"The market for container tracking solutions is still in its early stage," according to market research firm Berg Insight in a report published this week.
The number of active tracking units deployed on intermodal shipping containers was 137,000 in the Fourth quarter of 2012, up from 89,000 a year earlier. The first use cases to adopt container tracking (a system that incorporates data logging, satellite positioning and data communication) are aftermarket solutions mounted on high value cargo and refrigerated containers.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.1 percent, this number is expected to reach 1.0 million by 2017. The penetration rate of remote tracking systems in the total population of containers (around 20 million globally) is estimated to increase from 0.7 percent in 2012 to 4.1 percent in 2017.
The satellite communication provider Orbcomm has after the recent acquisitions of StarTrak, PAR LMS and GlobalTrak emerged as the largest vendor of intermodal container tracking solutions featuring GPRS or satellite communication. The company had achieved an installed base of 19,000 units at the end of 2012.
Envotech and Skybitz are the second and third largest providers having 18,000 and 15,000 systems respectively installed on intermodal containers.
Omnitracs, Pointer Telocation, Savi Technology and PearTrack Systems all have an installed base of approximately 10,000 units.
ID Systems, Honeywell Global Tracking and Kirsen Global Security are other major vendors with an installed base of over 5,000 units each.
Berg Insight also noticed that the intermodal container tracking market has attracted wireless M2M communication providers. according to the report, "Several operators including Orbcomm, AT&T, Everything Everywhere, Telenor and Inmarsat (shareholder in SkyWave) have assumed the role of end-to-end solution providers of container and other asset tracking applications."
Alltogether the market remains quite fragmented, even if as noticed by Berg Insight a consolidation movement has already started.