Tarpaulins get smart to protect cargo

| Information and Communication Technology

Tarpaulin Sensors and Telematics for load tracking and protection

A combination of embedded tarpaulin sensors and fleet telematics is helping to protect vulnerable cargo across Europe.

Wabco is collaborating with Belgium-based Sioen Industries to combat the rising issue of trailer cargo theft incidents in the distribution and transport industry with its new “Detector” system.

Cargo theft is an increasing issue with a report by BSI Supply Chain Services revealing that 86% of European truck thefts relate to cargo. In addition to disrupting the customers’ supply chain, cargo theft has a significant adverse impact for fleet owners from damaged trailers and vehicles to downtime and increased insurance fees.

In response, Sioen has upgraded its existing Dynatex Protector technology to produce a smart, multi-layered tarpaulin with conductive layers that can be fitted to trailer doors and sides. Wabco will power this technology via its advanced Fleet Management System (FMS), TX-Trailerguard. An alarm will be automatically triggered should the tarpaulin be tampered with. Drivers are alerted through an audible warning or an in-cab notification. An alarm is also sent to the fleet back office in real time through Wabco’s TX-Connect telematics system.

When combined with Wabco’s OptiLock, an advanced wireless electronic door lock which enables remote live monitoring and management of trailer access, fleets can now further improve their ability to control potential trailer breaches in real time.

Detector has been tested in the field by a number of fleets. These include Belgium-based Soncotra, which was the first to apply the new technology within its trailer fleet. Soncotra manages over 15,000 full truck and groupage loads annually across Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the CIS countries and the Middle East.

“With half of our trailer fleet consisting of box trailers, the demand from our customers to deliver their cargo within their expectations is a key priority for us,” explained Isabelle Lamaire, CEO of Soncotra. “Our fleet is already equipped with Wabco telematics, so the addition of a reinforced and connected curtain-sider tarpaulin enables us to significantly increase the security we offer to our customers’ cargo.”

“I am delighted to join forces with Wabco to develop this product that will enable fleets to take the security of their customer’s cargo to the next level,” said Frederik Vroman, Sioen Sales and Business Development Manager. “We’ve been committed to protecting trailers against cargo theft for over 15 years and this is the next important milestone in delivering this commitment.”

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