After our recent blog on the effect of containerisation on global trade and whether the IoT could do something similar, it was amusing to open the Economist newspaper and note that work is being done on sensors that could improve the security of containers and even — a little further down the line — store travel history information and be able to ‘talk’ to customs officials. Add an even more recent story that suggests the possibility of crewless ships (thus avoiding long dull sea journeys for crew and making hostage-taking less attractive) and we have another example of the astonishing potential of IoT when allied to an already successful technology, in the form of containerisation.

Where could this take us? Already costs have been cut to the bone by putting boxes on giant ships (how big?) in extra-deep shipping lanes. Adding communications to the equation could be the further driver that turns the whole world into a combination of shopping mall and factory!