The SPOT Supply Chain Visibility & Collaboration Platform has been extended by a new container tracking service that consolidates various data streams to provide customers best possible and independent container status information.

The cloud-based supply chain management platform SPOT has been expanded with a new feature: a sophisticated tracking service for sea freight shipments which allows users to track their containers more accurately.

Business Case 

A customer of SPOTworx sources wood from certified locations all over the world to supply the Asian timber industry with a full range of temperate hardwood and softwood products. The company had a dedicated team responsible for keeping track of their shipments by manual information gathering on carrier webpages and freight forwarders services in order to provide their customers up to date container status information. This approach was cost-intensive and time-consuming and therefore linked to tremendous efforts for the customer.

SPOTworx streamlined this process by introducing a newly developed tracking feature based on consolidated status information that is either provided by vessel operators via EDI (electronic data interchange) or, in case there is no information available in due time, status information is calculated based on vessel GPS data via a sophisticated algorithm. SPOT makes the requested status information visible for the customer.

How It Works 

With this new technology, vessel GPS data is gathered in regular time intervals. Once the vessel has departed from the Port of Origin, the algorithm calculates the expected dates for the upcoming milestones – transshipment, arrival, unloading etc. – and sends them to SPOT. All further ports and stops along a container’s journey are also included in the tracking data. SPOT notifies users of any relevant milestones according to their preferences.

Using geofencing technology, the time and place a vessel enters a certain zone are recorded and the algorithm recalculates all planned dates for the milestone events. Thus, customers now have more accurate information on when their goods will arrive.

As a consequence, manual data gathering becomes obsolete, resulting in higher efficiency and tremendous cost savings. With 800 to 1,000 container shipments per year, the new SPOTworx service helps the customer to not only save time and costs, but also to provide advanced status information to their customers.