Implementing a passive RFID e-seal system for transit container security: A case study of Kaohsiung Port

S. W. Huang, M. T. Lee, D. C. Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nearly 80 % of worldwide trade (over US $620 billion) is carried by marine transport. Unfortunately, manually identifying, tracking, and monitoring containers involves a great many logistical problems. The security of container transportation has also become an issue of critical importance, with regard to theft, tracking, tracing, and national security. This paper describes the passive radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic seal (e-seal) monitoring system that was implemented using existing low-cost passive RFID e-seals devices to replace the manual escorts. The system successfully overcame the harsh outdoor environment of Kaohsiung Port, including resistance to high temperature, high salinity, humidity, and typhoons. The system comprises a reader, an e-seal (tag), and an antenna, and its optimal installation architecture is being disclosed in this paper. The reading rate not only has been maintained at levels above 97.4 % when a container truck travel passes an RFID reader at a speed of up to 60 kilometers per hour in 0.2 seconds, the system has also maintained normal operation 24 hours a day, year round. The system has moved beyond the testing phase or small-scale pilot project bringing RFID technology to practical operations of large-scale logistics systems. The architecture, procedures, methodologies, and experience involved in the development of this system, deserve consideration as a guide for the future introduction of RFID systems, and can relieve operators from the expensive, time-consuming trial and error involved in the introduction of passive RFID e-seal systems in the container transport industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-88
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Transportation Studies
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Automatic gate control system
  • Container monitoring system
  • Escort
  • Passive RFID e-seal
  • Transit container security


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