Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
The Port of Savannah has been selected by a California-based maker of radio frequency identification systems to implement technologies to track cargo containers being shipped worldwide.

The Maritime Logistics Innovation Center in Savannah is partnering with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Savi Networks LLC, which is majority-owned by Lockheed Martin Co., to install RFID networks at the Savannah port to provide information on the location and security status of cargo containers.

Shippers, logistics service providers and transportation companies will be able to retrieve real-time information on RFID-tagged containers at ports worldwide that are connected to Savi Networks’ tracking system, according to Page Siplon, executive director of the Maritime Logistics Innovation Center.

Savi selected Savannah because it is the fourth-largest container port in the country, he told GlobalAtlanta.

“Georgia is a huge logistics location. And we are an import nation. Eighty percent of our goods come from the Far East, and most of what we buy is international. If we want to help the logistics industry be more efficient, RFID is a major player in that,” Mr. Siplon said.

He added that the center will provide Savi with access to university research, as well as an established relationship with a sister port in Shanghai, to test the RFID system.

Savi Networks’ container tracking system, SaviTrak, is already installed in 75 terminals around world, including Hong Kong, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Long Beach, Calif.

Mr. Siplon said that although logistics challenges vary from port to port around the world, tracking cargo is an international problem. The Maritime Logistics Innovation Center is working with the Georgia Electronics Design Center in Atlanta and other research labs to develop technologies that use RFID.

The center works to develop technology solutions for ports authorities and maritime service providers by pairing them with new technologies developed by technology companies, entrepreneurs and researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Some of the center’s major projects include automatic identification systems for tracking assets like cargo containers, forklifts, pallets and boxes, systems for tracking the security status of cargo, optical character recognition systems for reading cargo labels and implementing new operations technologies that enhance mechanical capabilities at ports.

The Maritime Logistics Innovation Center, established in 2003, is one of six innovation centers in Georgia, each of which has a different specialty, focusing on themes relevant to the technology and innovation needs of businesses in the state.

The others are the Gainesville center for manufacturing innovation, the Macon/Warner Robins center that focuses on aerospace and aviation technologies, the Columbus center highlighting data center and information technologies, the Augusta center that supports life sciences technology companies and the Georgia Electronic Design Center at Georgia Tech that specializes in advanced electronics.

For more information, visit www.savinetworks.com or www.georgiainnovation.org. Contact Mr. Siplon at (912) 966-7867 or page.siplon@gatech.edu.