-TPAT is a voluntary, collaborative effort between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and commercial shippers to develop comprehensive cargo security programs for imports into the U.S. To further prevent theft, C-TPAT seals are security seals affixed to cargo containers by C-TPAT certified entities, signifying compliance with rigorous security standards. These seals serve as an indicator of a secure supply chain, facilitating expedited customs clearance and reducing the risk of cargo tampering or terrorism-related threats. C-TPAT seals may feature unique identification numbers or barcodes, allowing for easy tracking and verification of cargo integrity.

GPS Tracking

With numerous companies and transportation methods involved throughout the transportation chain, pinpointing when and where a cargo security issue occurred can be daunting. Implementing a GPS tracking solution on cargo shipments provides suppliers with the ability to track their cargo throughout the entire journey, adding invaluable insight and security.

“With so many transportation methods and entities involved, cargo can be lost or delayed along the way,” says Jeff Karg, director of marketing and communications, PassTime, Littleton, Colo. GPS tracking devices for cargo shipments give the supplier their own tracking solution and are not reliant on the varying and sometimes non-exist tracking solutions from their transportation providers.”

Solutions like PassTime’s battery-powered Encore, are completely self-powered, can last up to five years without recharging, and at the size of a deck of cards, can quickly and easily be placed on just about any cargo shipment.

“Utilizing battery-powered GPS tracking solutions on the cargo itself means suppliers know if their cargo is still in transit, or more importantly, if it isn’t,” Karg says. “Locks and seals are an important aspect of cargo security. However, if the cargo container itself is lost those safeguards may have limited impact. Adding an additional layer of security, like a GPS tracking solution, can provide unparalleled visibility, control and protection to locate and recover missing cargo.”

Container Stacks

Smart Containers

Smart containers are equipped with sensors that can detect intrusions like unauthorized door openings as well as anomalies such as a sudden change in container pressure or temperature (like when a hole is cut into the side wall of a container) that could indicate a breach.

Smart containers also have other integrated sensors such as GPS as well as additional internal sensors to measure the condition of the cargo inside. Data from the container’s sensors are either logged on a data module within the container, or it’s broadcast to a central monitoring platform via handheld readers, fixed scanners, or GSM/cellular connections.

Another, probably more viable option to (expensive) smart containers is the use of portable smart sensor kits that can be fixed to/within any standard container or truck trailer. These “smart kits” can turn any shipping container, truck trailer, or rail car into a “smart container,” giving logistics operations greater supply chain visibility for high-value cargo like pharmaceuticals, volatile chemicals, frozen food and other cold chain products.

The Human Element

Most theft crimes are not investigated because of manpower issues, so it is imperative that carriers take the necessary measures to prevent theft. Provide security training to all personnel, because everyone should be involved with protecting customer freight and company assets. Lovan says drivers can proactively deter theft by adopting the following prevention measures:

• Check the cargo seal and padlock during pre-trip and after being away from the unit.

• Never leave the tractor running when unattended.

• Always lock the doors and roll up windows when away from tractor.

• Always park in well-lit areas where other motorists are present.

Fleets can deter theft by implementing the following security polices during closed hours:

• Ensure trailers are docked, butted, and blocked at the terminal.

• Utilize kingpin locks for trailers that contain high value freight.

• Ensure that alarm systems are functional by conducting weekly tests.

• Utilize GPS technology to geofence equipment on the yard.

While no cargo being transported is completely immune to the risk of theft, the right technology will help to mitigate these problems to a great extent and help to ensure safe transportation of cargo. Anticipate and use security developments to your advantage, stay one step ahead and keep your cargo secure.

Building Resilience Against Critical Events

Building Resilience Against Critical Events

Critical events can affect any transport operator. Accidents, problems with infrastructure including vandalism, fires — such as those seen recently on electric buses in London — extreme weather events and cyberattacks have an immediate and often highly disruptive impact. While many incidents are resolved quickly, the knock-on effect on the reputation of the operator can be long-lasting, inconveniencing employees and passengers, and, in extreme cases, even threatening their lives.

