Every time we hear of a new event in the news impacting supply chains, it reinforces lessons learned a few years ago—that how businesses handle their supply chain operations can contribute to or hinder their success when unexpected circumstances come their way. When a supply chain is managed optimally, it brings a significant competitive advantage. This is only possible with access to data and visibility, thanks in part to the increase in resiliency that they bring. One option for increasing resilience is through container tracking, with further opportunities available by adopting supporting technologies to enhance its effectiveness.
The Need for Resilience from Container Tracking
Traditional methods of container tracing have always come with challenges and risks that can significantly impact a business's operations. These methods rely heavily on manual data entry, leading to a higher risk of human error and inefficiency. Without access to real-time data, issues such as shipment delays or container losses are only detected once it is too late to prevent or mitigate their impact. A lack of transparency and visibility can also spell challenges in decision-making processes, creating potential vulnerabilities.
Resilience, however, means being able to bounce back from disruptions and maintain operations despite unforeseen circumstances, all while minimizing the impact on the business and its customers. To achieve this, businesses must move beyond traditional methods and embrace advanced technologies. Given these challenges, it becomes clear that there is an increasing need for resilience in container tracking.
Leveraging Advanced Technology for Resilient Container Tracking
Automated container tracking brings the opportunity for increased resilience through better transparency, risk management, and customer service.
- Improved Transparency – Container tracking provides visibility into the location of goods at any given point during transportation. This transparency helps in planning and can help companies react faster to problems.
- Risk Management – Container tracking can help companies identify potential risks or bottlenecks in their supply chain. For example, if a particular route consistently causes delays, businesses can investigate and implement necessary changes to mitigate the risk.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction – Knowing the exact location of goods can improve customer service by providing accurate delivery times. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also builds trust and reliability in the company.
As this foundation of container tracking helps to increase resilience, these benefits can also be amplified by integrating it with advanced technologies. The Internet of Things (IoT), predictive insights, and artificial intelligence, for example, can further boost the resilience and efficiency of these supply chains.
IoT and Sensor Technology
IoT and sensor technology have brought container monitoring to a new level with precise, real-time tracking. This gives a more accurate way to see the movement of shipments and monitor conditions concerning container integrity and security. Sensors can monitor factors like temperature, humidity, and shocks and ensure that the condition of the goods within the container is consistent during transit. If abnormalities are detected, alerts can be sent to prompt corrective actions and reduce the risk of damage or loss.
Big Data Analytics and Predictive Insights
Big data analytics translates massive volumes of data into meaningful insights. Companies can get a deeper understanding of their supply chain operations and performance by analyzing historical and real-time data to look for trends. Predictive insights, a key output of big data analytics, then help companies identify potential disruptions before they occur. They can see which weather conditions may impact a container's route or provide alerts to an increased risk of equipment failures. The result is proactive decision-making and contingency planning, contributing to greater supply chain resilience.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies can be applied to container tracking to automate complex processes and make standard tracking processes more efficient and accurate. Automatic anomaly detection means companies can identify deviations from usual patterns and trigger alerts. They can predict the maintenance needs of transportation equipment and avoid breakdowns and other issues. Applied to routing, AI can provide complete optimization, selecting the most efficient paths even with complex factors involved.
Companies are Turning to Container Tracking for Increased Resilience
According to maritime research and consulting firm Drewry, using smart containers equipped with telematics for real-time tracking and monitoring will expand six-fold over the next five years. By 2027, smart containers may account for 30% of global inventories.
This anticipated growth is driven mainly by the broader adoption of technology across the dry container fleet. A shift is happening toward more digital and transparent operations, and advanced container tracking better equips companies to respond to disruptions, improve operational efficiency, and increase their resilience.
Discover VIZION for Container Tracking Visibility
Automated container tracking is about ensuring seamless supply chain operations, as well as improving customer service and driving decisions for a competitive advantage. As global supply chains evolve, we can expect the adoption and integration of container tracking technology to be essential for businesses to stay ahead of the game.
VIZION is transforming the way businesses manage their supply chains with not only container tracking but also with added tools like VIZION Analytics Stream. This offers a way to go beyond simply tracking the status of containers in transit, with detailed performance monitoring and benchmarking across the industry for better-informed decisions. This is one way VIZION helps its clients go farther with more data.
To learn more about VIZION, reach out to us today to schedule a demo.