The digital revolution and dynamic nature of shipping requirements have built the need for more information than shippers needed ever before. Shipping containers have been an integral part of the logistics industry. Every day, millions of containers are being used to transfer cargo from one place to another on a global level. As a result of this increased need, Smart shipping containers came into existence.
The smart container is the invention that is taking the shipping industry into the future. Tracking the cargo being stored and shipped in the container is the paramount priority for every shipping company that operates in the world. Without visibility, the shippers cannot have an estimate about the whereabouts of their cargo and thus, cannot expect a fast, safe and reliable delivery for their shipments.
As a result, most companies today are looking for solutions that offer cargo tracking and more insights regarding the safety of your cargo. Smart shipping containers not only provide transparency and a better quality of customer services, but they also have the latest updated technology that helps in collecting certain data that would be useful to the shippers. Any container dimension can be converted into a smart container with the latest technology.
Cargo shipping requirements have evolved in the recent few years. In order to satisfy a greater demand for freight to be transported, the need to track the movement of cargo and anticipate unforeseen circumstances has risen. The stakeholders are concentrating more on finding and creating techniques to improve the visibility, security, and quality of their containers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology that is being used nowadays in containers provides real-time data regarding location, condition, etc. accurately and directly to operators. The IoT revolution in the logistics and container shipping industry has helped to improve the decision-making strategies of companies all over the world. Smart cargo boxes can remotely control, track, and even regulate the internal conditions of the containers, like temperature control for perishable items. This ensures that the temperature of the cargo can be adjusted if there are any fluctuations in the external environment during the transportation, which may lead to the goods being ruined.
They can also detect nearby movements due to their sensors present and also come with burglary prevention systems. These smart sensors also provide detailed data on temperature, humidity, and pressure, etc. which is estimated to save money during the trips of shipment of the freight. These sensors react instantly to even the minutest changes by sending alerts to the monitoring facility that are remotely located. These sensors can also provide the exact location and ample amount of time to the crew members so as to get any problems that have arisen fixed.
Just like we all use smartphones today and they have made our lives easier without any doubt, smart containers are nothing but containers that are smart. Any standard container can be converted into a smart container if there are the right fittings of devices and sensors that collect and convey the container data. These sensors track and collect important data like:
- Geolocation of the container
- Temperature fluctuations
- Shock detection
- Door opening/closing status
- Any other unusual activity
Smart shipping containers play a fundamental role in the shipping management systems as they are utilized to track the movement of cargo all around the globe. Each container is given a unique barcode for scanning purposes. Since they are devised with the latest tech-enabled devices and communication networks, they provide live data feeds to control centers accredited to GPS and cellular technology. This data is very valuable as it is a huge step towards the improvement of transportation management.
Smart containers also facilitate the tracking of cargo through sensors, which are likely to improve cargo logistics and reduce the number of cargo ships that are lost during transportation due to unforeseen mishaps by a substantially large number.
What are the benefits of Smart Containers?
The introduction of the smart container has paved way for a new landscape of opportunities for tracking and tracing goods carried in them via different means of transport. Some major benefits of smart shipping containers are:
- Easy accessibility of cargo with Real-time Data
Since there are certain sensors present inside the container, it allows you to access the location from anywhere, at any time. You can easily keep a track record of ETAs and transit areas. You will also get an alert instantly when there is any unusual activity happening around your shipping container.
- Automatic data collection
Earlier, while using traditional containers, it was impossible to know the whereabouts of your containers and prepare plans for any unforeseen circumstances. But now, with smart cargo boxes, you can collect real-time information about your containers and use it to keep an eye on them. Smart containers eradicate the cumbersome process of traditional means of tracking shipments, and also reduce the scope for any errors.
- Monitor quality of goods
The sensors present in smart units continuously collect and analyze data. They keep track of certain factors like temperature, humidity, location, door status, or any other unusual happenings. This makes it convenient for shipping companies to keep a check on their cargo.
- Transparent and safe data
The data collected by smart containers are collected by electronic means and end-to-end encrypted. This implies that it cannot be meddled with and is risk-free. It also allows a secure and crystal clear document sharing among the stakeholders of the supply chain.
- Cost reduction
Smart containers have the tendency to manage shipments from any part of the world. They also minimize the cost that comes up due to the wastage caused by extending a container’s life with technologies and reducing theft and spoilage of goods. They provide better control of the finances of the companies, thus implying a direct expansion in the performance of the international supply chain. It facilitates trade, reduces losses, and boosts the economic growth of the shipping container industry at a global level.
Container supplier companies today are obliged to predict dynamic events with certainty. That is why they have to use information that is provided digitally and is more focused on accurate data collection. Smart containers are the future. They bring an array of technologies like the Internet of Things, GPS tracking, motion sensors, and much more and also help to meet the biggest supply chain challenges facing the economy. They help to streamline the operational and maintenance process and also help the shippers to know about any future calamities and have mitigation plans ready in advance. They are the dawn of a new age in the shipping industry.
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