www.1385.com，IBM and Maersk Logistics have teamed up to develop an "end-to-end" container tracking system, known as Intelligent Trade Lane.It aims to make the container "intelligent" as various stakeholders along the logistics chain align their actions, while enhancing visibility of data and increasing the security of transported goods.The system is to be tested by the year-end, followed by a commercial pilot test involving some 1,000 Maersk containers next March. New York data giant Armonk and the Danish firm, part of the AP M?ller-Maersk Group, pooled research, business consulting and engineering teams and came up with a three-layered product.The main element is an "intelligent real-time tracking device", the Tamper-Resistant Embedded Controller or Trec. This is fitted of the outside of a box and works using wireless technology.The device can collect information on the container, including location, temperature and humidity, and sensory readings to detect intrusion or tampering en route.Trec works in tandem with two related elements, the "backbone system" and an "information system link", which form an integrated network that processes and compiles Trec data so as to be easily accessible to accredited supply chain participants.This information is not stored in a central database. Rather, each of the supply chain owns, and is responsible for, its content, while a "service-oriented" infrastructure allows users to view data using "shared architecture".If the Trec device proves a viable product, future generations of containers could be built with these devices as standard; while the "green lane" effect of such technology could result in insurance discounts and other savings that would more than offset the opportunity cost of Intelligent Trade Lane, IBM and Maersk Logistics executives are promising.However, the encryption of Trec data would need to be standardised through a common certification authority. Another challenge is that it would not certify "what is in the box", an issue US authorities have zeroed in on in the post-September 11 era.