The Deutsche Bahn subsidiary announced this month that it has put into service ten containers equipped with RFID technology.
"This is the first step in a practical test to examine the suitability of new security technology for global freight transport," the company stated in a press release.
RFID has long been touted as the future of logistics for all companies by allowing retailers and suppliers to track goods throughout the supply chain.
High prices for tags and systems has held enthusiasm at bay. Privacy concerns have also limited its use at the consumer level. However mandates from such giant retailers as Wal-Mart and Metro is slowing forcing processors to make investments in the system.
Schenker's new containers will be used in a shuttle service between Hamburg and Hong Kong. The container tag will be automatically registered at points where liability changes hands.
This means that the shipment will become immediately visible at important transitional points in the transport chain. The first test phase commences with the partners at the port packing stations, Schenker said.
The next step will involve the container terminals as well. Schenker will also test using an 'e-seal', an electronic seal that documents any opening and closing of the container, as well as a range of other security devices that will keep tabs on the shipment.
"This is pioneering work we are doing for our sea freight customers, especially for groupage shipments," stated Wolfgang Dräger, vice president of seafreight at Schenker.
Schenker has annual sales of €8.9bn and operates fro; about 1,100 offices around the world.