14 Feb 2023

What are Container Security Devices?

Container Security devices are the security locks and other tools used to enhance security of shipping containers while on the move to prevent thefts or fraudulent activities. Container security is not just about restricting access and making it harder to steal inventory from a shipping container on the move. It is also about locating and securing containers in the supply chain, recovering stolen goods, reliably revealing, and instantly reacting to security incidents.

The container security devices available on the market vary in sophistication – while some are simple analog locks with the main goal to prevent access to the goods within a shipping container, others are smart sensor enabled monitoring technologies – such as those offered by Arviem – which not only prevent the access to the goods but also continuously report their location as well as any door opening or intrusion to the cargo in real-time. These are devices with built-in sensors that can be attached to any container type and removed after the journey has ended. Security devices can be attached not only to marine containers but also to air cargo, pallets, or trucks. With built in sensors, the independent devices can make any container smart and can be fitted to any container easily before the journey begins.  The real-time monitoring data showing the shock analysis during the voyage can help establish the right accountability e.g., if carrier is liable for the damage. Reliable and relevant evidence is vital to prove the damages occurred while the cargo was in transit. It helps cargo owners put themselves in a better legal position to verify that the damage occurred during the voyage.

Need for Container Security Devices


Container Security Devices are needed to prevent Cargo theft that is a multi-billion problem across the world. Cargo theft is an international problem affecting consumers and businesses alike. Companies take several actions to improve the security measures for containers. For e.g. using techniques such as blocking (front wall wedges, chocks), lashing (load binders, fixed winches), mechanical locking etc. to deter theft. But these mechanisms provide only physical security and are less advanced solutions – prone to failure. Over the years, the thieves are getting smarter, more aggressive, and more selective in choosing their cargo targets. They now excel at identifying the loads that carry high-value goods. Plus, their techniques for coordinating and executing the theft have grown so sophisticated that it takes a lot more than a simple lock on the container doors to stop them. It is also not uncommon for thieves to remove doors and hinges to access cargo areas without breaking the seal.

Thus, Implementing the right container tracking and monitoring solution that includes sensor-based security devices helps to mitigate the risk of cargo theft, extortion, hijacking, and smuggling. These real-time cargo security monitoring devices also help in recovering stolen cargo by tracking it’s location in real-time as well as allowing for timely incident response thanks the real-time alerts.

Different types of Container Security Devices

There are various approaches a supply chain organization can take to secure the cargo in transit. Most of these are simple mechanical locks that have been on the market for decades, while others are innovative, technology-enabled smart container security devices. Few of the techniques used most widely are summarized in the table at the end of the article.


Main features of real-time container security monitoring devices of Arviem

The locks as container security devices are used to prevent container break-ins and thefts or any intrusion happening to a container on the move. As mentioned above containersecurity is not just about restricting access, it is also about locating and securing containers in the supply chain as well as recovering stolen goods. Sensor-based, real-time Container Security Devices ensure reliable cargo security and cargo integrity from end-to-end in the supply chain. These removable container security devices attached to a shipping container on the move play a key role in overcoming the challenges posed by traditional methods of securing a container. The sensor-based devices collect real time information about:

  • location data providing real-time security alerts
  • configurable, event-based alerts
  • seal tampering, door intrusion, route deviations, geofences etc.
  • actionable intelligence reports from real-time data
  • intuitive graphical user interface for the quick overview of real-time updates

Thanks to real-time alerts, clients can trigger law enforcement protocols and cargo recovery actions well on time and protect the cargo.


Benefits of sensor based real-time container security monitoring devices solving concrete challenges in the supply chain

Container Security Device-enabled end-to-end visibility is the key to resilient supply chains and becomes especially important when facing disruptions like cargo thefts. The real
time data stream from these devices delivers holistic transparency and visibility to provide security-critical perspectives like “what, where, when” asset-centric intelligence. The IoT enabled security device solutions help to keep the transparency within the supply chain. This enables customers and distributors to know the whereabouts of cargo. They are also notified of disruptions like unauthorized door openings when they happen while the cargo is in transit which helps supply chain professionals to keep the cargo secure.

