One ripple effect of the COVID-19 lockdowns is that consumers stopped buying “experiences” and instead they bought “goods” – lots of goods.  The supply chain for most of these goods relies on containers & cargo ships crossing the world's oceans.  As economies recover, businesses of every type are scrambling to restock their inventories.  This has led to a 30% boost in trans-Pacific shipping, and with this traffic comes an inevitable increase in shipping delays.  When things get delayed, customers want answers.

How are Shipping Containers Tracked?

Every shipping company (such as P. Moller–Maersk, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, or CMA/CGM Group) has its own container tracking system.  Each system tracks common milestones along a container’s journey, and customers frequently want to know the following:

  • Has my container been loaded on a ship?
  • Has the ship departed its initial port?
  • Where on the water is the ship?
  • Will my container stop at a trans-shipment port?
  • What is the ETA of the vessel?
  • Are there any delays?
  • Has my container arrived at its final port?
  • Has my container been picked up yet?
  • Has my container been delivered yet?

Customers can gather this information from individual steamship lines’ tracking systems.  But what’s a customer to do when they have dozens (or hundreds) of containers traveling different routes via different carriers?  In many cases, customers would have to make inquiries, multiple times per week or day, for each container.  The time spent searching for in-transit containers is a precious resource – and Terminal49 offers a solution to simplify this process.    

Terminal49 provides data from 50+ different data sources (steamship lines and terminals).  It cleans up and standardizes the data and makes it available to integrate into any company’s internal tracking system or ERP.  Terminal49's API provides milestone information at the shipment level as it moves across oceans, as well as data points at the individual container level, like customs holds and demurrage fees at the terminals.

Supply chain delays along the most popular ocean routes may take a while to clear up – and perhaps they’ll even become part of our “new normal.”  Either way, supply chain visibility is more important than ever.  Terminal49 organizes the information that customers need and presents it to those who need it in a fast and efficient manner.  To learn more or to start tracking containers today, visit: https://app.terminal49.com/register.