track shipping container

Track Shipping Container Online: A Comprehensive Guide

Shipping containers are a common sight, whether on the high seas or on the back of a truck. These large metal boxes are used to transport goods all over the world. However, once they leave the port, it can be difficult to track their location. This is where online tracking comes in.

Online tracking allows you to monitor the location of your shipping container in real-time. By using GPS technology, you can see exactly where your container is at any given moment. This can be incredibly useful for businesses that need to keep track of their inventory or for individuals who want to know when their shipment will arrive.

To track your shipping container online, you will need to have access to a tracking website or app. Many shipping companies offer this service to their customers. Once you have access, you can enter the container number or bill of lading number to see the container’s location. Some tracking services also provide information on the container’s temperature, humidity, and other conditions.

Understanding Shipping Containers

Basics of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are large metal boxes used for transporting goods across the globe. They are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and rough handling during transport. The standard size of a shipping container is 20 feet or 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height. The containers are made of steel and are equipped with locking mechanisms to ensure the safety of the goods inside.

The shipping containers are transported via ships, trains, or trucks. They are loaded and unloaded using cranes or forklifts. Shipping containers are an efficient and cost-effective way of transporting goods across long distances. They can be used for transporting a wide range of products, including cars, furniture, electronics, and more.

Types of Shipping Containers

There are several types of shipping containers available, each designed for specific purposes. The most common types of shipping containers are:

  • Dry containers: These are the standard containers used for transporting dry goods such as clothing, electronics, and furniture.
  • Reefer containers: These are refrigerated containers used for transporting perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, and meat.
  • Open-top containers: These containers have an open top and are used for transporting oversized cargo such as heavy machinery and construction equipment.
  • Flat rack containers: These containers have no sides or roof and are used for transporting oversized cargo such as boats and vehicles.
  • Tank containers: These containers are used for transporting liquids such as chemicals and food-grade products.

It is important to choose the right type of shipping container for your goods to ensure they are transported safely and efficiently. Understanding the basics of shipping containers and the different types available will help you make an informed decision when choosing a container for your goods.

Importance of Tracking Shipping Containers

Tracking shipping containers is an essential aspect of the logistics industry. It provides a range of benefits to both the shipping company and the customer. Here are a few reasons why tracking shipping containers is important:


Tracking shipping containers allows customers to know the exact location of their goods at any given time. This transparency helps build trust between the customer and the shipping company. It also enables customers to plan their operations and manage their inventory more effectively.


Tracking shipping containers also enhances the security of the goods being shipped. With real-time tracking, the shipping company can monitor the container’s location and detect any unauthorized attempts to open it. This helps prevent theft and damage to the goods.


Tracking shipping containers can also help reduce costs for the shipping company. By knowing the exact location of the container, the company can optimize its logistics operations and reduce the time and resources required to manage the shipment. This, in turn, can lead to cost savings for both the company and the customer.

In summary, tracking shipping containers is crucial for transparency, security, and cost-effectiveness in the logistics industry. It provides customers with peace of mind and helps shipping companies optimize their operations.

Online Shipping Container Tracking

How Online Tracking Works

Online tracking of shipping containers is a convenient and efficient way to keep track of cargo in transit. The process involves attaching a GPS tracking device to the container, which sends real-time location data to a tracking platform accessible through the internet. This allows shippers and consignees to monitor the progress of their cargo and receive alerts on any changes in the shipment status.

The tracking platform provides detailed information on the container’s location, route, and estimated time of arrival. Users can view the tracking data on a map and zoom in to see the container’s exact location. They can also access historical data to analyze the container’s journey and identify any delays or disruptions.

Benefits of Online Tracking

Online tracking offers several benefits to shippers and consignees. Firstly, it provides real-time visibility of the shipment, allowing users to monitor the container’s progress and take proactive measures to address any issues. This helps to reduce the risk of cargo loss or damage and ensures timely delivery.

Secondly, online tracking enables users to optimize their supply chain operations by identifying inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the transportation process. By analyzing the tracking data, shippers can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to streamline their logistics operations.

