Shipping has long become an essential part of the modern e-commerce market, making efficient container management indispensable.
Logistic businesses meet more challenging situations with less than load shipments and must adjust to keep services cost-effective. Using a container organization platform is a way-out that offers easy inventory optimization possibilities to keep business successful.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab will discuss container management solutions, their benefits, issues to mind and basic features to implement while custom inventory platform development.
What Is a Container Management System?
A container management system is software that tracks and improves product transportation procedures throughout the entire supply chain: from loading to picking up by the end customer. Container management services are commonly directed at container transportation optimization via process automation and elaborated inventory trackers.
Container Management Market State & Future Perspectives
The container management market has long occupied a strong position on the global market gaining even more popularity now. The market size amounted to $1.1 billion in 2019 and is forecasted to reach $2.2 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 16.2%. The number of tracking devices, in turn, amounted to 7.5 million in 2019 and will reach 23.2 million by 2024 at a CAGR of 25.4% ensuring higher data accuracy and automation level.
The top 5 container transportation market players include Envotech, ZillionSource, Traxens, Sierra Wireless, Geoforce.
While market giants have firmly established market dominance, there is no standard container inventory platform in the global shipping industry now. There is always free space for a custom inventory solution suiting your unique business case and bringing you additional benefits.
Main Advantages Container Management Solutions Bring to Your Business
Going for a custom container management platform development offers a wide range of benefits, the main of them being:
1. Easy Inventory Management
With a profound container management system, all parties can easily access container information and track the delivery process. Shipment providers stay always informed about their container status and can supply additional or take away excessive empty containers to optimize transportation procedures.
Mobile inventory management software offers varied tracking possibilities to customers as well. Clients can search for container delivery information by unique shipment number or subscribe for automated tracker info updates sent after the container reaches certain checkpoints (loaded, delivered, picked up).
2. Additional Expenses Reduction
Transportation companies must struggle for quick convenient shipment to remain competitive. Reducing additional expenses stands among key priorities to remain cost-effective as well. Adopting custom container management software makes inventory expenses control more efficient and transparent. The system allows easy planning and optimizing such transportation details as container space balance, transportation route, separate item better location, human labor needed and more.
3. Real-Time Reporting
Due to high-level automation offered by mobile inventory management solutions, it becomes much easier to get accurate and relevant reports. The information is shared between different company departments within one system, so there are no longer delays connected to data exchange. Real-time reporting not only optimizes your company’s inner workflow but also helps in improving customer service, providing relevant tracker updates or inquiry feedback.
4. Better Risk Control
Transportation has always been a risky sphere, as many outer failure factors are influencing the delivery process itself. Adopting custom inventory control solutions, logistic businesses can prevent many failure factors: from luggage imbalances and containers overdue to item loss or theft. Accurate reports and profound trackers make containers visible on every transportation stage, ensuring overall procedure transparency.
5. Improved Maintenance & Repair Service
Implementing a custom inventory system, container maintenance and repair services become more effective. With report automation and advanced tracker possibilities, one can easily maintain inventory in a good state and quickly apply container repair services if necessary to prevent further transportation problems.
Custom inventory management mobile app development is a beneficial strategy for any logistics business, though before starting it, one must consider essential issues to get success.
Top Important Issues You Must Consider Before Developing Own Container Management Software
Before going for custom container management solutions development, one must consider key priorities ensuring future business success.
1. Market Trends & Business Analytics
Knowing current market trends is a must before starting an inventory management mobile app development, as it allows to choose an efficient business strategy and create a product that will cover modern customer needs.
Business analytics is another important pre-development stage, which usually includes deep niche research and competitor analysis. Being aware of sphere advantages and common pitfalls one can easily adjust own business strategy to reach desired goals. Competitor research helps in identifying beneficial patterns to follow or allows learning from others’ experiences.
2. Container Management Strategy
An efficient container management strategy consists of the cooperation of four parties responsible for different processes while container delivery. They are the product provider, the shipper, the logistic provider and the independent body.
