What would you want to know if you were shipping valuable cargo from one country to another or even just across Canada? The current location, that the shipment is on schedule, that the shipment is safe, perhaps all of the above and more.
Criminals are no different. The cargo may be different, drugs, weapons or other contraband as opposed to televisions, but the concerns are the same.
Individuals and business operating legitimately can in many instances insure their cargo. Not so criminals. If you are shipping drugs and they are stolen or seized by police they are gone, no insurance.
Recent seizures of drugs by authorities in different countries have revealed that many criminal organizations are now packing secret GPS and cellphone based trackers into their shipments as a form of insurance.
It has long been accepted there is no honor among thieves. Trust is also lacking. Legal GPS technology makes it possible for people and organizations that don’t trust each other to still do business with each other.
Some of the more sophisticated tracking devices allow for tracking not only the location of a shipment, but also the direction and the speed at which it is moving. It’s difficult for a driver to tell the shipper he is in Winnipeg heading west when the on board GPS device shows the shipment is in Toronto.
The relative ease of use and low-cost of such devices means their use will become common place even for less valuable shipments. In many instances the tracking devices are concealing within the shipment while in other instances the shipper openly indicates the presence of the tracking device as a warning to the delivery person not to stray from the agreed to route and timetable.
Some drug shipments assigned to legitimate express-mail services are fitted with the devices to ensure that the package does not make an unscheduled stop at a police facility prior to delivery.
I guess this indicates that criminals are grasping the importance of strategic planning.