The true value of container tracking for ocean cargo visibility

The true value of container tracking for ocean cargo visibility

What’s the best way to stay on top of ocean freight? As it turns out, creating visibility at sea can be more difficult than other modes of transport. Below, read about the value of container tracking for ocean freight, and why combining it with live GPS insights takes real-time cargo tracking to the next level.


What is container tracking?

Every container globally has a unique ID, standardised according to ISO6346. Tracking your container through this 11-digit container number is a great place to start your supply chain visibility journey. Here’s how it works.

As a container travels the world, critical events for the container are logged. This includes every trans-shipment site, loading, unloading, vessel departures, arrivals and more. Through container tracking software, you can be notified of each of these events as they are recorded. That way, you know as soon as possible of any critical updates or unexpected changes.


Container tracking vs. GPS tracking 

Container events are useful, but they don’t provide complete visibility. If you rely solely on container tracking, you know nothing about what happens in between events. This can leave you completely in the dark. That's when you might turn to another solution, like GPS tracking systems. But while GPS position can tell you that your cargo is near a port, it says nothing about the status. Has the container been offloaded? Has it been loaded onto the right ship? When did it arrive or depart, exactly?

At this point, you might be wondering which technology your business should prioritise. The truth is that there is no need to choose between the two today. Here’s why.


More powerful together

An IoT, real-time cargo tracking solution like Visilion uses a range of different technologies to track shipments. For advanced ocean cargo visibility, GPS tracking and container tracking are both key. GPS tracking addresses the shortcomings of container tracking; between events, you still have visibility of your shipment. Similarly, container tracking addresses the shortcomings of GPS tracking; you know the actual status of the shipment, not just the location. 


Ocean freight visibility made easy with Visilion

Visilion from Sony is a real-time cargo tracking solution that simplifies ocean visibility. For starters, container tracking is an integrated feature. After attaching trackers to your cargo and loading it into a container, simply assign the container number to the order. The Visilion platform will procure all relevant shipping events. And at sea – between shipping events – the trackers provide real-time position from GPS tracking.

But Visilion creates ocean visibility in more ways too. Tracker sensors collect condition data, even when a cellular connection is unavailable at sea. Once the trackers regain a connection, the data is uploaded for you to review. And thanks to analytics, Visilion gives you actionable insights for smoother shipping operations, such as dynamic ETAs, route deviations and smart alerts about conditions.


Want to learn about tracking your cargo across all modes of transport?

Gated download of the PDF brochure ‘Know what's happening. Anytime, anywhere'’ – Visilion from Sony