Container Tracking


InLoc is a system to locate, identify and communicate with containers in harbour operation area.

Small harbours with merchant vessel traffic lack infrastructure systems to control and locate containers. The goal of the InLocIdCom project was to develop and demonstrate a system to locate, identify and communicate with containers in harbour operation area, low-cost, autonomous and without the need of GPS.

The developed system comprises several main components: “Nodes”, “Tags”, communication network and Control Centre. All the aforementioned components were developed under the project namely:

› Communication Network (with specifics requirements for self-organization and working in mesh);

› Positioning algorithms (complex due to the nature of the environment);


The Control Centre includes functionalities like: containers location, containers movements, alerts, containers cargo list and sensors (e.g. door sealing).




The main challenge that faces companies working in the field of container transport is related to the problem of overall organisation, logistics and security.

The current situation in the ports is noticeable by scarce information about the container location and contents, particularly in the logistic nodes of the transportation process. This lack of control has negative impact in terms of costs, transportation and efficiency of the transport logistics as well as in view of security and related insurance costs.


The problem of efficiency — being regarded in time, transportation and logistics/transfer-costs dimensions, — becomes each time more predominant in today's world of productive resources drifting farther and farther from their markets. At the same time there is noticeable information shortage resulting in cargo processing delays in all the nodes and intermodal platforms, eventually responsible for considerable loss of the logistics chain efficiency.


The lack of simple means of locating and cataloguing increases drastically the time and operating costs of any cargo routing in nodes and platforms, bringing about a need to make this operation more controlled relative to time and costs — through the increased efficiency, using modern technologies for location, identification and communication.


InLoc System

The project In-LocIDCom aims to develop and demonstrate a system of identification, location and communication (InLoc) for cargo containers, which has a central monitoring and control centre that, processing information about container locations and contents, supports cargo operations in the port.

The final result will be the integration of the system and its public demonstration in Lisbon Port. The Lisbon Port administration and Transinsular (Transportes Maritimos Insulares, S.A.) collaborate on the project as end-users and as business connoisseurs while JCANAO participates as an expert in the information systems for the port environments as well as in ISQ/IST in pertinent specific areas.



Other Locations
Rua Alves Redol, 9 - 1000-029
Lisbon - Portugal