Costs of using wireless communications and GPS tracking can range from $1,200 - $2,000/truck in purchase costs and range from $1,188 - $1,524/truck in annual costs according to analyses in the HAZMAT FOT Final Synthesis.

FMCSA researchers assessed technologies to improve the productivity, efficiency, and safety of HAZMAT Carriers in the United States.

11 November 2004

Summary Information

In cooperation with industry, and on behalf of the U.S. DOT ITS Joint Program Office, U.S. DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sponsored the Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Technology Field Operational Test, finalized in November 2004. The purpose of this project was to test methods for leveraging technology and operations to improve HAZMAT transport security and operational efficiency. The evaluation of this FOT quantified costs resulting from technology deployments that improve the security and operational efficiency of HAZMAT shipments from origin to destination.

Table 1 presents the costs by industry segment (capital costs are amortized over 3 years). The annual costs per truck include the initial purchase of equipment and installation amortized over 3 years plus annual messaging and maintenance service fees.

Regardless of technology configuration in the FOT, two technologies create the enabling platform on which the other test technologies operate - wireless communications and asset positioning/tracking. Through discussions with the participating motor carriers, these two capabilities provide the majority of measurable operational benefits. Without these two capabilities, potential operational, as well as safety and security benefits of the other test technologies, could not be realized.

Technology Costs

Table 1: Per Truck-Specific Technology Costs (Wireless Communications with GPS Tracking Capabilities)
Purchase Cost Truck Terrestrial/Satellite
Annual Cost Truck Terrestrial/Satellite
Mobile Communications with GPS Tracking Units (Hardware Costs)
$1,000 / $2,000
$336 / $672
Basic Monthly Service (per truck)
Monthly Maintenance Agreement
Total Per Truck Costs
$1,200 / $2,200
$1,188 / $1,524

This report, finalized in November 2004, is an assessment of research focusing on the use of technology to address HAZMAT safety and security. These findings along with the costs provide a valuable resource to those considering the implementation of advanced technology for freight safety and security.

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Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Technology Field Operational Test Volume II: Evaluation Final Report Synthesis

Author: D. Stock (SAIC), et al.

Published By: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by SAIC for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: 11 November 2004

EDL Number: 14095

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-05-012


System Cost

HAZMAT wireless tracking $1200-$2000 per truck
HAZMAT wireless tracking annual operating costs $1188 - $1524 per truck


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Application Areas


Purchase cost, annual cost, gps, cellular communications, freight, hardware cost, service cost

Cost ID: 2013-00290