4 keys for a successful implementation of a cargo monitoring solution

Keeping track of all the movements of your cargoes can bring many benefits to your organization. Whether it is for private or public purpose, cargo monitoring can improve operational efficiency and increase transparency while significantly reducing fraudulent behaviors. It also enables a full control over your supply chain.

For high-value commodities or for sensitive goods, securing and monitoring can be perceived as challenging and costly. That’s why we have identify the following 4 key elements to help selecting the right solution which will fit your needs and help reach your objectives.

1. the objectives

Defining clear objectives is an essential step to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your supply chain, to outline the expected benefits as well as to list the challenges currently encountered and the problems to be solved. The aim is to define the context in which goods are currently transported, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement.

For instance, for problems related to theft during transport, like it’s the case for goods in transits, the best option is a real time monitoring system combined with securing devices to avoid unauthorized opening of your containers.

Cotecna has been working for many years with Customs, read our latest case study to see how we helped Customs in Burkina Faso meet their objectives by tracking and securing goods in transit through the provision of our state-of-the-art solution.

2. the type of goods

Undoubtably theft, product waste or food safety issues are costly for companies. For that reason, their require a special attention to preserve their conditions during transportation.

For example, temperature differences for sensitive goods can have disastrous consequences which could lead to public health problems. To prevent them from going bad, it is essential to maintain the cold chain or ensure that they are transported within a certain time frame.

While it may seem challenging, fortunately Cotecna provides a wide range of devices available to accommodate different types of goods which go beyond just simply tracking containers. Devices equipped with temperature, light or humidity sensors which can help you track certain metrics and ensure that goods are keep in the right conditions until destination. This type of solution is especially valuable for the pharmaceutical and food & beverage industries.

3. the transport mode 

The type and conditions of transport are some of the most crucial elements when choosing a cargo monitoring solution. From these elements will often depend the selection of the equipment (e.g. disposable vs re-usable seals).

For instance, intermodal transport often requires a stronger securing system because it’s more exposed to theft. On the contrary, for goods transported on open sea (lower risk of fraud), the most important aspect might be the tracking device battery life which must be capable of operating for several days.

Additional equipment may also need to be considered, for example securing manholes and valves with e-seals for liquid bulk transported in tanker trucks is indispensable to avoid unauthorized openings.

The key point is that regardless of the type of transport used, several solutions are available to match the context and facilitate the movement of goods.

4. the process

Many elements can influence your supply chain and lead to loss of quality, delays or increase in the number of incidents. It is therefore essential to understand how to implement the solution and manage the information received from the field in order to maximize the benefits. Before choosing a solution, it is recommended to carefully review the current procedures to ensure a seamless integration.

More generally, it is worth considering the key steps of cargo monitoring (e.g., installation of the device, management of alerts, removal of the device, repatriation of the material and maintenance of the system) in order to determine whether they can be managed internally or if it is preferable to outsource them.

There are many other elements that can influence the choice of one solution over another but whether you are looking for a smart monitoring solution to guarantee the quality of sensitive goods or solution to curb illicit behaviors, Cotecna can help you in adopting the best technology to track real time location and status of your goods and ultimately help you improve the safety of your supply chain.

For more information about Cotrack®  our Cargo Tracking Solution or to request a demo please contact us at