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Wagon Tracking Systems

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Wagon Tracking Monitoring Software & Tracking Devices

While vehicle tracking is used to track the location and other information on each vehicle in a fleet, trackers are also used for wagons and other mobile assets. Vehicle tracking is covered in related articles, and here we confine the discussion to wagons and other mobile assets including railway wagons and containers.

Why Install a Tracker on Your Wagon?

There are several reasons to install trackers on your wagons:

  • They protect wagons as installation of a tracker not only significantly reduces the likelihood of a wagon being stolen, but increase its chance of recovery if it is taken.

  • Reducing the likelihood of theft will often result in a decrease in a company's insurance premiums.

  • Knowing the position of each wagon can help you optimise routing resulting in fuel savings.

  • Monitoring the position of assets such as containers at every stage of the journey improves security and efficiency.

The Difference between Wagon and Asset Tracking and Vehicle Tracking

Vehicle tracking is used to monitor the location of each vehicle in a fleet, and although it uses similar technologies to asset and wagon tracking, there are significant differences. The main purpose of wagon and asset tracking is to monitor cargo and other mobile assets, and it is generally used in addition to fleet vehicle tracking.

Wagon tracking systems

Wagon tracking systems combine both the hardware, the wagon tracking devices, and wagon tracking monitoring software which displays the location of each individual wagon. The system may be passive, in which case the scanners are polled at specified intervals or locations, or real time in which location information is available continually, generally through a web based portal.

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Types of Tracking - GPS, GSM, VHF & RFID Tracking

There are several types of technology used in wagon trackers. The most common is GPS. This uses satellites to locate and monitor trackers fitted to wagons. The GPS data is then transmitted to a central hub, generally through a GSM mobile network. While in most circumstances this is reliable, it only works when a GSM network is available. GPS and GSM signals can be blocked in buildings such as underground car parks, and both are susceptible to deliberate blocking using jammers. Some wagon tracking systems also include VHF tracking, which uses triangulation to locate the asset.

RFID is fundamentally different. It uses an RFID tag, the equivalent of a barcode, to identify and asset. The RFID tag is read by a reader and the information is sent to a data hub via an RF link. Readers may be fixed or mobile. RFID is often used in wagon management to ensure that the right wagon is picked up by the right truck.

Container and Railway Wagon Tracking

The benefits of wagon tracking extend further than road transport; container and rail wagon tracking are vitally important for both owners and cargo shippers. It is necessary to have information on the location of the wagons and containers that has been despatched at every point of the journey. Effectively the same principles apply to railway rolling stock as they do to road transport. You can only be sure of the security of your goods when they are tracked from start to finish.

Train Tracking System and Efficiency

Additionally, advanced train track and train management systems can provide information that improves the efficiency of your total transport operation. Rather than have your trucks waiting for cargo deliveries and collections, knowing in real time when your cargo will arrive at the rail terminal will allow you to schedule your route for maximum efficiency.

Cost of Trackers for Wagons

The cost of installing trackers depends upon the tracker chosen and the way they are purchased. Some solutions require the client to purchase the hardware and then pay a set fee per vehicle for online access to tracking information; other providers simply charge a monthly fee per vehicle which covers the cost of the hardware. A third pricing model is leasing or hire purchase which has the advantage of no up-front capital cost.

Overall tracking is an investment that will save businesses money in terms of reduced insurance premiums, improved business efficiencies, reduces losses, and better customer relations.

Next Steps

There is no one solution fits all; the best one will depend on several factors. To save you the hassle of contacting many different suppliers individually, if you complete our simple form you will receive quotations from the best suppliers tailored to your specific requirements and save you both time and money.