IMPACTS OF A TRACKING AND TRACING SYSTEM FOR CONTAINERS IN A PORT-BASED SUPPLY CHAIN
- We describe a new development of a tracking/tracing/management information system
- The system is designed for containers in an intermodal corridor
- The paper links the impacts of the system with the supply chain requirements
- Benefits for the different stakeholders involved are described and discussed
Intermodal transport chains often appear as “black boxes” to the cargo owners and their clients, who lose track of the container until it arrives at the final end of the chain. The paper discusses why a tracking and tracing system should represent an important added value for them.
We describe here the configuration and features of a novel low-cost system to track and trace containers in an intermodal supply chain, provide information to shippers regarding delays and other unexpected events, and assist terminal operations accordingly. We then analyze the positive impacts of such a system over the entire supply chain, identifying the requirements of the main chain actors regarding the availability of information and how the proposed system contributes to the fulfillment of those requirements.
The visibility of containers throughout the entire supply chain provides multiple benefits for shippers, terminals and transport providers.
The operational and economic benefits of the system are clear, but the lack of historical data does not allow for a quantitative estimation of those foreseen benefits.
Intermodal terminals might see this type of information systems as an opportunity to generate added value for their customers, including shippers and carriers. In a scenario with high competition levels between terminals, this added value could represent the competitive advantage necessary to guarantee the growth of a terminal without requiring expensive investments and costs.
The paper describes the benefits provided by the system to the main stakeholders of the intermodal supply chain and provides some conclusions with respect to those benefits and to future developments.
Keywords: Containers; tracking and tracing; supply chain; logistics; port
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