Markets for electronic trailer tracking hardware and services are booming, according to a new study from ABI Research. Worldwide subscriber numbers will see a strong, prolonged growth through the end of the decade, and in North America, the percentage of trailers tracked will more than triple. Growth is already very strong: worldwide subscriber numbers have almost doubled since the previous year. According to analyst Steve Bae, several factors have converged to produce this strong growth: “Trailer tracking hardware costs have fallen significantly while products and services have become more sophisticated. Customers are more aware of the technologies and many see electronic tracking as an efficient solution to maximize productivity of trailers and resources.” This rapid expansion is seeing many vendors enter the market and some players chalking up big wins. A good example is GE, which recently acquired Wal-Mart as a trailer-tracking customer. The retailer placed an order for 46,000 units. When the fit-out is complete by the end of this year, GE will have more than doubled its market share, putting it on a nearly equal footing with other leading vendors such as Qualcomm, SkyBitz and Terion. As in any fast-growing market with new vendors, consolidation can be expected and not all will survive. There are two parts to the trailer tracking equation: hardware and services. Most of the market value is on the on-going provision of services and these can range from basic tracking of a trailer’s location and status, to multiple sensor connections, integration and monitoring parameters such as the temperature of refrigerated trailers. “By the end of this decade,” says Bae, “trailer tracking stands to be integrated with other commercial telematics solutions.”