It is therefore essential for transport organizations to build in resilience measures. This is, in part, the ability to anticipate the types of emergencies that might arise and adopt practices that minimize the impact of these crisis events on their operations. This type of approach ensures the safety of their employees and passengers and assists in resuming normal services quickly.

The success of operational resilience relies on several factors, the first of which is corporate culture. An organization’s resilience reflects the resiliency of its people, so public transport operators must invest in training programs, mentoring, and delivering resources that are inclusive for employees, and promote their well-being. Employees who are engaged and listened to will be better able to manage emergencies and equipped to confidently put practices in place to minimize disruption. Adopting an approach of employee collaboration through which teams and individuals are recognized for their successes and able to learn from their mistakes helps to cultivate collaboration and enables better teamwork in a crisis.

Continuously Assess Potential Risk

Proactive risk management coupled with agreed contingency plans that are regularly assessed and updated is essential. A list of the appropriate experts, technicians and helpers should be drawn up and these will be the first port of call when a critical event occurs. If companies fail to communicate in a timely manner during a crisis, they will lose control of the incident and the agreed response plan. Aligning actions to the right people ensures clarity of message, averts rumors, such as on social media, and keeps employees and passengers updated with accurate and timely information.

A comprehensive communications plan for use during a critical incident should be devised by transport operators. This outlines processes and those with responsibility for communication, who talks to whom and when, and what information they share. In addition to internal contacts, there may be external groups, such as passengers, partners of employees, or the public, that will require communications and updates. As public transport companies operate critical infrastructure, there may also be an obligation to report to the authorities.

Planning saves time and effort in an emergency. Messaging templates, for example, can be created in advance to help employees communicate efficiently and accurately. These will need to contain specific information to suit a variety of audiences and situations, but key messages must be consistent and not contradictory so everyone involved can be kept on the same page. Transport operators should plan for multimodal communication. The more channels they use, the more likely they are to reach all audiences. Ideally, messages should be sent through the most used channels today such as SMS texts, push messages, email, and voice messages and on both personal and work landlines and mobile phones. Practicing the procedures that have been agreed upon will allow transport operators to ensure they work efficiently without the pressure of a crisis. Any problems can be identified and addressed.

Building Resilience with Technology

Organizational resilience can be enhanced immeasurably by technology. Transport operators will benefit from an integrated critical event management (CEM) software solution that connects business continuity, disaster recovery, and risk management tools. This allows them to assess risk, seamlessly disseminate information across teams, and avoid disruptions that get in the way of responding quickly to a critical event. At the core of a CEM platform is a data hub that collates all the information relevant to an emergency and manages all the necessary processes.

Information that informs a CEM platform ranges from IoT device data monitoring traffic infrastructure and vehicles through to employee location data. It also includes police channels on social media, traffic information, or severe weather warnings. The platform brings this data together and visualizes it so transport companies can be quickly alerted to likely crises, assess the impact on their own systems, and initiate responses. From this, teams with responsibility for communicating critical events can coordinate activities, teams, and resources within a single application.

Emergency processes can be quickly implemented and controlled in a CEM solution in the form of rules, guidelines, and templates and it will automate those processes using a workflow system. This reduces the time that might be lost to manual activities. The CEM platform should support two-way communication allowing people to respond, which is helpful in terms of knowing who is safe, where people still need help, and whether the level of response needs to be escalated.

Transport operators face many risks but with intelligence, strategic planning and a robust crisis communication plan in place, they will be able to maintain operational resilience and protect both employees and passengers in the event of a crisis.

Tracy Reinhold is chief security officer at Everbridge. He is responsible for advancing Everbridge’s enterprise-level security strategy, as well as working closely with customers and partners to optimize their organizational approach to managing and responding to critical events.

These Four Trends Are Putting Digital Identities in the Spotlight

Digital identity solutions are not only the basis for secure and convenient travel, they are also the key to important services and greater control over personal data. Four key trends are currently crystallizing in identity technologies. 

