What Is Online Container Tracking and Why Is It Important


What Is Online Container Tracking and Why Is It Important

Complete transparency over the entire supply chain system, including the movement of the products or goods, is necessary to make the supply chain agile, robust, and efficient. Live container tracking is one way to ensure transparency over the supply chain movements for international consignments. Usually, businesses track their containers using their carriers’ websites or by individually contacting international logistics providers.

Despite having the ability to track the containers online, a number of challenges can arise during online container tracking. Data accuracy is one of the foremost challenges as the information displayed online is updated by multiple parties at multiple times, making the information vulnerable to inaccuracies and gaps. Data security, consistency of various data points, and inability to visualize the data collected over time – there are many challenges that make container tracking difficult.

However, container tracking is essential for having supply chain visibility and getting real-time updates on key milestone events. 

In this blog, we discuss online container tracking at length, explore why real-time container tracking is a big challenge, and how container tracking software can help businesses overcome them.

What Is Online Container Tracking?

Online container tracking is a way for businesses to trace a container’s GPS locations to ensure that the cargo is moving in the right direction and at an acceptable speed. Generally, businesses have to visit every shipping website individually to get tracking information or use the links given by shipping companies to know where the shipment is located. 

This approach relies on manual elements and leads to confusion and hassle for businesses. With a proper online container tracking system in place, businesses can confirm that the containers are reaching their delivery milestones in time. They can also calculate how long the containers will take to reach the end customers or clients.

Online container tracking allows companies to track their shipments or cargo in real-time by centralizing multiple tracking and data systems. Companies often use online/live container tracking systems to track the containers’ movements, shipment transportation milestones and make adjustments in the delivery schedules based on the data they get from the tracking system.

Online container tracking is usually done by a cloud-based tracking software that is connected to a business’s data system. The software uses the company and tracking data from various sources to provide complete visibility of the movement of the container throughout the shipment journey.

What Is Online Container Tracking Software

Online container tracking or live container tracking software facilitates tracking multiple containers, shipped via one or multiple shipping lines, from a single dashboard. The software shows all the information related to all the stakeholders, companies, packages, etc., in one place and also offers data-rich insights in the form of reports and analytics. 

Online container tracking software allows businesses to track the following things:

  • When the container arrives at the designated terminals.
  • Loading the containers onto the right carriers or ships.
  • The departing time of the containers.
  • If the container has arrived at a transshipment port and the time it’s leaving the port.
  • Container’s movement and the estimated time to arrive at the destination port.
  • If the end client or consignee has received the correct container.

Why Is Online Container Tracking Important?

Let’s understand the importance of online container tracking with this example. You have 200 shipments to be shipped via five different shipping companies. 

To know the status of each shipment manually, you will have to go to the first shipping line’s website and enter the bill of lading or container number, or booking number. And then repeat the same process for all 200 shipments. 

Now the average time needed to track a shipment from one shipping company is, say, 2 minutes. For tracking 200 shipments, the time would be at least 400 minutes. Imagine how much time this process would have taken if you had tracked each shipment manually by connecting with the shipping line over the phone. It will take a lot of time and effort to finish this job. 

That’s why online container tracking is important. It helps save tracking time and effort both. Moreover, it also provides end-to-end visibility on each shipment. Shippers can check the real-time status of all shipments in one place with negligible effort and within seconds/minutes. 

Benefits of Online Container Tracking Software

A business needs to have complete delivery and supply chain visibility if it wants to improve its operational efficiency. Online container tracking software allows businesses to track where their shipment is going and how long it will take to get delivered to a particular location in real-time.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable benefits of online container tracking solutions.

Auto-capture Shipment Movements

Intelligent tracking systems were developed to track multiple containers live and compare the delivery schedules and the containers’ current locations. This allows businesses to evaluate their shippers’ or carriers’ performances.

When a company works with a traditional tracking system, it usually involves checking the carrier’s website to see where the containers are at a particular moment. However, there is one problem. The information the company is getting from such a tracking method is probably outdated or no longer relevant.

This might cause miscommunication between the business and the customers about the shipments’ locations and ETAs.

However, with live container tracking solutions, organizations don’t have to face such problems. The container tracking software will track the shipments in real-time, so the businesses can get live updates.

Real-Time Alerts and Updates

Forget about the days when businesses had to wait for minutes after minutes just for the tracking software to load and show them the tracking details of a few specific containers. With online container tracking software, companies can always get the live location of any cargo.

What’s more, the solution can automatically send delivery notifications to the right stakeholders when the cargos reach a certain milestone.

It can also send the same notifications to the client who should be receiving the cargo. Usually, the clients can get live updates on the cargo’s delivery milestones via email or text message.

