You will always find the cyberspace full of questions enquiring about the advantages of using a RFID + GPS + GPRS/Wi-Fi based modern container tracking systems in CFS and ICD’s. There might be a clear cut answer to all these questions – it’s a fully automated system that updates and tracks the location of a container in near real-time offering accuracy of +-1 container block in a yard.
This system not only provides you with the details of the row, column and stack/level a particular container is on, but also supplements well with the map view of the block or even blocks – in case there are so many blocks with an arrow clearly pointing to the exact location of the container. All this helps the operator/ driver/cleaner, helper and even supervisor in locating the container within minutes. The ROI on this always remains very clear as it drastically reduces bottlenecks in finding and tracking the container. This way, it reduces truck congestion and enhances operational efficiency of the CFS container tracking that ultimately results in increased handling capacity, finally leading to increased revenue.
The natural question that now hits the mind is why these new-age tracking solutions are better than conventional one of manually tracking and updating location of vehicles as they are moved by the RTG/RMG/Reach Stacker making use of VMT/HHT? The great answer lies in the question itself, i.e. the conventional procedure is fully “Manual” and lacks all the benefits and advantages that new-age solutions offer. The older system needs human efforts to update each and every movement that is really very time-consuming.
If it is a RTG or RMG that is driving the container, then the machine’s operator himself has to update the movement of the container making use of a VMT, that is both time killer and highly error prone because the operator has to go through the number of the container, type in them in the system after placing the key of the container in the location. It already seems to be error prone, particularly when you think of the education-wise proficiency levels of these operators.
Needless to say, these operators can be trained, but you cannot compare trained minds to the educated ones, as they cannot be made to handle system failure situations. In case a supervisor or operator is made to perform the same kind of task, he will not only have to follow operator all the time, but also work as per the operator’s instruction only.
In the end, it can be concluded that all the systems including APM and MICT container tracking will have their advantages and disadvantages, yet the main trick lies in selecting the right kind of technology and subsequently the right kind of system for the given requirements.