Tracking hazardous cargo as it moves on the nation's rail system is about to get easier. Pittsburgh-based MHF Logistical Solutions has begun offering a service that features "smart" railcars equipped with remote monitoring and diagnostic systems to manage radioactive and hazardous waste shipments.
The new service, called MHF-LS asset tracking, makes use of wireless devices and battery-powered monitoring equipment. The devices use global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology to track the exact location and operating status of railcars in use across North America and to monitor the condition of their contents.
MHF says shippers will be able to obtain detailed data about their hazmat shipments' whereabouts at any given moment through a secure, protected system. They'll also receive alerts if railcars have been tampered with or have encountered an unusual event. The system is also capable of monitoring internal or external temperatures, pressure, impact and other variables.