Commercial Containers - Intermodal Freight Equipment Functionality

Subsystem Description

The Intermodal Freight Equipment subsystem includes the sensors and systems incorporated into an intermodal container and chassis. Containers are strengthened and stackable boxes that carry freight and allow horizontal and vertical transfers between modes (truck transport, rail, or marine vessel). They are built to standardized dimensions to allow efficient handling. The most basic capability of the Intermodal Container subsystem is to provide a unique identification via wireless interrogation. The chassis is the frame on wheels that an intermodal container is secured to for roadway transport by a truck. The subsystem can also have the capability to sense cargo conditions, including temperature, controlled atmosphere integrity, status of control systems (like refrigeration), peak and total shock/vibration, and any other aspects peculiar to the specific cargo, as well as chassis safety data for the brakes, container fasteners, and other systems. The subsystem can potentially support the determination of location and the communication of that location to appropriate infrastructure elements, either on demand or as part of a periodic status reporting activity. The subsystem also can support a number of security measures, including sensing and alarms for unauthorized breaches of the container seals, electronic locking devices suitable for Customs preclearance, and basic security measures to prevent unauthorized interrogation of the containerís systems and stored data. The intermodal container subsystem must also function as an integrated unit with a chassis and the Commercial Vehicle subsystem for roadway transport. This would require the ability to interface via either wireless or wire harness means to the Commercial Vehicle subsystem to allow monitoring of the containerís status as part of the composite vehicle.