Plan, procure, execute, & track transportation for every shipment across your supply chain & logistics operations
Increase vehicle capacity utilization and customer promise adherence
Grow your business with omnichannel presence and automated pickups
Consolidate shipments for hub to hub movement across land and air
Real-time customer communications and collect accurate PODs
Orchestrate logistics operations with multiple 3rd party carriers
Achieve cost effective, scalable, sustainable, and customer centric deliveries
Orchestrate all your cross-border logistics operations with ease
Improve address accuracy, ensure first-attempt delivery success, reduce costs and boost customer experience
Gain end-to-end shipment visibility, get proactive alerts, and send customers live tracking links
Grow business in a dynamic world and manage operations across First, Middle & Last mile
Delight customers by seamlessly managing store and online orders across own fleet and 3rd party
Reduce freight costs & get end to end visibility across shipments
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The global container shipping volume is expected to grow with a CAGR of 12% and become a USD 15.87 BN market in 2028. While air, rail, and road freight also carry a significant amount of goods across the world, containers keep on being the major freight carrier across the globe.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that enterprises are heavily investing in cloud-based container tracking software to gain greater visibility into cargo movements.
Container tracking software has emerged as a game-changer in the shipping sector by enabling real-time shipping visibility and reducing costs associated with demurrage and detention by providing early warning signals, thus guaranteeing lower prices for clients.
Here, we explore the various functionalities of container tracking software, the challenges it solves for international traders, and how it helps businesses unlock operational excellence.
Let us begin with a detailed overview of container tracking software.
A container tracking software collates data from different sources to track the location of the cargo in real-time. The software comes with a customizable dashboard that provides a 360-degree view of all your in-transit container movements in real-time.
This dashboard acts as a reference source for all the stakeholders involved, thus reducing coordination errors and information asymmetry. As the container tracking platform resolves the time-consuming and tedious shipment status checking processes, businesses can now focus on more important tasks.
There are both multimodal and maritime containers that are developed in response to changes in the logistics management process. The factors influencing these models include size, nature, standardization, and weight of the cargo.
These containers are again classified into:
Dry Storage Containers
Dry storage containers come in sizes of 20, 40, and 45 feet and are among the most frequently used containers in the industry. These containers are specifically designed for providing transportation of goods that are dry in nature. Therefore, these are not suitable for the movement of chemicals or supplies which require refrigeration.
Tanks are a type of container which are specifically designed for the transportation of liquids. Since these can be used for chemicals, it is constructed with anti-corrosive materials. However, it can also be used for the storage of dry goods.
Open-type containers are similar to dry storage containers without a covering or top. They provide adequate space for the loading of bulk cargo. The top is covered with plastic which acts as the roof structure and is ideal for providing protection against extreme weather conditions.
Insulator containers regulate temperatures, allowing them to resist extreme weather conditions. These are apt for cooling or heating the container, as they are equipped with mechanical compressors. Insulator containers are suitable for transporting biological materials, pharmaceuticals, and food.
For stakeholders involved in the supply chain, container tracking software offers a major advantage: 360-degree visibility of cargo movement. Supply chain managers receive real-time updates on the whereabouts of their containers and are auto-notified each time the shipment attains a new journey milestone. Hence, businesses can seamlessly plan routes, avoid delays and assess a carrier’s performance. They can also keep the customers informed about the current status of their shipments and can also provide dynamic ETAs related to delivery.
A container tracking software minimizes the need for human intervention in the supply chain process, such as uploading status updates, confirming delivery timelines, or communicating alerts to clients.
As the software auto-captures every step of the journey, it minimizes the probability of human error and reduces the inconsistent recording of details. The software for container tracking also sends automated predictive alerts for detention and demurrage to help businesses re-schedule the pickups from the port.
The container tracking software sends predictive alerts such as the weather conditions due to which the shipment might get delayed. Businesses can thus optimize the future events in the journey, such as pickup, to keep the ETA SLA breach as low as possible.
The software empowers businesses to manage the customer experience during a delay event with proper reason for delay.
As mentioned above, the customers get instantaneous visibility regarding the status and location of the shipment. Customers can track all the key milestone events and get automated alerts via omnichannel communication functionalities.
They can get messages regarding any delays as well as the reason for the same; for example, a sea storm is affecting the order movement, or there has been some delay owing to rough weather. Such alerts keep the customers engaged and informed about the entire order movement and help businesses deliver delightful customer experiences.
