Earlier in the year, Nicom put into production for the Port of Halifax an “Enhanced Container Tracking” web application, which answers the question definitively, “Where is my container?”. That seems to be a simple enough question, but if the answer is “over there, see, under that stack of other containers,” then that doesn’t do you much good.
Or if the answer is “right here, see, but it’s being held up by customs,” that’s no good either.
What’s needed is a place where people can see not only where their containers are, but also when they’ll be ready for pickup, and what’s their status in terms of held and released.
That is what the system—part of the Halifax Gets it There portal, also built by Nicom—will do. After a container has arrived in Halifax, every phase of its journey is tracked—it’s been taken off the vessel, it’s now on a rail car, it’s left the terminal, etc. See http://halifaxgetsitthere.com/en/shipping-tools/EnhancedContainerTracking/ContainerQuery.aspx.
In order to be able to do its job, the portal takes feeds from many sources and generates a schedule. Users can register to the system and get notices via text or email whenever the status of a container they are interested in changes.
What’s next? Nicom is now doing a design for an “Operational Dashboard”, which will make other logistics information more visible. Stay tuned.