If you’re shipping goods, you want to be sure they arrive on time, at the right place, in perfect condition. Any delays or damages might become costly for both clients and suppliers. To prevent losses, taking precautions is advisable – but how? Container tracking is the easiest way to make sure you always know where your freight is at. This helps prevent delays and makes it easier to organize processes and adapt timelines when necessary. In this article, we will explain how container tracking works and why it is an excellent solution for your business.
What is container tracking and why is it useful?
Shipping goods is a safe and proven way of transportation; nonetheless, storms or technical issues with the vessels can and do happen, and can delay delivery of the goods transported or even cause damages.
Of course, the probability that one of your containers goes overboard or that they were lost in the process of loading or unloading the vessel is minimal. Nonetheless, it can happen, and since delays and damages can become expensive, it’s best to be prepared. More frequently, ships will be delayed due to bad weather or other issues of force majeure.
And while tracking your goods will not prevent such issues from happening, it does give you a heads up, and thus enables you to react quickly. For example, you can place a new order if damages have occurred so the delay in the delivery will be as short as possible – or at least inform your clients and set new dates for the delivery.
But how can container tracking actually be done?
What options for container shipping tracking are there?
Modern tracking tools and techniques cannot guarantee the timely arrival of your freight; however, they can give you the exact location of your container at any given time. Container tracking by scan is done by special indicators, enabling clients like you to locate your container. The most frequently used indicators are:
- the container number (tracking ID)
- the bill of lading (B/L number)
- order number (PO number)
- ship reference
Every time the container is transshipped, the relocation of the container is scanned and registered. This way, the recipient or the owner can always see at which station along the way his container is at a given time and which means of transport it is currently on. This form of container number tracking is actually quite similar to tracking a package you would send by mail. However with container tracking you can also locate the respective vessels, trucks, airplanes, and trains via transponder or GPS.
Real-time control becomes possibly by using an M2M (machine to machine) system. GPS devices attached to a client’s freight makes the container trackable live throughout its journey. This also means you could still track your container even if it was lost at sea just by using your tablet or smart phone.
But M2M can do even more that just tracking a position. Innovative technology makes it possible to install sensors that can detect if an unauthorized person tries to open your container. Additionally, heat sensors can inform you if the cold chain is in danger of being interrupted when you are transporting sensitive goods that need stable cooling. An integrated camera makes it possible to observe in real-time what is going on inside your container. Container tracking online is thus doing much more than giving you an exact location.
These technologies benefit from the evolving IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M communication. It helps you to monitor your freight at any time – and it’s not even necessary to constantly watch your smart containers online. You just set certain parameters – like ideal temperature, inclination angle and so forth – and if the actual data diverges from these parameters, you will automatically be notified.
Maybe you are wondering how ships can be tracked at high sea. Is there even any network there? It is true that in remote areas – and the open sea can certainly count as one – terrestrial networks generally do not work. Therefore, satellite networks are used to track down ships anywhere on the planet at any time. Also, the tracking software is using data from the ports along the route to provide continuously updated details about the delivery of your freight and the estimated arrival.
Our advice: Let MT Container install a container tracking tool
Making use of tracking technology makes your delivery process a whole lot easier to monitor. At MT Container, we want to help you get things where you need them as easy and safe as possible. This is why we offer to install a container tracking tool on your containers so that you will always know how your cargo is being handled and where it is at any time.
You have further questions about all cargo container tracking? You already have a container you need tracked? Feel free to contact us today and benefit from our container tracking services!