Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

International trade and freight forwarding can be an intimidating sphere for many reasons. But one of the most prominent concerns is issue of security. While this is on the minds of many actors in the industry, there are new technologies that can help mitigate this fear.

To learn more about EyeSeal’s container safety technology, TFG’s Brian Canup (BC) spoke with Enrique Acosta (EA), Co-Founder of EyeSeal.

BC: Can you provide an overview of EyeSeal’s technology, and how it helps prevent cargo breaches?

EA: Breach detection is the very essence of EyeSeal. Its standout characteristic lies in its internal installation of the device within shipping containers, delivering a significant edge over externally mounted devices that are susceptible to tampering.

We like to think of EyeSeal as the ultimate black box or flight recorder for shipping containers, limiting the uncertainty surrounding container activities.

Moreover, in addition to breach detection, our device also generates verifiable forensic reports. These reports are invaluable, not only for providing real-time updates during the voyage but also as concrete evidence that can be utilised by law enforcement, customs officials, and insurance claims processes. They enhance accountability and enable robust decision-making based on reliable data and insights.

BC: How does EyeSeal ensure the tamper-evident nature of its sealing solution, and what specific mechanisms or features are in place to provide visual and/or electronic evidence of tampering?

EA: In simple terms, the main features of the device include direct contact with both doors inside the shipping container, ensuring that any breaches are detected immediately.

Additionally, the device is equipped with precision sensors that can detect changes in light, temperature, and humidity, meaning it can identify breaches that occur without involving the container doors.

The effectiveness of GPS technology is often compromised when placed inside a shipping container due to the requirement of a direct line-of-sight signal for accurate functioning. This presents a significant challenge in ensuring the reliability and effectiveness of GPS-based tracking systems within the container environment.

This is why the device utilises GSM networks for communication, employing military-grade encryption. This ensures secure and reliable communication, and all signals can be verified by law enforcement, offering a critical advantage.

Another benefit of using GSM is that it provides an extended battery life compared to GPS devices. EyeSeal devices can operate for a minimum of 120 days, making them ideal for long journeys or recurring routes.

BC: Are the benefits of cargo breach detection services limited to the shipping industry, or how do these benefit expand to the wider world?

EA: EyeSeal offers a range of benefits that contribute to a secure and efficient supply chain

Shippers can uphold their commitments more effectively, while surveyors and freight forwarders can streamline their operations. Insurers benefit from improved risk profiles and increased profitability, and shipping companies can reduce their liabilities. 

Cargo terminals experience less congestion by speeding the processing time and improved safety, while trade finance sees a reduction in fraud and enhanced transparency. Customs agencies achieve higher efficiency and improved data visibility, and law enforcement agencies benefit from greater adherence to the rule of law and a decrease in criminal activities related to cargo transport.

Governments gain from enhanced homeland security and increased tax revenue, and ultimately, the final recipients of goods experience fewer disruptions in the supply chain that could have negative impacts.

In other words, keeping cargo safe has a significantly positive impact beyond the shipping sector.

BC: Can you walk us through the process of how EyeSeal’s technology is implemented and integrated into a client’s operations, and other technologies commonly used in the logistics industry, such as GPS tracking and warehouse management systems?

EA: EyeSeal seamlessly integrates with various technological processes and platforms. Our clients have the flexibility to utilise our proprietary tracking platform or seamlessly integrate EyeSeal with their existing applications.

By empowering shippers to install the device at the point of origin, EyeSeal places them in complete control of their cargo. Once activated, the device diligently records any breaches or variations in the container’s internal environment. 

Additionally, regular location updates enable shippers to monitor the cargo’s itinerary, providing an impartial assessment of the transportation process. This valuable insight allows shippers to optimise their operations and make informed decisions to enhance efficiency and performance throughout the supply chain.

BC: How is EyeSeal working with governments and customs officials to ensure the technology is efficiently deployed and used?

EA: A prime demonstration of the value this solution brings to public and private stakeholders is our active involvement in Gateway2Britain

This initiative is specifically designed to promote seamless trade between Flanders and the United Kingdom by minimising obstacles and optimising processes.

One notable advantage is the expedited clearance provided to shipping containers equipped with EyeSeal devices, granting them a “cargo fast lane” at customs. 

The implementation of this pilot project has proven highly successful and has now transitioned into an official program. 

This achievement sets a robust example for other countries or regions to follow, encouraging them to adopt similar measures.

BC: What are some use cases that highlight EyeSeal’s technological uses in the real world?

EA: The success of the Gateway2Britain initiative has demonstrated the effectiveness of implementing a ‘cargo fast lane’ when supported by suitable technology.

This approach enables streamlined processing of cargo, yielding significant benefits for trade and the overall supply chain. Improved efficiency translates into financial advantages, as the adage ‘time is money’ holds true in this context.

In fact, Deloitte, the organisation entrusted with overseeing the Gateway2Britain project, expressed great satisfaction with the collaboration with EyeSeal’s technology, further affirming its value and potential in enhancing supply chain operations.

BC: How does the technology fit in with the wider trend of digitalising trade? Does EyeSeal’s solution help with this process?

EA: In recent years, the market has seen the emergence of numerous logistics tracking platforms. However, a significant gap remains in terms of reliable devices that can effectively connect these applications to real cargo shipments. This disconnect presents a challenge that we are uniquely positioned to address and resolve. 

With our expertise and capabilities, we are well-equipped to bridge the gap and provide the reliable devices needed to seamlessly link logistics tracking platforms with actual cargo shipments. By doing so, we aim to close this gap and enhance the efficiency and accuracy of cargo tracking and management in the industry.

BC: Are there uses for EyeSeal’s technology beyond theft protection? What are the additional benefits?

EA: Returning to the concept of the ‘fast lane,’ there are significant advantages when it comes to transporting perishable goods, including food, medicine, and other shipments with intricate supply chains. 

These types of goods require special attention and swift handling to maintain their quality and integrity. By leveraging the ‘fast lane’ concept, the transportation of such sensitive shipments becomes more efficient and reliable, minimising the risk of spoilage, ensuring timely delivery, and ultimately preserving the value of the goods being transported.

BC: How does EyeSeal address potential challenges or concerns related to false positives or false negatives in detecting tampering attempts?

EA: Once the EyeSeal device is installed and activated inside the shipping container, any alert can be easily validated by examining the sequence of sensor trigger timestamps.

When a container door is opened, it will activate one sensor first, followed by a signal for the other door. Additionally, the device will record the abrupt shift in internal environmental conditions. By considering the combination of these alerts, it becomes evident whether a breach has occurred.

BC: What are the next steps for EyeSeal, are there any new business developments happening to keep an eye out for?

EA: EyeSeal plays a pivotal role in establishing a robust connection between diverse logistics platforms and shipping containers, delivering significant value in the process.

Moreover, our active involvement in fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors to enhance the reliability and security of cargo transport further positions us to engage in similar opportunities on a global scale. 

By leveraging our expertise and experience, we are well-equipped to contribute to similar initiatives worldwide, driving positive transformations in the realm of cargo transportation and logistics.