Many major industries have seen a surge of reusable container use in their supply chains in recent years, often accompanied – either initially or eventually – by a container tracking initiative. Tracking reusable containers brings with it many benefits, including loss prevention, risk mitigation, and data integration.
But sometimes, companies only attempt to track what happens locally, and miss what is happening outside of the area they manage. Getting the whole picture requires managers to collect data about every step – from sourcing and production, to logistics, reverse logistics and more. Overlooking even one of these steps can lead to missing critical information, hindering informed decision-making.
Some instances of container mismanagement:
Shipped to the Wrong Location
Mistakes can happen. Your containers might be shipped to the wrong location, or your third-party logistics provider might simply drop them off at an unrelated facility. This facility might have no use for your containers and no way of knowing how to return them to you. They might simply be thrown out, recycled, or sold.
Overabundance of Containers
When your demand for a container changes, you may suddenly not need as many as you’ve used in the past. If the quantity doesn’t merit building a truckload to get rid of them, they might sit unused at a supplier, wasting storage space, perhaps for months at a time. A facility manager might just get tired of looking at them, and, for better or for worse, choose to sell or otherwise dispose of your property.
Theft Due To Lax Control
While durable, protective, and more environmentally-friendly than disposable shipping materials, reusable containers can represent a significant investment on your part. If not properly tracked, others might see an opportunity to profit from your foresight. Someone sees valuable containers on your lot, and unfortunately decides they might make some money selling them on the open market.
With just a few simple preventative measures, such as serializing your containers and recording their last known locations, so many issues can be swiftly resolved. To properly manage your reusable containers, you need to know who has them, and where they are.