Maximizing efficiency and cost savings: the power of container tracking alerts

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maximizin efficiency and cost savings with the power of container tracking alerts

Digital transformation has revolutionized the global sea shipping industry and supply chain management. Container tracking technology helps companies to proactively forecast shipments’ arrival, arrange smoother operations, and cut costs for a competitive edge.

Container tracking alerts are a valuable tool for businesses involved in international trade. This article highlights how these notifications can help Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) and Freight Forwarders (FFWs). Providing real-time visibility enables them to minimize disruptions, streamline logistics, and ultimately improve their financial bottom line.

How smart alerts can streamline container tracking

Container tracking solutions go beyond basic tracking. These advanced systems are a game-changer for companies looking to improve their ocean freight visibility. By offering continuous or on-demand analysis of shipment data, they provide companies with the insights they need to optimize their shipping operations, make smarter decisions, and manage costs effectively.

Gone are the days of manual checks on individual units through the shipping lines’ websites. Automation streamlines the process, with instant access to real-time data gathered from vessels AIS, RFID tags, sensors placed on containers, GPS, satellites… 

Furthermore, container-tracking software can be configured to send alerts in case of various anomalies that occur throughout the cargo’s international journey. These anomalies could include unexpected delays, deviations from planned routes, or temperature fluctuations (for temperature-sensitive ocean freight). Depending on the company’s operational setup, the cargo type, and any specific requirements, various aspects of the shipment can be monitored.

Alerts are typically sent to the relevant stakeholders at all major milestones of the voyage: entry into a terminal or facility, loading on board the vessel, a departure from the port of origin, arrival/departure to/from ports of transshipment, arrival to the port of discharge, offloading from the vessel, processing customs clearance, and gate-out from the terminal.

However, on top of opening up a wide view of all the company’s shipments in progress, notifications are most valuable when anomalies are detected. They act as a red flag, helping for swift identification of the shipments that need a special focus, investigation into the issue’s causes, and prompt implementation of corrective action.

Let’s explore some specific types of alerts that can be triggered, to take container tracking to the next level:

  • Delays beyond expected arrival times due to unforeseen circumstances (bad weather, port congestion) or extended stays at a given location;
  • Unexpected deviations from the planned route;
  • Demurrage free time nearing expiration;
  • Temperature fluctuations outside the desired range for a temperature-controlled cargo (perishable goods in reefer containers, dangerous goods…)
  • Customs clearance delays that hold up the container.
  • Unauthorized access or potential security breaches on the equipment.


Effective exception management helps understand what’s important and to prioritize. However, for companies that handle a large volume of containers, constant alerts for every shipment, regardless of its status, can be overwhelming. Exception management acts as an intelligent assistant. It analyzes and filters shipment data and triggers alerts only for exceptions – significantly delayed, critically late, or even early arrivals. This way, you receive actionable information on the specific shipments that need immediate attention, streamlining the workflow and mitigating potential issues.

container tracking alerts to know when a deviation occurs

How to leverage anomalies for efficiency leaps and cost reductions?

Maritime businesses can leverage container tracking data to unlock significant improvements in supply chain management and cost savings. These alerts provide timely and accurate insights that empower them to:

Streamline shipment planning and cooperation

These tools provide enhanced visibility into the location and status of containers (in transit, customs clearance, etc.). This enables companies to plan and coordinate shipments more effectively. They can collaborate seamlessly with all stakeholders involved in the supply chain, including shippers, shipping lines and agents, freight forwarders, customs brokers, trucking and rail companies, warehouse teams, distributors, and consignees.

Improve communication

Thanks to timely updates and information sharing across the board, everyone is on the same page, mitigating the risk of misunderstandings, unexpected disruptions and unnecessary delays.

Optimize inventory management

Keeping a close eye on containers throughout their journey translates to better inventory management. With real-time monitoring, companies can anticipate arrival times with greater accuracy, and prevent both stockouts and overstocking situations.

Streamline issue resolution

Quicker identification of problems, enabled by real-time tracking, allows for faster response times. Data-driven decisions can lower the impact of these issues and prevent them from cascading into larger issues.

For instance, early alerts about potential delays in customs clearance allow for proactive measures to avoid demurrage charges, which can cost hundreds of dollars per box per day. Additionally, the logistics team may negotiate an extension of free time with the shipping line to avoid exceeding the free time limit. Similarly, real-time tracking facilitates faster container pick-up, delivery, and return, minimizing detention fees.

Optimize transportation costs

Container tracking is also a powerful tool for optimizing transportation costs and reducing your environmental footprint. Based on data from this continuous monitoring, businesses can develop smarter routes and select the most suitable transport modes, leading to:

  • Faster turnaround times;
  • Lower transportation costs (including fuel, maintenance, tolls and taxes, drivers’ salaries and wages, etc.);
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Boost security and mitigate risk

Enhanced security features like geofencing and tamper alerts, allowing remote control for door unlock, cargo movement within the container, seal integrity, and potential unauthorized access. Reduced number of pilferage incidents or tampering attempts lower insurance claims and insurance premiums due to a better risk profile.

On a broader scale, an advanced ocean freight tracking system helps to ensure that the shipments meet all regulatory requirements and security measures. Compliant shipments are exempt from significant delays, penalties, and fines.

container tracking alerts enhance security at sea

Enhance customer service

With accurate and up-to-date information about shipment status and delivery times, companies can provide better customer service. Business Cargo Owners receive updates about estimated time of arrival (ETAs), but also delays or changes. This reduces inquiries and potential compensation or late payment penalties.