Container tracking software automates the tedious tasks of the entire shipping operation, right from freight procurement, to customs navigation, and digitization of documents to automated billing & invoicing. Businesses can choose the most profitable shipping lines by prioritizing them on basis of previous performances.
By minimizing human intervention, manual errors are eliminated. This saves a significant amount of valuable time and money.
Automated alerts can be given to customers through various channels like emails, texts, and WhatsApp enabling customers to get detailed information about the shipments. Customers no longer have to rely on business users for updates.
They can view the location of the order in an app or a digital platform. Consumer satisfaction dips when the customer is left guessing about the arrival of packages, unexplainable delays, etc.
Container tracking software enables us to know which shipping lines are the best option for every courier, thereby prioritizing and ranking shipping lines based on previous performance can be done, and businesses can always opt for the best and the most cost-efficient routes.
Businesses can use historical data to plan specific cargo deliveries and make adjustments and increase productivity. Moreover, they can cut expenses if they know where the containers are and how they are moving through the supply chain.
Now that we know the benefits of container tracking software, let us move on to learn the working of container tracking software solution.
A container tracking software uses satellite systems and GPS, which is why users can track the container’s location the same way one tracks their trip status on Uber. Another method is the IoT tracking solution that involves pulling up satellite images of the cargo and relaying them to the source. The platform is an easy and accessible tracking mechanism and can be adopted with minimal equipment. A third way is to track the container through the web.
All these methods can be integrated into a single end-to-end freight management system so that users receive texts related to the status of your cargo in real-time. All they need is the name of the cargo ship/container number and a booking number and they can find the exact location of the containers.
A container number is composed of four letters (container prefix) which is the owner code followed by a six-digit serial number and a check digit. For example: ABCD1234567. The owner code indicates the company to which the container belongs.
The booking number is a shipping reservation number for the cargo used by a carrier or its agent. The shipping company supplies the booking number when the cargo is booked.
Bill of lading
A bill of lading is a standard document issued by the carrier which shows the shipment details and gives the shipment’s entitlement to the specified party.
One package that was dispatched can be traced using a specific carrier. But how to manage when you use more than one shipping line for sending multiple shipments? A container tracking software with unified tracking will show you all details in a single dashboard.
Container tracking platforms enable users to track container movements across multiple transit points and report their status along with other information. As a result, there is a seamless line of communication with all the parties involved, from shipping-related notifications and regular shipment reports to identifying any delays and their causes.
Container tracking software utilizes the power of data and cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and insights to provide information on detention and demurrage. This information can aid in boosting the overall revenue of the firm. In addition, reports can be used to assess the performance of carriers or forwarders and make informed business decisions with analytics.
As every business has unique shipping requirements and use cases, it is important to choose the right software for increased profitability. Below, we share some key considerations for choosing container tracking software.
The software should come with zero learning curve and must be easy to use. A low-code easy-to-use solution enables businesses to manage operations seamlessly and address any logistics challenges without any dependencies on technical expertise.
In the age of rapid digitization, it has become very easy for hackers to manipulate and steal critical enterprise data. While purchasing container tracking solutions, buyers must ensure that it comes with proper security measures to prevent any form of cyber attack.
Further, the software itself should be compliant with the industry security standards, like SOC-II, and adhere to the OWASP security standards.
A smart platform only remains smart as long as it is able to expand according to your business goals. The software should be able to scale as the business evolves without causing any technical failures.
While container tracking software helps businesses have real-time visibility of their cargo movements, it automates only one core pain point in shipping. For even better management of shipping operations, freight processes, carrier bookings, etc, we recommend investing in smart end-to-end freight management solutions, like Shipsy.
Let us find out how Shipsy helps businesses in managing their international logistics and freight.
Shipsy’s AI-powered EXIM solution helps businesses keep track of incidental costs, boost logistics transparency and achieve their business goals. It helps businesses seamlessly collaborate with 300+ freight forwarders and 55+ shipping lines, track detention and demurrage and improve planning via a single dashboard. It offers a real-time view of container movements and shipment progress with unified shipment tracking and 40+ 3PLs in real-time with timestamps.
Shipsy’s smart shipment tracking solution helps businesses to:
On the other hand, Shipsy’s freight procurement solution helps businesses to consolidate all operations, stakeholders, communication, and processes with the integrated dashboard to unlock:
To get started with Shipsy’s container tracking software solution or to know more about the international freight management solution, please schedule a custom demo today!
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