Gain instant visibility to your terminals with OpenTrack Port Performance: 

The Use Cases of Container Tracking Software

December 14, 2023

Container tracking software and ocean freight management are significant components of supply chain management and make up a critical part of the global supply chain network. Container shipping services have always been essential to supply chains. That has only increased with time, especially in light of recent shifts and the growing popularity of e-commerce. Data collected by Grand View Research, published in a recent Market Analysis Report, shows that "the global shipping container market size was valued at USD 6.41 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.0% from 2020 to 2028. The market is witnessing a high growth owing to rising maritime shipping on account of an increase in trade agreements across the nations." The need for ocean container tracking software has never been more critical, and the impact container tracking software can have on domestic and global shipping lanes has never been stronger.

What Is Container Tracking Software?

Shipping container tracking software has forever revolutionized the ocean freight industry. Still, it is essential to take the time to fully understand what this software encompasses and what it can do for the modern supply chain and visibility. The impact container shipping and ocean freight have on the global market cannot be overstated, as the bulk of the world's goods and supplies are carried in cargo containers. According to Logistics Management, the impact of container shipping is so strong because "the top 10 carriers now operate 85% of global shipping capacity. Four groups—Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, and COSCO—control more than half of the capacity (58%), and the top seven, including Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, and Evergreen, control 78%." This is why container track and trace services are so vital to keeping up with increased consumer demands and capacity crunches. 

Container tracking software typically takes the form of an innovative and collaborative platform that allows logistics managers, team members, and managers to trace and track shipments. Tracking and monitoring are done in real-time utilizing GPS, and on-demand status reports through the platform and digital dashboards. The most significant factor separating ocean container tracking software from other dashboards and management systems is that it monitors container tracking in real-time and keeps everything contained on a single dashboard. The platform captures the movement of containers and allows for real-time automatic updates to be sent to all necessary parties at predetermined milestones along the shipping journey. 

Ensuring shippers are using the best container tracking software available has never been more critical than right now during the current market shift. Recent studies from the International Chamber of Shipping estimate that 11 billion tons of goods are transported via shipping containers each year. The rise in popularity of online shopping and e-commerce shipping has led to a greater demand for fast and reliable shipping across the world's oceans. The outbreak of COVID 19 had a massive impact on supply chains across the country and put even more pressure on ports, and container shipping as supply demands shifted drastically and suddenly. With the increased pressure and the capacity crunch came the need for more effective management and tracking. This opened the doors for container tracing software to become the game-changing innovation that is today. Cargo shippers and managers alike cannot afford to skimp on the container tacking software that is available today!

What Are the Use Cases of Container Tracking Software? 

Understanding practical applications for tracking software and having a firm understanding of how shipping container tracking software can impact the supply chain is critical for continued growth and success during these challenging times. Looking at use cases and considering practical applications for the data and information gained from these tracking and monitoring practices can help shed some light on the impact tracking software can have on the industry. According to SupplyChain24/7, "Advanced visibility technology gives shippers the ability to automate manual processes and provides the information they need to make proactive decisions about their freight operations, improving efficiency and delighting their customers."

Utilizing the best container tracking software will help keep ocean freight transportation and shipping services running smoothly, but that’s not all. A host of benefits can be enjoyed when tracking software is utilized correctly, especially in container management, ocean freight transportation, and shipping logistics. The following cases demonstrate the real-world applications and benefits that container tracing software brings to the international ocean freight transportation market. 

Reduce Manual, Error-Prone Human Data Collection

One of the most outstanding and most impactful side-effects of tracking and monitoring container transportation in real-time is the freedom that comes from automation. With these tracking software systems, notifications are sent automatically, reports and data are collected in real-time, and almost every aspect of the process is done with advanced machine learning. There is no need for team members to manually input data and transpose figures and run calculations. The automated container tracking software does it all in a fraction of the time and with little to no errors in calculations and recording. This frees up team members to focus on more critical systems and processes that require a human presence and that cannot be easily automated.

Strategic Agility Supported By Easy Access, Standardization, and Enrichment

Another perk of ocean container tracking software is its impact on the daily processes and procedures that go on within the supply chain network. With easy access to accurate and up-to-date data, team members can more efficiently respond to issues and concerns as they arise. It becomes much easier to strategically plan when the most precise data is available in real-time to all team members and third parties. With uniform data access and integration, standardization and uniformity become second nature and are the expected norm rather than the exception. Instead of struggling to keep everyone on the same page and ensure all departments and teams are working off the same data sets, managers can instead focus on enriching services and streamlining the entire transportation process to be more efficient and accurate.

Inject Visibility Into Your ERP, TMS, WMS, or Other Systems

Most ocean freight transportation companies do not operate under a single management system. Multiple systems and platforms are often required to adequately track and manage the complex web of ocean freight tracking. Making a move from outdated and incomplete manual implementation to more accessible systems and implementation is easier with the right dashboard and platforms. Ocean container tracking software becomes easier with improved visibility for shippers and integrated TMS platforms properly onboarded and utilized. A cloud-based API will give managers the most flexibility to pump data into any niche area or department as needed. Container tracking software will also ensure the company is poised to adapt to changing market trends and customer demands. Shippers who can answer the critical question of 'where is my container?' gain a critical advantage within the competitive market when they consistently have complete info for every container in their system.