Digital identification and identity solutions are an important part of global technological progress. In addition to simplifying and streamlining processes such as dealing with government agencies or traveling, proof of identity is directly linked to fundamental human rights. For these reasons, the development of technologies and solutions plays a crucial role. And there has been a lot of progress. Veridos, a global leader in identity solutions, outlines here the four most important trends and developments in the field of identity technologies:

Travel is becoming more digital and more secure. New technologies are paving the way for a new level of security in electronic passports. Self-check-in terminals and biometric data on microchips, for example, are helping to speed up the boarding process at airports. The next step in this development: the physical passport will no longer be the only way for travelers to verify their identity. With Digital Travel Credentials (DTC), the travel document of the future can also be displayed completely digitally and much more conventiently – on a mobile phone or smartwatch, for example.

The passport is becoming more sustainable. The travel and tourism industry is responsible for an estimated eight to eleven percent of global emissions. To meet the industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, research is increasingly focusing on recycled materials for documents that can ensure more sustainable supply chains. The days of passports with virgin plastic-based components may soon be numbered in favor of new, eco-friendly ID documents. The digitization of ID documents can help reduce the need for physical ID cards.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is becoming relevant. Self-sovereign identity puts individuals back in control of their data. This revolutionary concept allows individuals to choose what information to share, when, and with whom. Presenting an ID card to a car rental company, for example, reveals a great deal of sensitive information about an individual, whereas an SSI solution allows for the selective release of required information. With this zero-knowledge proof approach, citizens will be able to protect themselves very effectively against data mining and misuse of their information in the future. But SSI also has great advantages on the digital level – for example, the technology can be used as an identification process in the Internet of Things. Drivers could use it to confirm their identity at electric charging stations, for instance, without having to do anything themselves.

Identity is becoming increasingly digital. People without legal proof of identity are denied access to essential services and human rights, such as voting, education and banking. That is why the United Nations has set a goal of enabling everyone to register their identity by 2030. Universal solutions from leading providers are increasingly focused on digital and phygital technologies – a mix of digital and physical technologies. Not only are they more secure and convenient than purely physical ID cards, they also open doors to electronic services, are easier to manage and offer higher levels of security.

“The world is becoming increasingly digital. We see a growing expectation among users to be able to store important documents on mobile devices,” said Marc-Julian Siewert, CEO of Veridos. “There is certainly still a long way to go before government documents are fully digitized, but the groundwork has been laid and research is making great strides.”

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $1 Billion in Grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Improve 114 Airports Across the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $970 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda to 114 airports across the country, spanning 44 states and three territories. This announcement, which Secretary Buttigieg will make as part of the Administration’s Investing in America tour, delivers on President Biden’s commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure while lowering costs for families, creating good jobs, and advancing opportunity for all Americans.
 
This funding will help meet the growing demand for air travel and launch projects that will improve passenger experience, accessibility and sustainability while creating good-paying jobs. Investments enhancing the passenger experience include new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints, increasing gate capacity and modernizing aging infrastructure throughout terminals and ground transportation. These investments further increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Nine grants will address the needs of aging air traffic control towers. 

“Under this administration, we are doing more to improve the travel experience than ever before, from expanding consumer protections to modernizing the physical infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments we’re announcing today, made possible by President Biden’s historic infrastructure package, will make it easier for passengers to get to and through airports, create jobs, and increase safety for all.”
 
“Today’s funding not only helps modernize airports to meet the needs of travelers today and for years to come but also creates good-paying job opportunities in communities both large and small,” said FAA Associate Administrator for Airports, Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E. 
 
These awards are on top of the nearly $2 billion for airport terminals announced over the past two years. The vast majority of these terminal projects are under construction.

Many grants contain an element that will build new or expanded terminal facilities. Among them are:

  • $35 million to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia: This award funds a portion of the construction of a 14-gate, 400,000 sq. ft. terminal building including connections to the Aerotrain and Metrorail.
  • $20 million to Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah: This award funds a portion of the Concourse B terminal expansion that will include 16 gates.  
  • $10 million to Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota: This award funds a portion of the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal. Rehabilitation includes upgrades to lighting, reconfiguration and expansion of hold rooms, and improve Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliance. Expansion includes four new gates for a total of nine, increasing hold room space, expanded ticketing/baggage handling, expanded restrooms and post-security concessions. 

