Shippers of high-value goods are always eager to find new tools for tracking and monitoring their cargo during transit. One company is using just such a tool to track items that are literally irreplaceable—fine art and antiques.
Racine Berkow Associates Inc. (RBA) of Long Island City, N.Y., is a global freight forwarder specializing in museum-quality fine art handling services. Serving clients such as museums, galleries, and collectors, the company has transported monumental bronze sculptures by the English artist Henry Moore and priceless world treasures, including The Dead Sea Scrolls.
Whether these items are traveling by road, rail, ocean, or air, they risk damage from exposure to humidity, sunlight, shock, or vibration. So RBA has chosen AT&T Inc.'s CargoView application to monitor the delicate items during transit.
Users deploy CargoView by packing the device—a small plastic box the size of a deck of cards—inside the box or container with their freight. During shipment, wireless sensors inside the box transmit data on location and environmental conditions via AT&T's global wireless network. The data are collected in the cloud, and subscribers can monitor the readings via any Web browser. Shipments traveling by air may have a delay in sharing data, since the device is programmed to enter FAA-compliant airplane mode while flying and transmit all stored data as soon as the plane lands.
Regardless of the transit mode they choose, shippers that are concerned about specific conditions can set customizable alerts and geofences, so they can receive warnings if the cargo goes out of compliance or be notified when the courier nears its destination.
Whether users are tracking art, food, pharmaceuticals, or other sensitive items, they now have the power to monitor variables such as temperature, shock, and light in near real time, allowing them react to changes and minimize the risk of damage to valuable cargo.