Keeping track on land, sea and air

Base Inc., a provider of corn syrup to soft drink manufacturers and a division of food producer The Bama Companies Inc. (www.bama.com), is using a wireless solution from Psion Teklogix (www.psionteklogix.com) to record and track nearly 60,000 seal numbers on its corn syrup shipments.

Base previously used a time-consuming, inefficient, error-prone paper-based system, which led to some incorrect seal numbers being furnished to final customers, resulting in costly rejections of shipments.

The wireless solution involves the attachment of bar code labels to any contact point at which product might be accessed and possibly contaminated. Verification of placement and removal of safety seals is by means of hand-held computers from Psion Teklogix.

As data is captured by the hand-held devices, there is real-time wireless flow to a central database. Contact points can be as varied as rail cars, hoses, tanks, totes, truck trailers and other places designated by users.

Container terminal operator SSA Marine (www.ssamarine.com) is deploying a wireless marine terminal solution, developed by WhereNet Corp. (www.wherenet.com), at four West Coast ports this year.

Where thousands of containers may be stacked five high in a number of lanes across acres of space, the wireless solution uses active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags devices within a local access point infrastructure to deliver real time location and status information.

Since tagging each container is not practical, the wireless solution employs "virtual tagging" of containers, by constant monitoring of all handling equipment to know when and where containers are moved.

Through the use of sensors on handling equipment, location information, optical character recognition data and sophisticated algorithms, the wireless solution filters irrelevant data to provide the exact location and status of each container.

Blue Sky Network (www.blueskynetwork.com) has developed a routing system that allows users to log into an interactive web portal, sign in and quickly locate assets, including aircraft, boats and land transport, anywhere on earth.

Tracking may be customized to meet individual customer needs and reports can be viewed as individual assets, all modes in motion, or as specific groups of transportation assets.

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