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Machine-to-machine/Internet of Things (M2M/IoT) telemetry is all about making assets, cargo and shipments "visible, smart and connected," generating hard data that can be used in a variety of ways. What we are really talking about here is creating real-time visibility and control over complex container supply chain operations by fitting containers, equipment and cargo with automated locating and sensing technology.
Essentially, M2M is the process whereby one machine talks to another over a communication channel, generally GSM or satellite. A typical “smart asset technology stack” today includes M2M telemetry devices and sensors, data connectivity, network management and M2M software applications via cloud and mobile.
M2M/IoT telemetry devices, which are fixed to containers and other intermodal transport assets on a permanent or temporary basis, are now available in all shapes and sizes. That includes solar-powered options and also dual-network versions that can switch between GSM (global system for mobile communication) and satellite to ensure uninterrupted tracking in remote areas where wireless communication doesn’t reach. GPS tracking comes pretty much as standard, allowing containers and other assets to be located on the move and while stationary at ports and depots, using geo-fencing.
Increasingly, M2M devices are closely associated with an array of specialized sensors that can remotely monitor a very wide range of conditions such as temperature, humidity, light, shock, motion, door opening, fuel levels and tyre pressure.
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