Develop Visibility Web Applications for Customer Self-Service

Many software customers have already started working toward this for a diverse and tech-based supply chain control tower. Two significant branches of shipping application program interfaces are essential for cargo and container transport today. Internal services help managers streamline operations teams and customer service support teams as efficiently as possible. External services that specialize in partnerships with forwarders and carriers have also embraced container tracking and monitoring software and booking freight, scheduling dock time, and organizing the loading and unloading windows. Along these same lines, embracing container tracing software can help give customers more control and insight into the process with self-service options and access that allows them to get updates and insights into shipping in real-time.

Generate Daily or Hourly Reports on Container Status Updates

Customized reports and data analysis enable shippers to better monitor containers and also allow for easier tracking for status updates and reports. Shipping container tracking software also helps cargo owners track and monitor their shipments in real-time for maximum peace of mind. Cargo owners want to know where their containers are, when they will arrive, and what condition they are in. Without a unified container tracing software system in place, they often must track down multiple vendors or contact different departments to get answers and updates. With a unified dashboard and on-demand status reporting and tracking, customers can easily monitor their orders and see exactly where their cargo is and when it will arrive. With the best container tracking software accessible to all involved parties, monitoring cargo shipments and managing freight transportation and delivery has never been easier.

Activate Analytics Pipeline for Supply Chain Planning or Carrier Selection

Setting up the best container tracking software platform takes a bit of planning and organization to ensure it is done correctly. Active analytics involves a cooperative effort from all involved parties. Managers must ensure their network is online and that their data collection and analytics are appropriate. Ensuring data sets and analytics are ready to provide value for use cases, and reviews can help validate the integrated software.  Proper planning of supply chain processes makes it easier to respond to disruptions and deal with deviations during shipments. With real-time data tracking and communications throughout the supply chain, issues such as rolled cargo, damaged goods, and delayed shipments can all be responded to quickly and accurately. 

Develop Alerts for Exceptions and Changes in ETAs

Knowing when issues arise can help shippers better handle disruptions and avoid fees and surcharges. Shipping container tracking software can help improve tracking and ETA adjustments by giving real-time insight into container status. Customers expect fast and reliable shipping services and when delays occur and ETAs are missed, it can cause issues down the road. However, most customers are willing to stick with a shipper and give them another chance if they can keep them informed about the delays and delivery updates are sent regularly. Dealing with exceptions and ETA delays professionally and up-front manner wins over customers more efficiently than keeping them in the dark and passing the blame when it comes to delivery challenges.

Identify Potential Detention and Demurrage Fees

Container tracking software As shown in a recent CNBC report, "ports are moving 19% more containers than at the same point in 2018, which was the previous record and the ports remain on target to outpace the previous record of 17.5 million containers processed in 2018." With this much pressure on ports, container shipping providers, delays, and bottlenecks at ports and distribution centers can become costly. Responding quickly to issues such as rolled cargo, better drayage planning, and automated alert and notifications can help shippers avoid demurrage fees and other surcharges by getting delays, and backlog issues resolved as soon as possible. Container tracing software makes it easier than ever to keep customers in the loop and to let them monitor containers and access container lookup services whenever they want.

Power RPA — Robotic Process Automations

Managers and customers alike can enjoy automatic notifications and on-demand taking any time without having to make phone calls, chase drivers, wait on hold and risk getting outdated or inaccurate information about a shipment. The system is designed to track key metrics and data points throughout every container and shipment's life cycle to offer instant actionable insights to allow for data-driven decision-making. Improving ocean container tracking software integration and application is easy with the use of RPAs within the supply chain management and operations processes. From customer service chatbots to automatic documentation and record-keeping, machine learning and automation are changing the way container tracking is done. Ensuring strong data sets and real-time communication and collaboration opportunities can help keep freight transportation and international logistics running as smoothly as possible. 

Get All This and More With OpenTrack's Container Tracking API

There is no denying the importance of container transportation and its impact on the global economy and local markets. Ocean freight tracking and container shipping services have always been essential to supply chains, and that has only increased as time has gone on, especially in light of recent shifts and the growing popularity of e-commerce. By embracing innovative container tracking software and ensuring all team members and third parties are also familiar with automated container tracking software, freight transportation can be streamlined and greatly improved. A host of benefits can be enjoyed when container tracing software is properly utilized, especially in container management, ocean freight transport, and shipping logistics. 

When shippers take advantage of new technology and make the most of shipping container tracking software, they can enjoy all of these benefits and many more. The biggest factor that separates ocean container tracking software from other supply chain programs and systems is that it monitors tracking in real-time and keeps streamlined and focused for easy access and utilization. Getting the best container tracking software is quick and easy with Open Track. Contact them today for a free demo.

Book a Demo

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check all fields are complete

Get started and see how the OpenTrack software has helped 100’s of companies with their Logistics.