A quality container tracking system should have the ability to tell you what may be going wrong with the items in your container at each stage in the supply chain journey. What you may be wondering is – what are the stages in an average container’s supply chain?
This question depends on where your container starts and its final destination. In most cases, if your container is traveling to another country, it isn’t unusual for it to travel by both land and sea. This means that you need to have secure tracking tools that ensure you receive accurate and updated information regardless of your container’s location in its journey.
Some tips to find the right tracking services and options for your containers at each stage can be found here.
Tracking Your Container on the Surface
To track your container while on land, you need a solution that protects the container, as well as what’s inside. A smart option is to use GPS vehicle tracking systems. A wired device can be attached to the fleet that’s hauling the container is the most common option; however, there are a few drawbacks. These drawbacks include:
- Most of these trucks are rented from the market, which means you can’t use a GPS tracker unless you actually own it.
- When shipping by rail, you’ll have virtually no visibility. Even if the rail service lets you know where the train is, you may not know if the container is traveling with it or not.
- Items from the container could be stolen and there’s no way to know if you are only tracking the vehicle.
A better option is to utilize a portable wireless device that is able to travel with your goods. You need a device that has high quality network connectivity – even when inside your container. This type of device lets you know where your container is, as well as if any damage has occurred or if it has been opened. This is possible thanks to circuit breakers and light sensors.
Port and Airport Container Tracking
As you send more cargo to more locations, you may be utilizing airports as well as ports. Unfortunately, the risk of theft and loss are much higher when using these transport methods.
Unfortunately, RFID and similar solutions won’t work well when it comes to port-level monitoring – especially when determining where the container is. While the surface tracking device mentioned above is a good place to begin, it’s not enough. You also need the device equipped with an active GPS antenna that has the ability to connect with satellites when it is put inside of the container.
Knowing exactly where your container is within an area of just a few meters will prevent you from searching for it in the wrong yard.
You can also use the same type of device while your container is traveling by sea. The difference here is that it needs to be designed to sense factors such as shock, humidity, pressure and temperature.
Finding Solutions that Meet Your Container Tracking Needs
If you ship containers, there are more than a few things you need to keep in mind. Remaining aware of where your container is at all times, if it has suffered damage and if it has been opened is imperative. Unfortunately, many of the tracking devices used today aren’t able to provide this information.
As a result, you have to utilize a more innovative solution, such as the ones listed above. Doing so will help you monitor what is going on at each stage of your containers journey and help you maximize the efficiency and profitability of your operation