HGV service provider AS24 has launched a low-power tracker to combat trailer theft.

The 'FindIT' device has been developed after an ONS study revealed that thefts involving transport companies increased by 7% last year.

The new battery-powered technology features a "low-cost box", which can be fitted in five minutes, the company said.

The device locates the trailer and sends the haulage operator an alert when it is not where it should be.

Operators can therefore access information on all their trailers "at a glance" and detect unauthorized unhooking from the tractor.

The company claims the service makes it possible to monitor trailers in a park and locate them in near-real time if they are lost or stolen.

Explained AS24 MD UK & Ireland Roland Saunion: “FindIT does not try to compete with other more expensive and more complex connected devices. For a few pounds a month, it aims to provide an efficient answer to the question that operators or drivers ask themselves - where is my trailer? And to provide them with the tools to find it.”

Added Ambroise Bouvier Transport MD Thierry Bouvier: “We chose this connected device for two main reasons: we have had some semi-trailers stolen, and we have some drivers who don’t necessarily park on site for the weekend. Having connected devices allows us to know when trailers are uncoupled from the tractor.”

Loic Gaubert, technical manager of Groupe Lahaye, described the solution as "revolutionary".

"The first job when looking for vehicles is to call the operators," he said. "Now, with FindIT, we go straight to the computer, we type the semi-trailer fleet number, and we can see automatically where it is. We can see which operator is using it and we call them directly. This saves an amazing amount of time and phone calls."