A project being spearheaded by China International Marine Containers (CIMC) and Savi Technology is aiming to develop "smart and secure" intermodal shipping containers to better guard freight transported by ocean carrier, trains, and trucks.

These new containers will capture, sense and wirelessly transmit real-time intelligence on the contents, along with its condition, location and security status, the companies said.

Such 'smart' containers developed by China-based CIMC and Sunnyvale, CA-based Savi are a key part of a newly emerging class of in-transit visibility systems for logistics -- which could vastly improve operational efficiencies and inventory management while ensuring the security and integrity of shipments.

“There are many ways of making a container smart," said retied General John Coburn, who is chairman of the California-based Strategic Council on Security Technology (SCST). "The right answer is to build a smart container system where many enabling technologies can be modularly integrated as needed."

CIMC is one of the largest manufacturers of freight containers in the world, holding over 40% market share globally. It builds over 100 types of container products along with airport equipment, trailers and other chassis.

Both CIMC and Savi said the new container type would also meet international ISO standards and U.S. government programs to counter threats of terrorists concealing weapons of mass destruction in cargo containers.