Many grants contain an element that will improve the passenger experience by improving security-screening areas, providing faster and more reliable baggage systems, and increasing accessibility for passengers with disabilities. Among them are:

  • $40 million to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois: This award funds improvements to Terminal 3 to include increasing the central passenger corridor width, a reconfigured TSA checkpoint, new hold room, a new ADA compliant and family restroom, and updates to the baggage system. 
  • $26.6 million to Denver International Airport in Colorado: This award funds a portion of the baggage handling system replacement, including the control system. In addition, the new system will improve energy efficiency and increase capacity. 
  • $8.6 million to Kahului Airport in Hawai‘i: This project funds the construction of a new two-story security screening checkpoint facility at the south end of the ticket lobby (South TSA Checkpoint). The facility will include six new TSA screening lanes. A pedestrian bridge will connect the new checkpoint facility to hold room A and will span over the existing service road.
  • $7.5 million to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in Kentucky: This award funds a portion of the Terminal A security screening expansion project, which consists of adding four screening lanes to the security checkpoint.
  • $2 million to Spokane International Airport in Washington: This award funds up to two additional ticket counters and passenger boarding bridges, and portions of the HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing upgrades, shared use & hearing-impaired technology, smart glass, solar energy connection, baggage handling systems, and other considerable ADA improvements.
  • $1.5 million to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska: This award funds the installation of 110 audio and visual monitors and stations throughout the terminal to better serve the passengers. 

Many grants will increase access to other modes of transportation or improve roadways. Those include: 

  • $31 million to Los Angeles International Airport in California: This award funds two areas of the Auxiliary Curbs at ITF West and ITF East which includes a combination of new, extending, widening, and utility improvements of surrounding roadways. This also includes underground Low Impact Development (LID) storm water containment systems. 
  • $8 million to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida: This award funds a portion of the reconfiguration and expansion of the terminal access and curbside roadways.
  • $7 million to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana: This award funds construction of the foundation for the North/South Connector Road’s north phase. The foundational piling operations will provide structural resiliency to withstand future climatic events, which have deteriorated the soil and created environmental concerns in past years. The new road will connect the airport’s North and South terminals and will link the terminals to the airport’s upcoming multimodal transit facility that has passenger rail service.

Nine grants are awarded to airports to refurbish their airport owned airport traffic control towers. Among those are: 

  • $10 million to Duluth International Airport in Minnesota: This award funds the relocation of an Airport Owned Airport Traffic Control Tower, a non-standard tower commissioned in 1963. The project includes design, project formulation, site preparation, line of sight obstruction removal, and other related actions.
  • $5.4 million to Martin State Airport in Middle River, Maryland: This award partially funds a new Airport Traffic Control Tower that has reached the end of its useful life.
  • $4.5 million to Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas: This award funds approximately 25% of the construction costs of a new sponsor owned Airport Traffic Control Tower. This project replaces the existing tower that has an identified line of sight impediment, is not ADA compliant, and has structural integrity issues. Funding for this phase focuses on the foundation and base of the tower construction.

Many grants contain an element that will increase terminal sustainability. Among them are: 

  • $31 million to San Francisco International Airport in California: This award will replace critical mechanical and electrical components (VFDs, fans, dampers, actuators, control valves, sensors, and other associated elements) of the HVAC system at the International Terminal. Replacing these components will improve fire-life safety compliance, reduce energy usage, reduce maintenance costs, and improve resilience.
  • $27 million to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina: This award funds the replacement of up to 16 Passenger Boarding Bridges and associated Ground Power Units and Pre-Conditioned Air units. 
  • $3.4 million to Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin: This award funds the Expansion and Modernization Project that includes a four-gate concourse expansion and will include a 60,000 sq. Ft. expansion increasing the number of gates to 10.  This award will partially fund the final phase of the concourse expansion project, including Passenger Boarding Bridges, a solar and sustainability program, and mechanical equipment.

