Monitoring the Unexpected – Global Shipment Monitoring Tools

When incidents such as strikes, blizzards, or typhoons happen around the ports in your supply chain, how do you monitor the impact to your shipments?

When incidents such as strikes, blizzards, or typhoons happen around the ports in your supply chain, how do you monitor the impact to your shipments? Do you wait for alerts from your ocean container carriers about schedule changes, do you search multiple websites for updates, or do you often learn the impact after the fact, when you find that the vessel your cargo was on did not arrive on time?

While you can find the information from multiple sources or wait for updates to come to you from your carriers, logistics service providers, or customers, it can be time consuming to search for updates and costly to find out the information when it is too late to implement contingency plans. Having timely and accurate data about your cargo and events impacting your cargo can help you take control of your shipment planning and minimize downstream costs.

To stay ahead of potential issues, these free tools available through the Big Schedules sailing schedule and vessel tracking platform can help your export and import teams visualize potential delays and monitor cargo from a central location:

* Dynamic Map –The Big Schedules homepage is a world map that displays the last seven days’ vessel movements, storm indicators, and vessel and port incidents with links to related news events. At a glance, you can see major incidents around the world that may impact your shipment planning. For even more timely updates, you can follow @bigschedules on Twitter to learn about incidents as they are posted on Big Schedules.

* Incident Alerts –Registered users can see a list of potentially impacted vessels when searching for schedules with an affected port area. For example, on January 25, 2016, the Port of New York and New Jersey was closed after Winter Storm Jonas. If you searched for a schedule that had an estimated time of departure from the port around the time of the blizzard, you saw an alert with a list of 41 impacted vessels. Premium users also see indicators in the sailing schedule search results highlighting the affected schedules.

* Vessel Tracking –Registered users can also track vessels to find their current locations on their scheduled routes. Covering over 7,000 vessels from 30 ocean container carriers at the world’s major ports, it provides consolidated tracking data from carriers in a visual format to let you see a vessel’s past and current locations as well as its upcoming ports of call. Even if your carriers have not updated their schedules, live vessel data shows the vessel’s current location and reveals if it is on track to meet its schedule. Premium users can also see potential delay alerts in the vessel tracking results and set up a watch list of critical schedules to monitor for changes.

Start your search today at

By Kim Le on Jan 27, 2016

Kim Le is strategic alliance director with CargoSmart Limited. CargoSmart provides global shipment management software solutions that enable shippers, consignees, logistics service providers, NVOCCs, and ocean carriers to improve planning and on-time deliveries. 

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