With the volume of shipping container deliveries at an all-time high, the ability to track your shipment to see the delivery status in real time has never been more critical. More and more business leaders are realizing this and leveraging application protocol interface (API) technology to automate shipping container delivery updates. API is similar to electronic data interchange (EDI), which for more than 50 years has been the standard for tracking container status. Both technologies help automate manual processes and standardize data. APIs, however, are much faster, offer greater reach and flexibility, and provide much better quality data that is the basis for actionable insights that drive value and increased return on investment.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of knowing your shipping container delivery status in real time, the challenges of gaining that real-time visibility, and some of the benefits of automating shipping container delivery tracking.
Importance of Knowing Real-Time Container Status
“Where is my ocean container?” and “When will it arrive?” are two questions that continue to be top of mind among stakeholders as consumer demand drives the ongoing exponential growth of e-commerce.
According to BIMCO, a Copenhagen-based international shipping association representing shipowners, US container imports to the East Coast were up 22.6% and imports to the West Coast were up 40.3% in the first four months of 2021.That trend continues to escalate as shippers and retailers push to get product in place to meet demand for the upcoming peak or holiday season.
That increased volume is creating significant backlogs at ports on both US coasts. Similar situations are playing out at major ports in China and other parts of the world. Using API to track your container delivery status via real-time updates provides actionable insights that keep stakeholders informed, mitigate disruptions, and will also help you anticipate and control demurrage and detention costs, among other benefits.
According to GEP: Tracking freight with real-time information is becoming increasingly prevalent, as the implementation of IOT technology not only helps companies collect actionable data from any part of the world but also helps improve operations, prevent accidents, and increase reliability. Location tracking technology can not only increase the rate of utilization of containers by 25% but can also reduce the annual spend on containers by $13 billion.
Challenges in Getting Automated Shipping Container Delivery Status
Meeting the growing demands of the e-commerce boom is just one of many factors that are prompting supply chain executives to explore ways to leverage automation to track shipping container delivery status. At the same time, there are several challenges in getting automated shipping container delivery status. These include:
- Containers are delayed due to any number of disruptions, including ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, unprecedented port congestion, labor shortages, weather-related events, and other natural disasters. To communicate effectively, you need real-time visibility into automated container statuses that can be seamlessly shared with teammates, customers, and stakeholders throughout the supply chain.
- Small to midsize companies often lack the technology infrastructure needed to support API. (Learn more about No Code Ocean Container Tracking)
- Some companies are reluctant to move ahead with API and instead continue to rely on the slower, siloed approach of EDI. API is faster and connects multiple systems simultaneously. EDI is limited to connecting one system to another, and lacks the real-time capabilities needed to track your shipment to see the delivery status at all times.
Benefits of Automated Container Delivery Status
There’s no question that supply chain executives, shippers and logistics professionals would prefer automation over the antiquated manual methods of tracking shipping container deliveries. Often companies have many dedicated to tracking down the latest shipment statuses. With an API in place, you will see more granular data than what is available through a shipping line’s track-and-trace capabilities, and your team will be free to focus on more business-critical duties such as providing a higher level of customer service and driving new business.
You cannot automate without consistently clean and quality data. API’s providing access to more reliable data allow you to build automations on your end, such as robotic process automations to further drive efficiencies and insights. By having structurally sound data to work with, you’ll have confidence that the API is delivering the updates needed to ensure more precise ETAs and the actionable insights needed to mitigate disruptions.
Trust VIZION’s World-Class Container Tracking API
We are an agnostic API that will come to you wherever is best for your needs. You need to know your API key and your container ID. That’s it. Our robust container tracking API monitors each shipment regularly and will send you an update whenever there is a change in the data. By automating shipping container delivery status through API, you will unlock value and an ultimate ROI. To learn more, contact VIZION today to schedule a demo.