Containers to get smarter thanks to an integrated management platform

The aim is to resolve the fact that about 3,000 empty container trucks are running on the roads of Shanghai every day due to information asymmetry.

All those empty containers running around on Shanghai's streets may soon be history. 

An integrated management platform has been established by an alliance of container enterprises in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to improve the efficiency of container transportation and thereby reducing traffic pressure.

“There are about 3,000 container trucks running on the roads of Shanghai without cargo every day due to information asymmetry between companies, ports, agencies and storage yards,” said Ding Daokang, chairman of the Suzhehu Container (Shanghai) Co.

“The inefficiency causes not only high costs of companies, but also pressure on traffic in the city.” 

Ding added that road container transportation enterprises in Shanghai now mainly operate with containers loaded for a single journey and return to base empty.

But if information could be effectively shared between related parties, such as the container companies, ports and the storage yards, the utilization rate of the containers will be increased, improving transport efficiency and reducing the numbers of the large trucks on road.

Ding said the platform was established as companies realized the role the Internet could play to resolve the empty truck problem.

A foundation has also set up at the Sino-US Global Logistics Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University to improve online management of container transport in the Yangtze River Delta region and to increase efficiency and reduce costs for logistic industries in the area.

Teng Junpin from the Shanghai Transportation Commission said handling cargo efficiently was a key task for Shanghai's aim to build itself into an international shipping center and a global city of excellence.

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