AT&T is offering customized asset tracking for businesses to manage shipping containers that makes use of the company’s global network.

Companies that transport containers by truck, railroad or trailer can use the AT&T network to help them have a better view of inventory from departure to arrival. AT&T will work with business to develop the solution to meet their specific container monitoring needs, the company says.

Each container will have a monitoring device that collects data and sends it to a centralized web portal. Managers can use the portal to view the location of containers for cargo owners. Back-office workers can also use it to find containers and drivers will have more information about their load.

Businesses can use this information to locate and send containers or trailers that are the closest to clients who need them. They will also be able to identify customers that are keeping containers for longer time periods. Using this data, business can improve the usage of containers and reduce the costs of transportation.

Customers will be able to have more control over shipping management by receiving alerts on assets that deviate from their expected location. They can also see which containers have been idle to adjust pool size and keep more accurate records of when cargo shipments depart and arrive.

AT&T offers custom notifications that allow businesses to know the status of asset inventory including the safety of cargo or excessive dwell time and detect where a container drops or impacts the cargo. Solutions can also evolve by adding new sensors as the business needs dictate.

Each tracking device is solar powered and uses a chargeable lithium ion battery. AT&T says that shipping companies can provide years of continuous service without battery changes.

"Shipping companies are constantly moving their trailers and containers across the world," said Mike Troiano, vice president, product management, AT&T IoT Solutions. "Our container monitoring solutions can help them know that a shipment will arrive on time.  We're helping businesses better manage their distribution process and offer a service customers can depend on."