Researchers develop digital fingerprint for cargo

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, Germany are working with development partners and users such as Panalpina and Lufthansa Cargo in a joint project – ESecLog – to resolve the dilemma between security and efficiency.


Researchers develop digital fingerprint for cargo


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, Germany are working with development partners and users such as Panalpina and Lufthansa Cargo in a joint project – ESecLog – to resolve the dilemma between security and efficiency.

Using simple screening procedures, they aggregate features such as 3D contours or RFID identifiers into one central shipment profile for every freight item. “The trick is that we document and aggregate these features into one complete digital image,” explains Olaf Poenicke, project manager at the Fraunhofer IFF. “Thus, every freight item has one digital fingerprint. This delivers accurate information of freight’s security status throughout the entire transport chain across operations and at any time,” The partners are working, for instance, on a marker that can be used to verify whether a freight item has already been x-rayed – something that has not been traceable. The researchers are additionally developing an RFID seal in order to detect subsequent tampering with a shipment.

To do so, they affix a transponder on a package’s seal with an ultrafine safety wire. If it is opened, the wire breaks. The shipment continues to be identifiable but the screener is additionally notified that the wire has been damaged.