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The Benefits of Automating Shipping Container Delivery Status

December 8, 2023

Automation holds many promises in logistics, and the growth of automated capabilities well evidences the value of automating more activities. According to Zippia, logistics automation will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.4% through 2026. This will amass more than $30 billion in market size between 2020 and 2026. Such advancements give rise to efficiency in transportation management, and those same benefits carry over into multiple modes, including ocean container transit. 

Specifically, using automation for shipping container delivery status implies using automation to track container shipment status to see the delivery status without wasting time and the hassle of endless calls and emails. This level of automation is critical to efficiency, and the added automation through connected systems will further augment the demand for the technology. This blog will help shippers understand the actual value of automating shipping container delivery status by explaining:

  • How automation ties to real-time container management.
  • The challenges that are contributing to poor container visibility.
  • How using API technology unifies the data streams.
  • The benefits that result from automating container track-and-trace technologies.

Why Knowing Real-Time Container Status Is Important

Real-time tracking and monitoring have become more of an expected service than an added option service these days. Many customers expect and demand fast and reliable deliveries that give them access to real-time status reports about where their shipments are and when they will arrive. While it makes sense that customers would want status reports and regular updates, shippers and logistics managers should also note the benefits of on-demand container tracking.

Increases Team Member Productivity From End-to-End

When team members can avoid the burden of mundane tasks such as checking for status updates every few minutes, they can focus on more essential tasks and operations.

Reduced Costs and Expenses Associated With Container Delivery

Real-time ocean container tracking and monitoring of container shipment locations can help shippers avoid delays and bottlenecks with faster response time and avoid many fees and surcharges.

Improved Delivery Performance Rates and Customer Satisfaction

On-demand container tracking allows for better communications with customers about delays, issues, and updated delivery timelines which helps improve customer relations.

Allows For Faster And Easier Communications Across the Board

Knowing up-to-the-minute shipping statuses can help team members better communicate and coordinate various delivery services and allow customers to stay in the loop.

Gives Customers More Control Over and Access to Data

On-demand tracking and monitoring updates for shipping container delivery also let customers check for updates and get notifications when they want to keep their minds at ease.

Knowing real-time container shipment statuses and allowing easy data access and automated communications can help the entire supply chain network be more productive. All involved parties stand to benefit from this growing trend within container delivery and transportation. The power to track your shipment to see the delivery status in real-time cannot be over-valued within the modern supply and transportation industry.

The Challenges in Getting Automated Shipping Container Delivery Status

While it is clear that automated shipping updates and on-demand tracking and monitoring are critical in the modern supply chain, managers and team members face several challenges. Getting real-time shipping container delivery status and updates can be difficult in some situations for a number of reasons:

  • The e-commerce explosion is seeing an increase in imports and overall intermodal container activity across both rail and ocean container activity and both domestically and internationally. As a result, this means tracking more containers, more ships, more trucks and rails, and more individual containers. And the sheer distance covered while tracking  these containers is increasing as well.
  • Various disruptions result in container delays, and when any delay occurs, it is important to communicate such events efficiently.  Using specialized platforms and automated systems to deliver real-time container status updates is a must to keep team members, customers, stakeholders, and third parties on the same page.
  • An overall lack of IT infrastructure and staffing can lead to weak points within the supply chain network, leading to delays in communications and can even cause data to be missed or outdated. A solid internal or outsourced IT team is critical to maintaining appropriate levels of communication within the network.
  • Not using APIs leads to problems. If supply chain managers are not taking advantage of an API and rely on slower manual updates alone for tracking, it often means wasted time and staffing resources. It can require multiple team members to work on getting container status updates, which takes them away from other vital tasks and services that are also essential.

How an API Creates Automation in Container Delivery Status

With an API in place, it becomes easier than ever to access more granular data than what is achievable with regular in-line tracking and monitoring options. With a robust API, management and team members alike will be free to focus on more business-critical duties rather than being tied up with mundane tasks such as answering emails, manually checking for updates, and responding to customer concerns and queries.  Automation in container delivery tracking and status monitoring operations is essential for continued growth and success in today’s highly competitive markets.

It is not possible to automate without on-demand access to consistently accurate and quality data. APIs providing contact to more team members and offering more reliable data help managers build automation into daily processes and tasks. Automated systems and robotic process automation can go a long way to further drive the supply chain network to greater heights of efficiencies and insights. By having structurally sound data to work with, managers will have confidence that the API is delivering the updates needed to mitigate disruptions, improve customer satisfaction, maximize on-time container delivery, and promote further growth within the market.

The Benefits of Automating Container Delivery Status

Several great benefits can come from automating container shipping and tracking and monitoring systems. These benefits can include:

  • Huge operational efficiency gains as there is no longer the need for teams of people to spend hours on mundane tasks such as tracking down container status and delivery ETAs. These team members can now focus their attention on more meaningful tasks and delivery services, growing the customer base, and finding new business opportunities.
  • ROI is maximized as the platforms and tools necessary for tracking and status updating automation more than pay for themselves. Better utilization of current staff helps control payroll costs as the network becomes more efficient thanks to the automated systems. Many of these efficiency gains can have exponential ROI once you can hit basic quality threshold levels.
  • Improved ETAs, generated by properly onboarded and maintained automated tracking systems, can help reduce demurrage, detention, and other fees and expenses during transportation. With real-time tracking, delays can be avoided or at least shortened by prompt action and intervention when possible. Fewer and shorter delays mean fewer expenses across vast swathes of the network.
  • With improved tracking and monitoring, growth becomes easier in almost any market. Prioritizing customer needs and implementing changes that make staff members’ jobs easier while also addressing customer demands and reacting to market trends and changes. When the competition gets fierce, those with better services, track records, and foresight often comes out on top, especially when accounting for rolled cargo.

Like all other tools implemented within the modern supply and shipping industry, APIs must be maintained and organized responsibly. Like any other tool used, the results are only as good as the initial setup, onboarding, training, and maintenance that is applied. That means building out management infrastructure that secures, controls, and maintains programs systematically and strategically. 

APIs must be updated continuously with the latest data and logistics to keep up with changing customer needs, market trends, business demands, and local or global constraints. In reality, that’s a small price for what APIs offer when it comes to container shipping and tracking. 

Get Automated Shipping Container Delivery Status With OpenTrack’s Container Tracking API

Tracking container status in real time may seem difficult at best, but automated ocean container tracking becomes a turnkey process with the right systems in place. Rather than simply waiting for updates from carriers and logging into multiple systems, freight management parties can let the APIs of OpenTrack bring together the information and populate it within your systems of record. Therefore, your team can get back to serving more customers and spend less time worrying about when a container will arrive and where it is right now. Request a demo of OpenTrack to see how our container tracking API can breathe new life into your day-to-day management of shipping container delivery now.

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