Several grants contain an element that will go to improving airport access in smaller communities. Among them include:

  • $10 million to Punta Gorda Airport in Florida: This award funds a portion of the terminal rehabilitation and expansion project, which includes renovating the security checkpoint and adding public circulation, hold room, and restroom space. 
  • $6.5 million to Presque Isle International Airport in Maine: The airport will construct a new terminal to replace the existing undersized terminal. The new terminal will be ADA compliant, include appropriate life safety upgrades, and improve energy efficiency. This award will fund the early stages of the project, including construction of the superstructure and building enclosure. 
  • $700,000 to Standing Rock Airport in Fort Yates, North Dakota: This award funds construction of a new general aviation terminal building. There is no current terminal building, or other protective structures, for pilots to get out of the elements. The airport is used for recreational activity along with flights for medical emergencies and delivery of hospital and emergency staff to the area. 

Dexory Aims to Re-define North American Logistics and Warehousing Technology Market

er of cutting-edge AI and robotics solutions, has announced its expansion into the North American market. Dexory is set to disrupt the market through its autonomous robotics and AI-powered analysis solution, DexoryView. The company is already working with global partners with a significant U. S. presence such as DB Schenker, Menzies Aviation, Maersk and ID Logistics. To lead the expansion, Todd Boone has joined the team as its Head of North American business.

The driving force behind the expansion is the rapidly evolving landscape of logistics and warehousing. End customers continue to demand quicker turnaround times while warehouses address the urgent needs for improved space utilization and increased efficiencies while wrestling with ongoing labor scarcity. Dexory combines powerful analytics with autonomous robots capable of capturing rich image and sensor data from across a warehouse. This powerful combination provides comprehensive visibility across warehouses of any size, as well as connecting warehouses across the global supply chain through Dexory’s digital platform, DexoryView.

One customer that has recently deployed Dexory’s solutions in its warehouses is the international contract logistics group, ID Logistics. The collaboration aims to increase warehouse operation accuracy and enhance overall efficiency to improve the service provided to their customers.

Benoit Boiron, group Innovation manager at ID Logistics commented, “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of inventory management and warehouse data acquisition. The precision and real-time monitoring capabilities have transformed our day-to-day operations, bringing accuracy to new heights.”

“Following successful customer deployments in Europe, we have seen an increased demand from the North American market,” said Andrei Danescu, CEO and co-founder of Dexory. “We are excited to be expanding our offering and see that there is tremendous opportunity in the region. Organizations across the globe are getting to grips with the challenging demands of modern supply chains, and DexoryView allows businesses to gain rapid insights into their operations and make informed decisions that drive better efficiencies across their businesses.”

Dexory says their technology helps businesses to understand, in real-time, what happens in their warehousing operations, which is imperative to closing the visibility gap that occurs when there is a misalignment between expectations and reality. The ever-increasing pace within warehouses is causing the visibility gap to grow, and so worldwide, companies are embracing Dexory’s solution to unlock real-time visibility and insights that minimize the visibility gap while maximizing warehouse performance and reducing costs.

As part of the expansion, Dexory has appointed Todd Boone to lead its North American business. Boone joins Dexory from Zebra Technologies, where he served as director of product management in robotics and automation. With Zebra Technologies he held several leadership roles and worked closely with Fetch, an established AMR provider in North America. Along with his experience in large organizations such as Motorola Solutions and Psion Teklogix, Boone has also acted as an independent advisor for technology companies, providing advice on go-to-market strategies.

“Having an industry veteran such as Todd Boone lead our expansion in the North American region is paramount to our success,” adds Danescu. “Boone has in-depth knowledge of the landscape and the challenges our customers are facing. In addition to this, he is a proven leader and has a track record of delivering value to customers as well as devising strategies that are disruptive and value-driven for our industry. We are pleased to have him on board to spearhead our growth in the region.”

“Many businesses across the globe are struggling with a visibility gap, where they do not have the necessary insight into their warehouse and supply chain operations,” comments Todd Boone, head of North America at Dexory. “The opportunity to lead Dexory’s expansion into the North American market comes at an exciting time for the industry. The technology is truly innovative and disruptive. The combination of robots and DexoryView has already delivered significant benefits to customers in Europe, and North American businesses can expect a transformative effect on the everyday efficiency, productivity and accuracy of their warehouses.”

