Internal Container Breach Detection Tech Provides Real-Time Reports

Published Sep 22, 2019 5:30 PM by Eye-Seal

Cargo theft is a significant problem for shippers, insurers and cargo owners, with damages reaching into the hundreds of billions of dollars per year worldwide. Depending upon region, the average attack can easily result in a loss of between $50,000 and $75,000, according to insurer TT Club.

Containers are a particularly vulnerable target for thieves: they are often unattended and are hard to defend in transit or storage. Criminals have developed sophisticated methods of bypassing standard security seals, leaving the cargo owner unaware of tampering until the container reaches the destination.

This is an especially serious challenge for high value cargoes. Some shippers have turned to GPS-enabled container tracking to keep tabs on their shipments, but tracking alone can't detect a break-in in progress. Security tech startup Eye-Seal has cracked this problem with a device that reports both the container's location and whether it has been opened or breached.

"We have had success in multiple case studies and dozens of international deployments," says Enrique Acosta, Chief Executive Officer at Eye-Seal "These deployments have confirmed authorized openings in remote jurisdictions all over the world."

One single Eye-Seal module can detect the opening of either door, along with any variations in the amount of light within the container and any changes in temperature and humidity. The module encodes each event with the container's location coordinates and the time of occurrence, and all data is logged and stored within the unit.

The Eye-Seal device is installed by the user on the inside of the container, just above the doors, and there is no practical way for a thief to detect it from the outside. In the event of a breach, there is no audible alarm to tip off the intruder. Instead, the unit sends a “silent” alarm by way of a Verifiable Immediate & Schedule Alert Report (VISAR) to key listed users.  If the vessel is out of GSM range, it will transmit the VISAR alert immediately upon connecting to a cell tower.

Eye-Seal has partnered with IoT module manufacturer Telit to give the device cellular connectivity. The vast majority of cargo theft occurs while the container is in transit on shore, not on the ship, so a shore-based cellular network is an ideal choice for data transfer and alerts.

"We are using the Telit xE910 IoT module family because it offers a unified form factor and is comprised of multiple types of radios including 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE-M, and NB-IoT products," says Mike Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer at Eye-Seal. "Telit’s portfolio and IoT expertise in collaboration with Paragon Innovations, our engineering team, were able to bring the combination of size, battery life, global compatibility, and power to make our design a reality.  With Telit, we have the flexibility and ability to transmit data in 180 different countries. We can also manage connections and SIMs in the Telit IoT Portal."

All data transfers with the device use two-step military grade communications encryption. The reporting interval for routine updates can be customized, and it is all accessible through an easy-to-use web-based user interface.

Experts in loss investigation and logistics are excited about the prospect of a technological solution to longstanding shortcomings in container security.

“Finally, technology that provides verifiable data that can show un-authorized breaches in containers. The ability to monitor each door independently with a device that is installed inside the container . . . is extremely valuable to an investigative process,” says William Pabst, president of security and investigation firm PABST Enterprises.

“As a logistics executive with decades of experience in shipping high value cargo, I am convinced Eye-Seal offers our industry a revolutionary internal breach detection device that can generate VISAR reports with real time, documented data,” says George Doyle, former president of Suddath’s Lexicon Relocation division. “This can be more cost effective than survey reports and complicated investigative efforts after delivery.”

With overlapping layers of breach detection, a robust system of tampering alerts, data connectivity in 180 countries and an accessible and straightforward reporting platform, the Eye-Seal is an excellent option for protecting high value cargoes. For more information, visit https://www.eye-seal.com or call +1 833-EYE-SEAL (+1 833-393-7325).

This article is sponsored by Eye-Seal. 

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.