Trailer Cargo Sensors for Logistics Companies

Technology is altering many industries to increase the profitability and efficiency of core functions of businesses.

You may have read in the Internet of Things article how we have worked closely with companies in smart waste management and smart parking.

After speaking with a few trucking companies, we’ve realized there are important updates we can make to the use of ultrasonic technology in logistics. 


Patent Pending Cargo Sensor

Monitor the fullness or absence of cargo in a 53' trailer, reliably. 

trailer cargo sensor

The main things we will cover in this article include:

  • The functions of monitoring assets with IoT sensors
  • The benefits of using a sensor system in your trailer
  • The previous issues using Ultrasonic Sensors, and how we addressed those former concerns

Monitoring Assets in Trailers with Sensors

truck transporting cargo

The purpose of utilizing these sensors in a trailer is to allow improved data flow to help you make better decisions in your business. Time is the most important asset you have, so if you save time, you in turn, save money.


Optimize Load and Unload Cycles

  • Monitoring the time it takes for these steps. The fleet owner is able to give resources where they’re needed.

Track container arrival and unloading completion with a time stamp.

  • Reduce the chance of getting to a customer dock, or yard to pick up an empty trailer to find that it isn’t empty.

Eliminate (or greatly reduce) Manual Yard Checks

  • By using our sensor, you can remotely see whether or not the trailer has assets in them.  With real time monitoring, it will allow the operations monitoring team to get notifications if trailers have been opened.

Detention Billing

  • Monitor and control trailer usage -- track the time allotted for loading and unloading the trucks.

Optimize Turn Time

  • Alleviate truck congestion in terminals

Manage Assets Better

  • Increase the trust between you and your clients by giving real time updates on the status of their load.  

All of these points rely on the sensor detecting presence of the cargo.  The data is collected and interpreted to provide accurate and reliable fleet management information.  Loading and unloading events and cargo status can be delivered to necessary parties.

Previous Issues and Our Solution for Using Ultrasonic Sensors in Shipping Containers

Ultrasonic sensors used in cargo detection is a standard in the logistics industry.  

Things like temperature, humidity, material of the objects being sensed all have to be taken into consideration when using Ultrasonic technology in this application.

Reliability and cost are important to most of our customers, as we are sure they are to you.

This would be a great solution to integrate into a GPS module to add to the additional tracking required to optimize a fleet of trucks. 

Previous issues include, ultrasonic technology was not able to detect softer surfaces like wool that may be transported as cargo.  False readings were then reported, stating that the container may be empty. To solve that problem, you now have the ability to sense those softer objects with our LED sensor backup installed in this unit. 

We rigorously tested our sensors in extreme environments, high heat, high humidity, and extreme cold (from -40℃ to +65℃) to verify functionality.

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This first rendition of the sensor will capture the entire 53-foot trailer, while ignoring the walls, regardless of the cargo types or environmental conditions. 

Benefits of Using the IRXL-MaxSonar-CS Cargo Sensor 

Ideal for supply chain management applications, our new IRXL-MaxSonar-CS is great for monitoring the presence or absence of cargo in a trailer. This cargo sensor will communicate how full a trailer is by measuring the location of cargo, and it will also let you know whether there is anything inside of the trailer or not.

  • Overview of trailer utilization is always available.
  • Routes can be optimized for the fleet.
  • Fuel can be saved.
  • Ad Hoc orders can be added to shipments already being transferred.

Similar to the use of our sensors in waste management and parking applications, the power is in the data collected. Once the data is collected and analyzed you can make better decisions to add more value to your business.

Increase your route optimization and upgrade your fleet management today.  

MaxBotix Inc.

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