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March 28, 2007 8:30 AM, EDT

Companies Use Tracking Technology for Electronic Cargo Security

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Many manufacturers provide trucking companies with products that use Global Positioning System satellites to help manage their logistics more seamlessly, but now they have found an additional use for the technology: With proper programming and perhaps a few extra peripherals, those devices also can be used to thwart theft and to track and recover stolen assets.The devices use GPS to create a “geofence” — an electronic perimeter around an object. If the object deviates from the defined perimeter — at a truck stop or anywhere along a truck’s entire route on an interstate highway — an alert is sent to headquarters so the driver can be contacted or law enforcement called. However, some experts warn that any security these devices offer is “collateral” to their primary logistics function and that the best security is to set up more obstacles for potential thieves and follow “tried-and-true” asset tracking practices.For the full story, see the March 26 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.