Over the years since leaving the forces, I have had a number of jobs. One was driving heavy goods vehicles and also a manager for a haulage company, this has given me a lot of experience and a fantastic insight into the haulage industry in the UK and Europe.
Another was as undertaking escort duties in fast unmarked chase cars with other ex-forces personnel on behalf of insurance companies and a very large well known parcel company. Without going into detail, we would escort lorries with extremely high valued loads and in the event of a hijacking provide (certain) assistance to the police forces and other agencies involved. These trailers would generally start at around £10,000,000 upwards and on many occasions way over the £100,000,000 figure. The higher the value, then the more vehicles and men used.
It seems daft, but on many occasions the only security to the trailer load was a heavy duty, so when I came across this article about a new security device for hauliers from the British manufacturing collective MAN, I was particularly interested. I am sure that there are people out there reading these articles that have had experience, or know someone who is in the haulage industry that may find it interesting as well. I realise that in the case of the ultra-high value loads it could not replace chase cars and escorts but it has to be a must for the general haulage companies and an added deterrent in all cases.
The manufacturing collective (MAN) has united to produce an innovative new cargo lock and a Birmingham company has agreed a deal with the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN) to produce a new product that could potentially prevent billions of pounds worth of freight cargo going missing every year.
The MAN collective, which comprises 10 Midlands-based sub-contractors, will provide pre-production, manufacture and assembly of the E-Containerlock for Guardfreight International. The new locking mechanism can be fitted to shipping containers and provides an in-built GRPS tracking system that provides location updates and immediate alerts if entry is forced.
“We are very excited about this partnership as we now have a complete manufacturing process for E-Containerlock using just one source – this is great for security of supply, taking cost out of production and fine-tuning assembly,” said Harrison. “We have developed a working prototype and the next stage will be to enter into producing a small batch that can be trialled with some of the world’s leading freight monitoring agencies as these organisations will ultimately be our biggest customers.
It is early days, but they are confident this solution will change the way cargo is transported, with our business plan showing a £16m turnover by 2018 and the possibility of creating up to 50 jobs directly and in the supply chain.
The E-Containerlock’s innovation stems from the multiple sensors and GPRS technology that are built into the device. This gives users the chance to monitor their cargo at any point of the journey and also receive alerts if the container is opened.
It is being marketed as the ideal way of preventing the theft of goods, and a bonus for insurance purposes as it can prove the exact place where the tampering or break-in occurred.
In this instance, MAN will utilise the expertise of four companies. The project lead will be Barkley Plastics, which will supply injection moulding, Mec Com for the fabrication, Westley Engineering for the presswork and SMT Developments for the PCB population.