CNB Technologies Pvt Ltd, a start-up in the business of tracking container movement at freight stations and inland container depots, plans to expand its footprint in Africa and Latin America. The Bengaluru-based company, which is also looking to track container movements in ports, is in talks with JN Port.

It is already doing a pilot project with Container Corporation of India, Rajesh Kumar, co-Founder of CNB Technologies, told BusinessLine . At present, the company handles 3 million containers a year, which is a fourth of the export-import containers that Indian ports handle every year, said the company.

Its customers include APM Terminals, Gateway Rail Freight Ltd, Hind Terminals, International Cargo Terminal (a JM Baxi Group company) and Transworld.

Easy to track

Basically, the firm puts an RFID tag in the container with its details, and readers or sensors on the container handling equipment, such as cranes and trucks. This helps people handling the container freight station or depot track the exact location of the container. The data on exact container location is tracked by the readers through software with the use of wi-fi or GPRS-based telecom networks.

Containers usually stay in a yard for 10-15 days, while some stay for months. During a container’s life in the yard, it requires multiple movements and manual interventions.

In the absence of this solution people end up searching the containers frequently.

CNB Tech claims it is able to reduce the number of moves for each container within a yard — from an average of seven-eight to five-six. This results in fuel saving, as one-two movements per box per crane consumes 1-2 litres of diesel.

This also improves the efficiency of logistics service providers, lowering the time managed, and also helps in making a container yard “pedestrian-free.” Also, service providers can charge an additional fee for the service. The company said all its customers acquired over the past five years have remained loyal.

CNB, which clocked $1 million in revenue last year, plans to expand in South Africa this year through its existing customer base. Apart from African nations it is targeting Brazil, Chile and Argentina, and expects to double its revenue.

Cost effective

CNB claimed that globally it is the only company to offer 100 per cent container identification with RFID. “Globally, firms use optical character reader-based container tracking technology, which has an error margin of 10 per cent and is also much more expensive than RFID,” Kumar said. The company has a 35-people team. During launch CNB sold its product and charged maintenance. It now provides a subscription-based service.