Digitizing Cargo Flow from Port to Depot to Door

March 29, 2019

Let’s say the vessel bringing your shipment from overseas has just arrived in port. Unbeknownst to you, an unexpected work slowdown has affected offloading and started a domino effect on the ultimate ETA of the delivery. Your staff is trying their best to monitor the progress of the container movement, but information isn’t readily available. Gathering this info will take some time because it’s all done manually through phone calls, emails, websites—even faxes in some cases. In other words, there will be a buzz of communication activity that provides less than current information, takes up time, adds frustration and more often than not, increases the cost of doing business.


Does this situation sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. This black hole of port information is a stumbling block to shippers everywhere. The solution to this problem lies in improving the visibility by digitizing the information flow from port to door.

How an Import Container Moves Digitally

In a digitized flow, here is what the tracking and management of your container would look like:


1. Service Order

The landside journey for your shipment starts with receiving an electronic delivery order. Shippers’ TMS systems would automatically inform the digital platform of the relevant containers, the stops along the way and the final destination. Details of the dray order and any other services available would be registered on the digital platform.

2. Container Manifested at Terminal

Once a digital update is received from the terminal that the container has been manifested, regular status updates ensue. Predictive data would give you a window of when you could retrieve the box.

3. In-Transit Visibility

Once the truck carrying your shipment is underway, tracking the next phase of cargo flow begins. As the cargo moves and makes stops along the way to its destination, everyone connected to that shipment is updated. With digital tracking that allows for total visibility, all stakeholders can see your shipment and follow its journey online. “In Transit” visibility would be provided through a mobile app or truck dispatch GPS.

4. Arrived at Final Destination

Once the container reaches its final destination, its status changes to “Arrived” and the lifecycle ends. Now the shipper can digitally issue return instructions for the container.

EDS: The Digital Framework

Collaboration is essential in the smooth operation of supply chain systems. Digitizing the flow of a container’s landside journey is critical and enhances collaboration among stakeholders. When a shipment passes through so many hands on its route, delays become problematic, not to mention security concerns. What you need is total control of the landside flow of your shipment from port to depot to door.


eModal Data Services (EDS) from Advent Intermodal Solutions provides that control for shippers, plus cargo information visibility for all relevant stakeholders such as agents, motor carriers and marine terminal operators. For outstanding landside flow control, EDS provides container status and availability, appointment management and the ability to make fee payments at over 50 marine terminals and depots in the U.S., all in one convenient place. And that’s just for starters.

Learn more about how you can beat the black hole by watching this short, 15-minute free webinar “Visibility & Control of Landside Logistics” from Advent’s Chief Strategy Officer, Allen Thomas.


stefanie gesiorski

Written by stefanie gesiorski

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