Real-time container tracking and spatial analytics powered by Location Intelligence

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Various industries have been dramatically changed by a “digital transformation” movement or implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) throughout their organization. We see lots of discussion and examples of autonomous vehicles on land and in the air, but what about on the sea? More devices are becoming “smart” and the rise of connected devices globally increases every day. The Port of Rotterdam has made it their mission to be a leader in the digitalization of their port and logistics. They also want others to take action in modernizing their shipping ports and connect with those transformative initiatives happening on land and in air. By doing so, ports can be integrated within the holistic digital supply network helping deliver goods faster, more economically, and more efficiently while reducing waste and risks.

This can be achieved by producing a “digital twin” – a fully digital representation of the physical world – that allows for organizations to have real-time, accurate visibility across the network to make the fast, accurate decisions. With millions of shipping containers active across the globe, what could we learn if we connected them and integrated their travel data with our existing logistics data systems? Could we reduce the congestion of ships at our ports? How about reducing the amount of idle time containers spend during their journey? The proper implementation of a digital twin allows data and systems to avoid problems before they even occur.

During the 2019 USC Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit, Esri and the Port of Rotterdam showcased Container 42 and its ability to utilize a digital twin during transport. Hundreds of the conference attendees visited Container 42 and talked about the digital twin concept, feasibility, and opportunity a smart container has in the foreseeable future. Esri and the Port of Rotterdam have also showcased container 42 at Esri’s annual User Conference, which takes place in San Diego, CA every year.

The logistics and distribution industry is changing rapidly and growing more complex, and it is important for existing ports, rail, road and air to be ready for a smarter and more integrated supply chain. Location intelligence provides real-time and predictive insights, coupling data from existing disparate operational systems with live external feeds that deliver actionable insights. Before smart containers and autonomous vehicles (ships, trucks, drones, etc.) are the new norm, we first must collaborate on the data sharing across the multiple hand-offs and channels across the network that must accompany a true digital twin model.

At Esri, we engineer the most advanced software solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced spatial analytics. Our Digital Supply Network software is designed to give stakeholders a holistic view of their supply network with better planning and more responsive real-time operations. Keeping pace with global market pressure has never been more complex or demanding.

As Container 42 travels the globe, Esri technology will locate, track, map, and provide contextual geographic information to all relevant participants. Quickly visualize and analyze live global network operations in a holistic view, instantly seeing and investigating incidents before they disrupt the business, helping to maintain performance levels for the delivery of products and services. While it’s important to collect data, its equally important to be able to look at this data in a way that is most relevant and can be used in real time. This is all achieved through the power of using Location Intelligence to see what others can’t.