Rotterdam port authority has launched a track & trace app for containers moving though its port, dubbed Boxinsider
The app will inform shippers and forwarders about the status of their containers from data coming from both deepsea and inland terminals. The information will feature expected and actual ships’ arrival and departure times and the transfers in and out of the container terminals. Warnings on delays or disruptions are incorporated.
The port authority already has at its disposal the ETA and ETS data of all ships calling Rotterdam from its own digital Pronto programme which also taps into the AIS system. The terminal moves, both at marine and inland terminals are being fed by the terminals that have hooked up.
“It’s an ongoing process in dialogue with cargo interests [in inland terminals],” the spokesman added. “Rolling out the system is mainly driven by shippers and forwarders. They have to indicate their containers’ routing, so we can approach the inland terminals to have them join in.”
The new app is being promoted as the error-free replacement for the mode that most shippers and forwarders still use - manually collecting information from a range of websites. This is time-consuming and error-prone, the port added.
Although a stand-alone application, Boxinsider can also be integrated with existing systems using a link.
Nearly all deepsea and inland terminals in Rotterdam are already co-operating, and coverage of inland terminals in the Netherlands generally, both barge and rail, is wide, a spokesman for the port authority said. Hinterland terminals along the river Rhine in Germany, France and Switzerland are gradually hooking up, too.