IN AN EVER-CHANGING world, logistics companies have to work hard to keep up with developments if they are to improve efficiency, maintain security over product quality and enhance the service they provide to their customers. Round-the clock monitoring of product in tank containers and rail wagons is an essential part of this. But it is no longer just sufficient to be able to monitor the location and condition of product in transit. Round-the-clock visibility is one thing but, as Intermodal Telematics (IMT) realised, anomalies can arise that need to be quickly intercepted to allow intervention in a timely manner. IMT has therefore developed – and continues to develop – an alerting module that provides its customers with immediate notifications of events of interest.

The alerts function is an integral part of IMT’s web application, which allows users to set a range of email and SMS alerts to keep them informed of status changes in their own or their customers’ assets and/or cargo. This might be an increase or decrease in product temperature over time, passing a temperature or pressure threshold, the arrival at or departure from a set point, or a message to say that an asset passed an idle time.

IMT’s alerts module allows its customers to set their own alert notifications for individual assets such as tank containers or rail wagons, or create notifications covering an entire fleet, in a few clicks on the keyboard. These alert notifications are fully customisable, allowing users to determine the thresholds and other points of interest that are relevant to each transport. In addition, all notifications can also be sent by email or SMS to people that are not users of the web application, anywhere in the world, so that all parties in the transport chain can monitor changes and anomalies and take the necessary action.


IMT, working with its customers, has more recently developed gradient alerts to monitor temperature changes over a specific time frame, allowing close monitoring of temperature-sensitive products. For instance, the transport of ethylene oxide is safe as long as the temperature stays below a threshold. To monitor the potential beginning of an autocatalytic exothermic reaction, a gradient monitoring system needs to be in place that is sensitive to the relative change in temperature over time.

The alerts module is available to all users of IMT’s smart tank concept, which uses a range of sensors located on a tank container or rail wagon and feed data to the IMT Communication & Location terminal. Installation of sensors again reflects the specific needs of each user and IMT is also constantly developing tailor-made solutions for its customers to respond to their particular requirements. IMT was founded in October 2013 specifically to offer telematics solutions to the intermodal market. Its clients include tank container and rail wagon operators, leasing companies, tank manufacturers and shippers. Its platform is open to third-party input and output and, once more, can be customised and can be integrated into legacy transport management systems.

This article was published in HCB Cargo – October edition