Floating Sauna Saves the Day

Two people were stuck in middle of icy fjord after escaping a sinking car. Then a floating sauna showed up and rescued the people. According to Reurters, a Tesla crashed into frigid waters in Norway on February 1. The floating sauna then came to the rescue. See image.

First Responders in Texas Should Be Concerned About Autonomous Trucks, Attorney Amy Witherite Warns

024 is the year many companies are promising to place tractor-trailers on Texas highways without a driver in the cab. One major route will be along I-45 between Dallas and Houston. Attorney Amy Witherite, an expert in trucking safety, warns that these 80,000-pound vehicles may pose a special danger to first responders.

According to the American Automobile Association, “every year about 23 roadside workers and first responders (one every two weeks) loses their life at the roadside and hundreds more are injured while tending to disabled vehicles.”

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a Tesla did not respond correctly when a fire apparatus and police cruiser with emergency lights activated were used to block an accident scene in California.

Using a fire engine to protect first responders at accident scenes is a widespread practice. According to the NTSB, “when the vehicle ahead of the Tesla changed lanes to the right to go around the fire truck, the Tesla remained in the HOV lane, accelerated, and struck the rear of the fire truck at a recorded speed of about thirty-one mph.”

The NTSB noted, “the probable cause of the Culver City, California, rear-end crash was the Tesla driver’s lack of response to the stationary fire truck in his travel lane, due to inattention and overreliance on the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance system.”

“Imagine the tremendous damage an 80,000-pound autonomous truck would have caused in this same situation,” said Witherite. “Automation is important and can make driving much safer, but it is fair to ask whether it is safe to place fully automated trucks on the road at this time.”

California is not the only state struggling with this issue. According to the Austin Monitor, “an internal reporting system used by Austin firefighters and police describes Cruise cars coming within inches of parked fire trucks, ignoring police directing traffic and – in one instance – almost cutting off an ambulance flashing its lights on the way to Sixth Street. On other occasions, firefighters wrote, Cruise employees struggled to move their own disabled vehicles out of the way of traffic.”

The results of AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey show that while there is still a high level of interest in partially automated vehicle technology, attitudes toward fully self-driving vehicles have become increasingly apprehensive. This year there was a major increase in drivers who are afraid, rising to 68% as compared to 55% in 2022. This is a 13% jump from last year’s survey and the biggest increase since 2020.

“We owe it to those who put their lives on the line to protect ours to make sure that fully automated vehicles don’t increase the already high level of risk associated with working accident scenes on our state’s highways,” says Witherite.

Flock Freight Wins 2024 BIG Innovation Award for its Shared Truckload Solution, FlockDirect

Flock Freight, the only FreightTech company creating a smarter, more sustainable supply chain by pooling freight at scale, today announced that its guaranteed, terminal-free shared truckload solution, FlockDirect, has been named a winner in the transportation category of the 2024 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group.

FlockDirect eliminates the hassles of the hub-and-spoke freight shipping model using patented technology that matches locations, schedules, and compatible shipments, finding the best options to pool freight among trillions of possible combinations. Shipments stay safe and in a single truck, driven by a single driver, all the way to their destination enabling shippers to only pay for the space they need and enabling carriers to earn more from every linear foot of capacity — all while slashing carbon emissions by up to 40% compared to traditional shipping methods.

“In 2023, we delivered on our strategy of integrating A.I. across our tech stack, fusing machine learning with operations research. As a result, in 2023 Flock pooled over half a billion pounds of freight – a 7x increase since 2020,” said Lu Saenz, Chief Technology Officer at Flock Freight. “Shippers are leveraging FlockDirect to build efficiencies into their supply chain logistics, leading to significant cost savings and over 46 thousand metric tons of CO2e avoided – a staggering 13x increase since 2020. We’re now on track to enable the pooling of trillions of pounds of freight in shared truckloads each year, further reducing the sizable carbon footprint of the logistics and transportation sectors.”

“Innovation is driving our society,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Flock Freight as they are leading by example and improving the lives of so many.”

Organizations from across the globe submitted their recent innovations for consideration in the BIG Innovation Awards. Nominations were then judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteer their time and expertise to score submissions.

