GE, SAIC Collaborate On Smart Shipping Container

As terrorism threats increase, so, too, it seems, do technologies aimed at providing greater security along links in the supply chain. General Electric Co., Stamford, Conn., and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), for example, have announced that they are jointly developing a system to protect shipping containers. GE's Veriwise platform, which already is used as an asset-tracking and security device for over-the-road trailers, is one element of the integrated system under development. SAIC's Security and Transportation business unit and GE's Equipment Services division will integrate technologies each has developed independently in a system that promises to not only track, but also to detect, deter and report attempted intrusions of the shipping container. The two companies say they will design the system around U.S. Customs' guidance for expedited clearance and the business requirements of the global shipping industry. "This agreement marks a natural growth of our technology to address other cargo security challenges, particularly at ports and other border points," says Andrew Greta, general manager, asset intelligence, GE Equipment Services. "With acts of terrorism on the rise around the world, cargo containers are a prominent area of vulnerability," comments William J. Kelly, senior vice president of SAIC, San Diego. "The challenge is to provide effective protection without impeding commerce. By listening carefully to both Customs authorities and shippers, we believe that we can develop an effective, scalable solution that enhances security while adding value for shippers." The two firms say they will refine and pilot a flexible, expandable platform in the coming months.

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