Transportation and logistics services provider American President Lines (APL) and its customer, the Exchange, are utilizing a wireless sensor solution to track and monitor cargo containers' location and status (open or closed) during transit, in order to combat the theft or diversion of containers carrying goods to U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan.
The Exchange, formerly known as the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), operates post exchanges-that is, stores located at military installations, in order to sell merchandise to military personnel and authorized civilians. The Exchange uses services from APL to transport consumer goods to Afghanistan, to be sold to U.S. troops in that country. Some of the goods are high-value items, such as iPods and flat-screen televisions. Prior to employing the solution, the Exchange and APL had no way of knowing the exact in-transit location of a container and its contents, and whether they had been tampered with, thereby making them vulnerable to theft. In fact, the Exchange often experienced a loss of product before shipments reached the military store's shelves-possibly after they reached Afghanistan, though it was unable to determine exactly where such losses occurred.
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