Towards hybrid GPS/RTLS Positioning: Container terminal automation can benefit from hybrid solutions



Identec Solutions, Lustenau, Austria & Dallas, Texas, USA


The question for terminal operators is which technologies will best address the need of their operations today and at what cost/ benefit tradeoffs? Until now the choice was either GPS- or RFID-based systems.

Historically, GPS offered low infrastructure tracking but suffered in accuracy where equipment interfered with satellite reception. RTLS is a newer technology based on multiple RFID readers ‘reading’ RFID-tagged equipment and a software engine calculating position. An accurate location requires a tag to be ‘visible’ to three to four readers. In GPS, the mobile units are more expensive but infrastructure costs are very low. In traditional RTLS, the tag cost is very low but requires a network of readers throughout the facility.

Recently a range of hybrid solutions have emerged to overcome some of the challenges associated with a single technology approach. ‘Localized’ RFID/RTLS can provide a solution in areas where GPS has visibility problems, without the infrastructure cost of full-scale RTLS. The result is a robust, easy to install, flexible solution that offers unsurpassed reliability and value immediately upon deployment.

Austria-based company Identec Soluti ons has developed two new hybrid systems; a new quay RTLS for operation in standalone mode or with crane OC R and IntelliFIND, a ‘no-infrastructure’ RTLS for chassis, general cargo and roll-on-roll-off applications.

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