General Electric and Siemens have announced plans to join forces to work on freight container security solutions on a worldwide basis.

For starters, Siemens’ Building Technologies Group will have exclusive marketing and distribution rights in Europe for a container security solution developed by CommerceGuard AB, GE’s security business. Under the agreement, Siemens Project Ventures, a subsidiary of Siemens Financial Services, will have a minority stake in CommerceGuard AB, with an option to increase the stake later in the year.

In addition to Siemens, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. is also a minority shareholder in CommerceGuard, which operates in Japan and elsewhere in Asia under the brand name “GE CommerceGuard.”

CommerceGuard builds a Container Security Device (CSD) that magnetically adheres to the inside of an international cargo container and registers any opening of the container door, said A. Louis Parker, president & CEO of GE Security. Fixed and handheld readers record its status in a database that can be accessed by authorized importers, shippers and government officials anywhere in the world, he said, to help expedite and accelerate freight through seaports.