Enhanced Customer Relationship

As we have just mentioned, a great online container tracking solution allows businesses to share the tracking data of a particular container with their customers. This way, customers can get detailed updates on their respective shipments and receive accurate ETAs. 

It will help the organizations improve their customer relationships and improve their brand image.

Actionable Insights 

Live tracking solutions usually have intelligent analytical dashboards that allow businesses to make efficient and data-driven decisions. Once a business integrates the tracking solution into its data system, it starts digesting multiple data points from past and current shipments.

After that, the solution will capture every shipment data, including the dispatch data, shipment milestone data, transshipment port data, and even the delivery confirmation data. 

The software will keep accumulating all this data long enough, so it can start offering accurate and actionable insights based on historical tracking data. It can also evaluate the carrier performance, figure out the accurate delivery times, analyze geographical locations, etc.

Most importantly, organizations can see all these data and insights through a single yet practical dashboard. It will help companies assess their cargo situations and make quick decisions to avoid or fix shipment mistakes.

Saves Time

With a solid container tracking solution, companies no longer need to visit multiple shipment tracking websites, create hundreds of manual reports, or update the Excel sheet countless times a day.

The online container tracking software does these jobs automatically, so the employees can save time and focus on more productive work.

Next, we discuss five shipment tracking challenges a business can overcome with online container tracking software.

5 Challenges You Can Overcome With Online Container Tracking Software

Lack of Communication Among Stakeholders

Relying solely on freight forwarders or carriers for shipment updates, can lead to miscommunication and keeps businesses dependent on third parties for information. As a result, companies are unable to relay accurate delivery dates and shipment data to their customers.

In this age of digitization, where customers expect real-time updates and live tracking information, this miscommunication among stakeholders can be a big hurdle to a business’s growth and supply chain management.

An online container tracking solution can help both businesses and their customers get real-time container tracking data, helping them achieve live shipment visibility. This way, the movement of goods becomes transparent, and businesses can easily solve the lack of communication issue.

Shipment Security

The container would have to pass through several hands during the delivery process, especially if it’s traveling a long distance. Even a normal short-distance delivery has to go through multiple points, like a warehouse, storage facility, and multiple docks, before it reaches the end customer.

Without live tracking and shipment visibility, the movement of containers or cargo can become a serious security concern. That’s even more important if one or more parties involved in the delivery chain don’t follow proper security protocols.

A live container tracking solution that can track the containers in real time can significantly reduce shipment security concerns. The software will use data from each delivery milestone and the container’s actual movement speed and pattern.

With this, the software will be able to send alerts to the companies for any possible delays automatically.

ETA SLA Breaches

As container deliveries involve multiple stakeholders, and it becomes difficult to coordinate the shipment process without real-time tracking and communication ability. This can lead to shipment delays and ETA SLA breaches as the delays at one milestone can propagate to the rest of the journey, and the businesses might get the information very late.

Live container tracking software can help companies deal with such delays with real-time shipment tracking, intelligent predictions, and in-time delay notifications. The software offers automated alerts and notifications to all the stakeholders, including the end customers, and also sends predictive alerts for incidental costs like detention and demurrage. 

Lack of Visibility

The global supply chain is growing day by day. As a result, we now have more ships, cargo, containers, ports, delivery lanes, routes, and many more, making shipping and tracking data extremely complex, which reduces visibility.

Because of this, relying on the carrier and shipping channels’ data is no longer enough to track the containers and their shipment route effectively.

With real-time shipment visibility and route tracking features of the online container tracking software, companies can easily track where their containers are at any moment.

Suboptimal Shipment Planning

Once the shipment is set out on a vessel, the sender/seller schedules a pickup as per the shipment type, size, etc. This is generally called the last mile pickup, but it can be mid-mile as well, depending on the shipment journey. In case the shipment gets delayed or arrives early, the businesses end up paying for immediate rescheduling of these shipment pickups.

With smart live container tracking, businesses can effectively plan the entire shipment movement journey in a highly efficient and optimized manner. They get automated updates for all the key milestone events, and predictive alerts for delays, early arrivals, etc., which allows the businesses to plan smartly for later stage events, such as pickups, etc.

Shipsy: Best Online Container Tracking System

Shipsy offers one of the best online container-tracking software that allows businesses to track their shipments in real-time using a single dashboard. It comes with a unified tracking and transshipment tracing system that allows the companies to gain complete transparency over their container movements.

Shipsy’s online container tracking system can easily integrate with a business’s ERP system and use predictive intelligence to improve logistics planning and decrease detention and demurrage fees. 

Shipsy’s live container tracking software has helped its clients to

  • Decrease ETA SLA breach by 37%
  • Increase delivery NPS by 26%
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 64%

Request a customized demo today to see how this software can help your business overcome container tracking challenges and make real-time business decisions.


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