Finally, online tracking enhances security by providing an additional layer of protection against cargo theft and unauthorized access. The GPS tracking device allows users to track the container’s location and receive alerts if it deviates from the planned route or enters a restricted area.

In conclusion, online tracking is a valuable tool for shippers and consignees looking to optimize their logistics operations and ensure timely and secure delivery of their cargo.

Step-by-Step Guide to Track Shipping Container Online

Tracking shipping containers online can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and information, it can be a breeze. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to track shipping containers online:

  1. Obtain the container number: The first step in tracking a shipping container is to obtain the container number. The container number is a unique identifier that is assigned to each container. This number can be found on the side of the container or on the shipping documents.
  2. Visit the shipping company’s website: Once you have the container number, visit the shipping company’s website. Most shipping companies have a tracking section on their website where you can enter the container number and track the container’s location.
  3. Enter the container number: Enter the container number into the tracking section of the shipping company’s website. Make sure to double-check the number to avoid any errors.
  4. View the container’s location: Once you have entered the container number, you should be able to view the container’s location. The shipping company’s website will provide you with real-time information on the container’s location, including its current position and any stops it has made.
  5. Set up alerts: Some shipping companies allow you to set up alerts that will notify you when the container reaches certain locations or milestones. This can be useful if you need to coordinate with other parties involved in the shipping process.

By following these steps, you can easily track shipping containers online and stay informed about their location and status.

Platform 1

One of the most popular online shipping container tracking platforms is Flexport. The platform offers real-time tracking of shipping containers and provides detailed information on the container’s location, status, and estimated time of arrival. Flexport also offers a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily track their shipments and receive notifications when their container reaches certain milestones.

Platform 2

Another popular online shipping container tracking platform is Maersk. Maersk is one of the largest shipping companies in the world and offers a comprehensive tracking system for its containers. The platform provides real-time tracking of containers and allows users to view the container’s location, status, and estimated time of arrival. Maersk also offers a mobile app that allows users to track their shipments on the go.

Platform 3

Lastly, CargoSmart is another popular online shipping container tracking platform. The platform offers real-time tracking of containers and provides detailed information on the container’s location, status, and estimated time of arrival. CargoSmart also offers a range of analytics tools that allow users to analyze their shipping data and optimize their supply chain operations.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the many online shipping container tracking platforms available today. Each platform has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Troubleshooting Common Tracking Issues

When tracking shipping containers online, there may be some common issues that arise. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to help resolve these issues:

1. Incorrect Tracking Number

One of the most common issues when tracking shipping containers is entering an incorrect tracking number. Double-check the tracking number provided by the shipping company and make sure that it matches the number you have entered.

2. Delayed or Inaccurate Tracking Information

Sometimes, tracking information may not be updated in a timely manner or may be inaccurate. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as technical glitches, network issues, or delays in the shipping process. If this happens, wait for a few hours or days and try tracking the container again.

3. Container Not Found

If the tracking information shows that the container cannot be found, it may be due to a delay in the shipping process or the container being held up at customs. In this case, it is best to contact the shipping company directly to get more information about the container’s whereabouts.

4. Tracking Website Down

In rare cases, the tracking website itself may be down or experiencing technical difficulties. If this happens, try accessing the website at a later time or contact the shipping company for alternative tracking methods.

By following these troubleshooting tips, tracking shipping containers online can be a smooth and hassle-free process.


In conclusion, tracking shipping containers online has become easier and more accessible with the advancements in technology. By using a variety of tools and resources such as GPS tracking, RFID tags, and online tracking platforms, it is now possible to monitor the location and status of shipping containers in real-time.

While there are still challenges to overcome such as connectivity issues and the need for standardized tracking systems, the benefits of online tracking are clear. It can help to improve supply chain efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Overall, it is important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest tracking technologies and to work with their logistics partners to implement effective tracking solutions. By doing so, they can stay competitive in today’s fast-paced global marketplace.

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