Control the integrity of cargo

Container security devices for ocean containers, truckload and airfreight enable shippers to control the integrity of cargo in real-time. The change of a door status from close to open while being outside of safe geo-zones or geofences immediately triggers an alert over email, text message (SMS) or API to an authorized party and thus can enable a law enforcement and recovery process. The built-in GPS sensor gives precise location and hence reduces the risk of false alarms and enables quick and precise response. Real-time data provides up to date audit trails of cargo shipments maintaining high standards of integrity of the cargo shipments.

Control deviation from the planned route

For many customers, it’s important to carry goods only along approved routes and through approved checkpoints. Thanks to the accurate GPS positioning and granular geo-zones and geo-fences, the security devices can detect deviations from approved or agreed to routes and trigger a notification or an alert by email, text message (SMS) or API. Additionally, the data collected from the sensor devices can be fed to AI and machine learning algorithms and can give the logic of agreed stops on an agreed route and notify when checkpoints are skipped or bypassed.

Identify cargo security risk hotspots in the supply chain

The data collected by container security devices attached to the cargo in transit reveal hotspots of theft or unauthorized access to the cargo by analyzing all historic security-relevant events and comparing it in real-time to current events. Based on the analytics and Risk Management Services, customers can proactively optimize their global transportation networks according to the various factors to minimize and mitigate risks.

Automatically trigger law enforcement and cargo recovery

The 24×7 real-time alerts and notifications enable customers to act immediately based on precise and reliable alerts and notifications. The accuracy of the IoT enabled container security devices and the advanced technical capabilities reduces the risk of false positives and false alarms to a minimum number and thus saves costs of avoidable and unnecessary law enforcement and recovery actions.

Reduced Insurance Costs

The internet has increased the ease with which criminals can set up fake companies and acquire motor truck cargo insurance, thereby increasing fictitious pick- up schemes proliferating. With the real-time data about the location and any intrusions happening on the shipping route, fictitious cargo insurance can be avoided. Thanks to real time data stream on whereabouts, improved levels of security is achieved, risk of loss decreases and thus there is a direct decrease in insurance premiums charged.

cargo security


Various Types of Container Security Devices


A fence can serve as both deterrence and prevention.  An intruder is less likely to attack acontainer if it is surrounded by a fence.  There are numerous kinds of fences including wood, masonry, chainlink, and barbed wire etc.

Fencing Container Security Device

A container padlock is a U-shaped steel lock that’s designed to attach to the loop inside a shipping container’s lock box. Typically, the lock box shelters the padlock’s shackle, making it more difficult to access and improving the lock’s resistance to tampering. There is various type of padlocks available e.g. Disc, Discus, Circle, or Round-Shackle Padlock, Closed Shackle etc.


Padlocks Container Security Devices
Bar or Crossbar Lock

Crossbar locks are another popular type of lock for shipping containers. These locks are extendable clamps, typically made from tubular steel, that can be attached to the container’s door, typically on the locking rods but sometimes on the handles.


Bar or Cross bar container Security Device
Van Lock

A van lock is often used to secure the two doors of a cargo van together, but it can also be used on a container. It also has three parts: two steel plates that mount to each door and have hasps sticking out, and a puck lock that covers the hasps and locks them together.


Arviem Container Security Devices Van Lock
Alarmed Bolt Lock

Heavy-duty stainless-steel lock that is weather-resistant has a piercing 120 decibel alarm, triggered by movement and grab the attention of everyone nearby.


Container Security Device Alarmed Bolt Lock
Closed Shackle Steel Padlock

The lock is in Rock’s concealed shackle design andstops bolt cutters from getting anywhere near the shackle. The shackle is made of hardened steel, covered in a nano-protect coating.


Closed Shackle Steel Padlock


Smart Padlock with Pincode

A smart lock that can be unlocked just by phone or by using the number pad and a pin code.

Container Security Devices Padlock
Real-time container security monitoring device

A removable sensor equipped device that can be added to any cargo. These devices track real time location of cargo in transit, the conditions the goods are exposed to as well as any door opening and intrusion to cargo. In case of security incidents, cargo owners are alerted in real-time.


Smart Containers Arviem Solution Container Security Devices




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