How are Shipping Containers Tracked?


There are several methods for goods to reach all corners of the globe. Airfreight, ocean freight, road freight, and railway freight are all options for transporting goods worldwide. According to the latest survey, in 2020, the number of packages shipped in the United States surpassed 20 billion.

Everyone wants their packages to arrive quickly and safely, but this isn’t always the case. There are instances when international travel is congested or when unanticipated accidents occur. Due to these circumstances, a shipment may arrive at its destination later than intended, and you may be subject to delay penalties.

There is, however, a way to avoid these fines. We can track shipments using our computers or cellphones nowadays, thanks to modern technology. To better understand how this concept works, we prepared a brief explanation of how shipping containers are tracked.

Satellite Systems

The majority of cargo container tracking is done via remote satellite systems that survey every ship and can capture pictures of them at any given moment. These pictures are sent to the base station and then to the party doing the searching. This is the most common and easiest way of tracking ship containers. Typically, this type of cargo container tracking may be done through satellite access, which is widely available.

However, the downside of this type of tracking is that sometimes it comes with a cost, and it offers no guarantee that you can track the specific ship where a parcel is located if you need to know because of bad weather or a travel diversion.


If using satellites to track cargo may seem a bit troublesome, there is also the alternative of using a GPS tracking system similar to the one people use in their cars. What you should know about this method is that the tracking device must be attached to the shipping container’s exterior.

The device can be either magnetic and placed on the side of the container or in the form of a locking mechanism that seals the container. The tracking device senses the ship’s movements through its accelerometer, starts calculating the GPS. location, and sends data via cellular or satellite system. Then the location is sent to the base station, run through their software, and forwarded to the customer.

Read Also: 6 Important Things You Need To Know When Shipping Your Freight

The downside of this method is that it can get a bit expensive since the batteries only last about six months.

Freight Company Systems

Although the two techniques discussed above are the most well-known and often utilized systems for tracking shipping containers, they both have one major drawback: accessibility. You must access their database manually, which requires you to visit websites or other platforms, which wastes time, especially if you are a business owner.

However, logistical systems are a simpler way to track your packages. They have the advantage of being much easier to manage on smaller devices. You only need to log into your account to see when a shipment leaves port, when it is expected to arrive, and when it has cleared customs. Companies like Dedola Global Logistics use systems like Traklt that allow you to receive warnings in the event of shipping delays, and all of your documents will be stored.

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Hi, I'm James George, the founder of Mind My Business NYC and author of this blog. I am an entrepreneur and internet marketer. My wish is that this website helps you to grow your business and achieve your goals.


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