Shipping containers are numerous, affordable, durable, and incredibly versatile. They are an essential aspect of international and domestic shipping. Goods and supplies are transported daily using shipping container transport. Transportation of goods is their primary job, and they do it well, but these giant steel boxes have other uses.
Shipping Container Transport Possibilities
A container’s movement can be thousands of miles long and involve multiple steps. First, the container needs to be transported to a harbor, usually by train but potentially by a truck as well. The container is loaded with goods at the beginning of any trip, either at a dock or warehouse. It can then be transported on a large ship across the ocean, where the unloading process is performed in the reverse of the loading process. Generally, ships and rail lines are the most common methods of shipping container transport. A single container may not undergo all the modes of travel during one trip or even over its lifetime. For example, the containers can be transported by train only from one destination to another.
Trucks, of course, generally handle the short hops between the train station or harbor as needed. All this travel means containers can traverse great distances over lengthy periods. In the modern age, it’s becoming increasingly common to utilize mobile technologies in shipping container transport.
Increased mobile technology has and will continue to change the logistics of shipping container transport. In the past, the best way to track a container was through paperwork, meaning observation en route was difficult at the best of times. With mobile technology, containers can now be tracked from the beginning of their journey to the end. This tracking ability means constant updates on its route and the chance to troubleshoot potential problems quickly. Such issues could be as simple as a delay due to road construction or as complex as a massive storm between harbors. Mobile technology allows for better tracking, planning, and accountability.
Planning & Tracking
All three of those have noticeable benefits for all parties involved in the shipment. Mobile technology and tracking mean that the route of a container is better planned based on events as they occur or might occur along the way of said container. The train and tanker’s schedules are easy to track without technology but can be better coordinated with mobile assistance. Possible delays from construction or accidents along the road route of any trucks can happen quickly, so mobile technology is an obvious benefit in such situations.
Accountability is also a significant benefit of new mobile technologies. Historically, the best way to know the condition of a container was the inspection at various pick-up and drop-off locations. Mobile technology offers the chance to regularly see the status and location throughout its transport route, wireless signal permitting. Like a baby monitor, this technology is excellent for ensuring the container and the goods are safe and secure, but it can also help from an insurance perspective. There’s also the obvious benefit of the customer knowing the status of their goods following a bad storm, rough roads, or delay at the harbor, to name a few examples of potential customer anxiety.
There’s also the logistics improved by such technology. Less paperwork while also allowing for better tracking and oversight means less office work, which means more focus on the more critical parts of the logistics process. Namely, knowing where the container is and the condition of said container.
Combining mobile technology with shipping container transport provides various benefits but has issues. The most obvious is that the technology needs to work correctly to be effective. While such tech has improved by leaps and bounds, there can still be glitches. Tracking something across a state or country can be tricky enough. Imagine the potential issues from transporting something across the globe.
The introduction of mobile technology to shipping container transport will, at times, have problems. However, with training, experience, and advances in tech, those issues will become less cumbersome for all parties involved. Even the early technologies in use today have vastly changed how shipping containers are transported and tracked. With better, more reliable technology, improvement will continue as time passes.
In the meantime, boots on the ground are still and shall remain a vital aspect of shipping container transport. Those who load and unload containers are still a big part of the business, and linking them to present and future mobile technology will be critical to ensure container transport continues as smoothly, effectively, and safely as possible. However, ignoring the human element of logistics to focus solely on the container is terrible for business and can also prove disastrous for the entire transportation line. Remembering and using both will allow for the best in shipping container transport.
Do you use shipping container transport with your business? Southeast Containers can help. We carry a large inventory of shipping containers for all uses. In addition, we’ll modify any container to your specifications. So, contact us today at 615-450-6005 and see what we can do for you.