The Container Tracking System along with a 3rd Party Logistics Provider

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Published: 09th July 2012
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In 1998 I had been employed as a Customer Integration Manager for a NVOCC freight Forwarder. My very first task had been to create a internet based shipping and delivery container track as well as trace system. Even though I'd by no means before accomplished this kind of project, I rapidly learned that web based shipping container tracking ended up being comparatively uncommon, therefore having practical experience wasn't needed.

The project was to customize a web site that would produce track and trace information and develop it to the clients' needs. Essentially, the technology didn't yet exist to create this sort of track and trace code at a price that had been in our spending budget. Therefore we simply uploaded the every day customer Excel Spreadsheets to an FTP site and also linked all of the documents to each and every container number. That was the twentieth century's reply to a customized web based track as well as trace system. My how things have since changed!

Presently, most of the freight forwarders or even 3rd Party Logistics companies I work with have far superior web based tracking systems than had been available in older days, and as such, I hear again and again the same thing; that it is a fantastic system, however only about half of the functions are being utilized. So just how can a container tracking system end up being the web based workstation that enables the free of charge flow of freight details?

When I ask which capabilities are not getting used, returning shipping and delivery containers to container yard or port is definitely at the top of the the list. Most simply say they don't have the time and have by no means had any issues, however the majority is unaware that as a freight forwarder/NVOCC, it's a legal responsibility. Since the profit margin throughout shipping container freight is usually slim to start with, an internet based track and trace system offers an accurate means to follow up on the return of empty storage containers, by container number.

One 3rd Party Logistics company not too long ago called me to help check with their IT staff upon this very problem. Evidently, their accounting department had obtained an invoice coming from one of the significant ocean carriers for demurrage. Unbeknownst to the operations agent managing this particular customer ocean carriers allow a limited variety of totally free days from the time containers are generally sent to the customer door.

Following the last day, a per diem charge is actually assessed up to $250 per day, plus weekend days In this case. However, the invoice amount for demurrage, spread over 1000 shipping containers had been almost $30,000.00. The charge had been afterwards negotiated right down to something far more reasonable, however the point was made. It was clear just what was essential as quickly as possible: an executable SOP, which had been a part of their own real time web based tracking system.

After some time with their IT department, we had been able to rebuild their web based container tracking system in order to notify multiple parties when a shipping container needed to be returned. As a result, the system now executes an SOP alert for this event along with insures that the responsibility is being implemented so that the shipping container is actually returned timely.
Do you experience stock outs, non-compliant packaging fines, lost or stray returnable containers? Do you have complicated customer count reconciliations? If you can be more dedicated, by implementing a system to track containers, would this result in a more dynamic returnable container program?


Vestigo Corporation provides patented Tracking Systems for all types of returnable shipping assets. Other container tracking systems force you to conform your operations to the rigid design of their software. At vestigocorp.com, your tracking system is custom-fit and modeled to meet your needs and goals.

Alex Mitchell, Vestigo Corporation
Toll Free 877-232-7255

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