Container tracking plays a crucial role in preventing and addressing wrong shipments. Advanced systems compare real-time location and status updates with shipping documents, identifying potential mismatches before cargo reaches its destination. This data verification allows for early detection of discrepancies, triggering alerts to relevant parties (shipper, consignee, logistics provider…) for swift corrective action, such as rerouting the shipment.

Faster identification and correction minimize delays, storage fees, and potential product damage. By ensuring timely delivery of the correct goods, container tracking increases customer satisfaction levels and loyalty, and overall supply chain efficiency through faster delivery times.

Leveraging real-time shipment data, companies can send customized updates based on their shipment’s progress, like “Your shipment has cleared customs!” directly to the customer’s preferred channel (email, SMS, app notifications). Instead of one-size-fits-all emails, this proactive and transparent communication throughout the shipping process builds stronger customer relationships, with enhanced trust and loyalty.

Reduce administrative costs

By automating repetitive tasks like manual tracking and data entry, container tracking solutions free up valuable time and resources for the logistics team members. This empowers them to focus on higher-value activities, such as strategic planning, and ultimately, maximizing their expertise to deliver better results.

API integration takes container tracking alerts to the next level of ease and efficiency. By acting as a bridge between your tracking system and other applications (ERP, TMS…), it allows for seamless data exchange.

Sinay, a leader in data-driven maritime solutions, introduces Safecube – a powerful tracking platform that gives companies a complete picture of their shipments. No more juggling information from different sources! Safecube consolidates data from shipping lines, ports, vessels, and the customer’s systems, providing a centralized view.

Hence the latter can stay ahead of delays with automatic alerts sent via email or push notification for critical status changes and revised arrival estimates. This intuitive platform allows analysis of key data points like transit times, schedule deviations, route changes, and issue resolution times.

Safecube empowers monitoring of goods in real-time, manages multimodal shipments effortlessly, and makes data-driven decisions with centralized, reliable information. For a truly seamless experience, Safecube can be integrated with the company’s system through Sinay’s all-in-one API, ensuring smooth and transparent logistics management.

The tangible benefits of leveraging container tracking alerts: real-life examples and success stories

For cargo stuffed in reefer containers

Let’s see how reefer container tracking helps drive down operational costs. Millions of tons of perishable goods and pharmaceuticals, sensitive to temperature fluctuations, travel daily around the globe in reefer containers. Unlike standard containers, reefers require specialized cooling systems, external power, and specific handling. Maintaining optimal internal temperature is crucial throughout the voyage until ultimate delivery to the receiver to prevent spoilage and guarantee compliance with safety regulations.

Here’s where the reefer container tracking tool is essential, by monitoring and reporting temperature deviations that could disrupt the critical cold chain. If drastic changes occur, the tracking software instantly alerts the crew – on board the ship, at terminals, or during inland transport – allowing for swift intervention and cargo rescue.

Considering the high value of reefer cargo (meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, fishes and seafood, flowers, live plants, and pharmaceutical products), flawless container management safeguards the integrity and quality of these sensitive goods, preventing spoilage, waste, and potential health risks. Delivering fresh, high-quality products minimizes financial losses, and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Tracking data helps ensure temperature-sensitive goods reach their destination on time and in proper condition. Precise ETAs empower all parties involved in the shipment to prepare for cargo offloading, gate-out, pick-up, and delivery swiftly.

By avoiding demurrage and detention fees, the consignee can save between €300 and €500 per day in US ports (after allocated free time) and €130 to €160 per day in Europe, with additional charges accruing for extended delays.

FAQ about the power of container tracking alerts

Container tracking alerts are notifications generated by tracking systems to provide real-time updates on the location, status, and condition of containers during transit.

These alerts utilize GPS, RFID, or other technologies to monitor containers’ movements and conditions. When predefined events or conditions occur, such as delays, deviations from the planned route, or changes in temperature or humidity, alerts are triggered and sent to designated recipients via email, SMS, or mobile apps.

Container tracking alerts offer several benefits to businesses, including:

    • Enhanced visibility: Real-time updates enable businesses to track their containers’ whereabouts and monitor their status throughout the supply chain.
    • Proactive problem-solving: Alerts enable businesses to address issues promptly, such as rerouting shipments to avoid delays or mitigating risks associated with adverse weather conditions.
    • Improved efficiency: By providing timely information, container tracking alerts streamline logistics operations, minimize disruptions, and optimize resource allocation.
    • Cost savings: By reducing the risk of lost or damaged shipments, optimizing routes, and improving inventory management, container tracking alerts help businesses lower operational costs and enhance profitability.

Businesses can integrate container tracking alerts into their existing systems through various methods, including:

  • Utilizing software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms or specialized tracking solutions offered by logistics providers.
  • Integrating tracking devices or sensors into containers and connecting them to a centralized tracking platform.
  • Leveraging application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate tracking data into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, transportation management systems (TMS), or other software used in logistics and supply chain management.
  • Define clear alert thresholds: Establish predefined events or conditions that trigger alerts based on specific criteria relevant to your business needs, such as location updates, transit milestones, or deviations from planned routes.
  • Customize alert notifications: Tailor alert notifications to match the preferences and roles of different stakeholders within your organization, ensuring that relevant parties receive timely updates.
  • Monitor and analyze data: Regularly review tracking data and analyze alert patterns to identify trends, optimize processes, and address recurring issues.
  • Integrate with other systems: Integrate container tracking alerts with other systems, such as inventory management or customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to streamline workflows and enhance data visibility across the organization.

Need To Track A Container

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