IBM has updated their InfoSphere Traceability Server with a new capability called Returnable Container Management. This new software gathers real-time sensor data so that businesses and governments can track the whereabouts and conditions of millions of returnable shipping containers around the world.
The sensors the software taps into are used in a variety of ways, including monitoring and managing water flow rates, highway traffic, seismic activity, air quality, the flow of energy across power grids and more. By 2010, approximately six billion of these tags will be in circulation.
Clients using IBM’s Returnable Container Management software affix RFID tags to each of their reusable containers. Through the use of both standing and mobile devices that read the tags, all relevant data is captured, including place and date of manufacture, serial number, and other necessary details. IBM’s software allows clients and their trading partners to use a Web browser to determine where each container is at any given point. If a container reaches the wrong location, the system will alert management.
According to IBM, clients using the software can expect to eliminate as much as 40% of their container inventory by minimizing losses, optimizing utilization rates and detecting and preventing unauthorized diversions.
The software is already being used in a pilot project launched by the Vietnamese State Agency for Technological Innovation and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers to track the country’s seafood exports.
Among the other IBM software products that enable the Internet of things are WebSphere Sensor Events, Cognos 8 BI, WebSphere Business Events and Business Process Management, ILOG software for supply chain management, Tivoli Netcool and Maximo Asset Management.