The product provider supplies goods for transportation and tracks whether they are delivered on time to adjust their supply chain. The shipper transports these goods from one location to another, while the logistics provider coordinates the shipping process. The independent body usually stands as a mediator between product providers and logistics providers.
Building a container management service, one must develop an efficient workflow strategy that will combine all parties’ needs and ensure the highest level of integration.
3. Profound Tracking System
Deploying an effective tracking system is a must for developing an inventory management mobile app. There are several basic tracker models adopted by container transportation software developers: manual, barcode, RFID (radio-frequency identification), truck-based GPS, container-based GPS.
The manual tracking model stands as the cheapest solution, though it is considered outdated and requires a lot of labor. It is suitable for small businesses that deal with small-scale transportations, so employees can physically check and count the items within containers. Still, you should be ready for human factor-connected discrepancies.
Barcode tracker usage presupposes more automation, as the information about container content is encrypted within the barcode and is automatically sent into the program after scanning. With barcodes, one does not require additional employees for tracking though they can be easily damaged or spoiled with mud or water.
You can also go for the RFID tracking model which is similar to barcode one, though RFID tags are more durable, as they are covered with a plastic shell. RFID scanners can process several tags at once accelerating the tracking procedure.
GPS trackers are considered to ensure the best data accuracy, as tracking procedure is unbreakable. There are truck-bases and container-based GPS trackers, collecting data accordingly about certain truck’s or container’s current location. GPS trackers are relevant for bigger scale businesses, offering clients automated 24/7 reporting and info accuracy.
4. Data Protection
Data security stands among key priorities while developing a custom container management service. Make sure that your future product aligns with the up-to-date security protocols and guidelines, use two-factor authentication or biometry (voice, face, fingerprint ID) to keep customer profiles safe from third-party intrusion. Protecting user personal/order information, the company increases credibility and attracts new customers looking for a reliable container transportation service. Besides, following modern data security standards eliminates fraud or luggage theft possibilities improving customer experience.
5. Reliable Software Vendor
Collaborating with a reliable software vendor is a must to reach success in a container management system development. Analyze case studies of different providers and design detailed requirements for the development team to better understand and make your expectations meet the end product.
Choosing between software vendors, rely on the companies having previous experiences in the inventory transportation niche, as they usually guarantee a smoother development process and quicker results.
Being aware of the most important niche KPIs one can move forward to defining your inventory system’s essential features and its actual development.
Basic Feature Set to Implement into Your Container Management System
The most common features implemented into custom container management software include:
1. Authorization & User Profile
Create a secure log in system and offer several user roles on the platform for better workflow organization.
2. Inventory Management
Provide inventory control tools that allow getting accurate information about containers’ state, maintain, repair and rearrange them if necessary.
3. Order Tracking
Guarantee order or invoice tracking possibilities to easily provide relevant container transportation details to all parties involved.
4. Shipment Calculator
Offer an in-built calculator possibility for customers to calculate the transportation fees basing on their cargo type, size, weight, shipping preferences, etc.
5. Push Notifications
Add push notifications to inform customers about their luggage state and location.
6. Analytical Dashboard
Develop an analytical dashboard providing advanced tools for statistics tracking and report managing. Include data analysis tools to collect feedback and improve your own services.
Ensure automated reporting features for platform users to stay in the picture about current container transportation processes.
Add or remove the features, discussing your custom inventory management mobile app project to build up a solution perfectly fitting your peculiar business case.
Create Your Own Logistics Solution
Container management systems offer varied possibilities for logistics businesses to improve their services and make transportation more time- and cost-effective.
Need to develop a custom inventory management platform? Do not wait to drop us a line! Our development team has the expertise and all necessary tools for building a container control system that will meet your expectations. Yet hesitate and have questions? Book a 15-minutes individual consultation to clarify all dubious issues and feel confident.