NEC Achieves TX-RAMP Level 2 Certification for Suite of Biometric and Face Recognition Solutions

NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a provider and integrator of advanced IT, biometrics, communications and networking solutions announced that several of its top-ranked solutions have received Level 2 Certification from the Texas Risk and Authorization Management Program (TX-RAMP). The certification encompasses Integra-ID, NeoFace Reveal (NFR), and Insights for NEC Advanced Recognition Systems (ARS). This expanded certification underscores NEC’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions with a rigorous security-by-design approach to ensure privacy for all.

Integra-ID provides users with multimodal biometric search and storage services. Designed for accuracy and speed, data and transactional archiving, and auditing and reporting, all with cloud hosting capabilities. Integra-ID is backed by a comprehensive range of tools for editing, selection, image enhancement, comparison, and verification.

NeoFace Reveal is a face recognition application providing government agencies the ability to identify facial images (ranging from good to very poor quality) by performing either a one-to-many (1:N) search or one-to-one (1:1) verification against a database of any size. NFR can be used by government agencies to support investigations and detect and prevent fraud. NFR stands out for its ability to provide reliable face recognition, capturing, enhancing, organizing, and matching video and graphic images to specific individuals.

Insights including Archive, ERT and Workbench, is a super suite of applications for system administrators to manage, operate and use the NFR system. From a secured web browser, administrators can ascertain overall system status from a customized dashboard, manage user accounts, monitor processed transactions and perform auditing and reporting of all user activity and events.

The TX-RAMP certification is a significant achievement for NEC, as it highlights the company’s dedication to meeting and exceeding the stringent security and compliance standards set by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). The program, established in response to Texas Senate Bill 475 passed during the 87th Legislative Session, sets forth a standardized approach for the security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud computing services processing state agency data.

TX-RAMP security criterion requirements are derived from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP is a United States federal government-wide compliance program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

“We are proud to receive Level 2 Certification from TX-RAMP for our ARS Law Enforcement Biometric Product Suite. This recognition reflects NEC’s unwavering commitment to providing advanced and secure solutions while prioritizing privacy,” said Gary Lac, NEC vice president of solutions development, ARS. “We understand the importance of safeguarding sensitive data, and this certification reinforces our dedication to maintaining the highest standards of security and compliance in the industry,” he added.

With the TX-RAMP certifications in place, NEC is well-positioned to support state agencies and law enforcement in Texas, ensuring that they have access to cutting-edge technology that meets the rigorous security standards mandated by the state.

Chess Dynamics Hawkeye MMP Delivers Electromagnetic Compatibility Performance 

UK surveillance specialist Chess Dynamics says their vehicle surveillance system, Hawkeye MMP, has demonstrated electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) performance as part of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency’s (NDMA) Observation Targeting and Surveillance Systems (OTAS) project. 

In meeting the requirements set by the NDMA, Hawkeye MMP has demonstrated its ability to meet the needs of the modern battlefield and survive, communicate and operate in the tough electromagnetic conditions. 

The unique requirements set out by the NDMA included standard EMC tests such as MIL-STD461 and specifically the precise Nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse (NEMP). This was alongside more bespoke requirements to ensure compatibility with the vehicle’s existing high frequency, very high frequency and ultra-high frequency radio systems without any internal frequency interference.

Chess developed a multi-staged approach which included board-level testing, meeting UK-based EMC qualifications and complete vehicle system tests, as well as designing novel modular solutions to pass the NEMP testing at the first attempt. Steps were taken alongside the NDMA so that requirements were met while ensuring environmental and usability needs were not impacted. 

“The demands of the battlefield today are increasingly complex and require adaptable, high-performance solutions. The NDMA required a technology of this kind that also met its own strict EMC requirements, and we are thrilled to have succeeded in this. This is a major achievement for Chess, and we believe this technology will be vital as resilience becomes increasingly important to surveillance capability,” said Chris Henderson, Electronics group leader at Chess Dynamics.

“Chess Dynamics was able to provide a solution that passed the EMC tests, proving Hawkeye MMP’s ability to perform while remaining resilient on the battlefield,” according to their client. “We look forward to our continued work with Chess as we look to continuously improve our surveillance capabilities.”