What is the Visibility For Containers (VFC) Online Solution?
The InTransit Visibility For Containers Online solution was created to help you to have an overview when tracking your container shipments and give you real-time information about the shipment's current status and the ETAs.
- How to add a shipment
- Daily Digest Email notifications and how to enable/disable them
- Charge type options and how you can subscribe to this solution
How to add a shipment
After logging in to your MarineTraffic account, you will be directed to our LiveMap.
In order to open our Visibility For Containers Solution page, you simply click on your Account button to see the options for your account and click on My Shipments, as shown below:
Click on “ADD SHIPMENT”:
Then, in order to complete your shipment addition, you need to select the Document Type, which can be Bill of Lading, Booking Reference, or Container Number; the Number of the Document Type selected:
About the field Shipping Line, for Container Numbers, if no Carrier information is added, the system will consider this as AUTO.
TIP: Auto-detect works well in Carrier owned containers, but will not work well in third-party-owned or leased containers, and might lead to a return of tracking information of a past shipment that used the specific container.
Also, you can add tags, for your own reference to each shipment. If you want to add more than one tag, you can separate them using a comma. Note that the tags cannot be edited once they were added.
After this, you can confirm the details of the shipment that is being added, and click on Confirm.
At this moment, you will be charged 100 MarineTraffic credits, as shown below:
Your Shipment has just been added:
At this time, our system will request to wait around 05 to 10 minutes to fetch the shipment from Carrier. At this stage, the status of the shipment will be indicated as "Pending". You can then refresh it again until the status changes to "Tracking".
In case you have no available credits, a message will be shown. You can click on "Buy more credits" to buy the number of credits you need and proceed.
Add another shipment
You can add another shipment(s) either by clicking on " ADD ANOTHER SHIPMENT" at the time you have just added your first one:
Or by going to https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/containers/shipments or to My Account and click on “My Shipments” and then, "ADD SHIPMENT":
Now, you can follow the steps presented here.
Overview of your shipment
You can have an overview of all your shipments added, by going to your Shipments page: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/containers/shipments or to My Account and clicking on “My Shipments”:
Then, you will be directed to your shipments page:
There are four tracking status states:
"Pending" status, while we try to fetch Track & Trace information. A job runs trying to fetch information for batches of 200 every 10 minutes.
“Tracking” status: Once Carrier Track & Trace data are fetched, the tracking status will change to “Tracking”.
“Completed” status: Once all Carrier Track & Trace events are marked as completed, the tracking status will change to “Completed”. The latest data calculated for this shipment will continue to be displayed. If however the shipment is completed at the time of subscription, no calculation has ever been performed, and therefore the data will show ‘-’.
“Failed” status: In case of errors in fetching Carrier Track & Trace data, a “Failed” status will be displayed, together with a description of the reason that caused the failure. See the table below for the reasons as shown on the My Shipments page of the online solution, and the respective error returned by the Shipment API endpoint. If the reason is of the nature that a retry could end up in a successful tracking, the system will automatically retry every 10 minutes and up to 5 times in total to successfully get Carrier Track & Trace data. If after those retry attempts, the failure remains, the system will automatically retry every 1 hour and up to 60 times in total to successfully get Carrier Track & Trace data.
If after all these retry attempts the failure remains, then a refund of the charge will be given, and a “refund given” will be shown under the error message within 10 minutes.
The table below indicates all "Failed" reasons, with retry eligibility and refund timeframes:
|TYPE||ONLINE SOLUTION REASON||SHIPMENT API RESPONSE REASON||5 to 60 RETRIES||REFUND|
|FAILED||Carrier canceled shipment||SEALINE_CANCELED_SHIPMENT||No||Within 10 minutes|
|FAILED||Wrong carrier||WRONG_SEALINE||No||Within 10 minutes|
|FAILED||Wrong number||WRONG_NUMBER||No||Within 10 minutes|
|PENDING||Carrier system under maintenance||SEALINE_UNDER_MAINTENANCE||Yes||Within 10 minutes|
|PENDING||Carrier unresponsive||SEALINE_NO_RESPONSE||Yes||Within 10 minutes|
|PENDING||No information provided by carrier||SEALINE_HASNT_PROVIDE_INFO||Yes||Within 10 minutes|
|PENDING||No events defined by carrier||NO_EVENTS||Yes||Within 10 minutes|
|PENDING||No containers included in this shipment||NO_CONTAINERS||Yes||Within 10 minutes|
|FAILED||Error||UNEXPECTED_ERROR||No||Within 10 minutes|
|FAILED||N/A||SEALINE_NOT_SUPPORTED||No||Within 10 minutes|
You can find any of your shipments by typing the requested information on the filters presented. They are personalized and will only show options according to what you have added to your shipments.
The available filters are:
- Number: this is based on the content of the Number column of the data grid. At least 3 characters are required and the filtering is auto-applied to the Datagrid;
- Departure Port: this is based on the name of the departure port included in the Departure column of the Datagrid. A drop-down list will be shown including only ports that are available in your shipments;
- Arrival Port: this is based on the name of the arrival port included in the Arrival column of the Datagrid. A drop-down list will be shown including only ports that are available in your shipments;
- Arrival: this is based on the arrival timestamp included in the Arrival column of the Datagrid, including ETA and ATA timestamps. A modal will open giving you some standard date range options, as well as a custom definition of the range of interest;
- Shipment Status: you can filter based on the current status column of your shipment;
- Tags: you can filter based on the name of the content of the tags column of the Datagrid. A drop-down list includes only tags that are available on your shipments;
- Tracking Status: you can use this filter based on all possible tracking statuses. A drop-down list includes all possible selections.
You can also click on the button “LIVE TRACKING”:
and get an overview of your Shipment’s Details including the status of your shipment, an embedded map with the live satellite position of your shipment, a full transportation plan visibility, and a table with all carrier’s milestone events. This link is shareable and by clicking the “Share” button you can easily send it to any stakeholder you want. Also, it is updated with each page refresh for real-time visibility.
Daily Digest Email notifications and how to enable/disable them
Daily Digest email notifications is a feature of VFC that allows all types of users (API or Online Version) to get notified about the status of their tracking shipments via email.
You will be notified in the following cases:
- When a tracking shipment has arrived in the port of Destination, with the additional information on how many days is already there.
- When a tracking shipment will arrive in the next three days at the port of Destination, with additional information regarding whether the shipment is delayed or not.
- When a tracking shipment has a Delay of 1 day or more based on identified differences between the Planned ETA and Predictive ETA.
How to Enable/Disable feature
The feature is enabled by default for all types of VFC users (API or Online version). However, you can always disable or enable again this feature just through a button in the Online version.
To manage the feature you may access the My Shipments page and then click on the Notifications button:
From here you can either disable or enable the feature from the switch and apply your new preferences:
Charge type options and how you can subscribe to this solution
The solution supports both a pay-as-you-go model with credits and a period-based subscription with an annual commitment of shipments.
In both charging models, the charging unit is per shipment and covers tracking the shipment until completion. When subscribing to a shipment with a bill of lading or booking a reference transport document number, you will be charged for one shipment even if this document number refers to more than one container. When subscribing based on a container number, each container number will be considered a separate shipment and charged separately.
Credits-based (pay-as-you-go) charging
In the credits-based charging model (pay-as-you-go), each shipment is charged 100 MarineTraffic credits, pre-charged upon subscription of a shipment, but will be refunded if the system has finished all possible retries and is unable to successfully fetch track & trace information.
You can purchase MarineTraffic credits here.
Period-based (subscription) charging
If you are using the subscription charging model (period-based), then the shipment will be pre-charged against your annual subscription limit upon subscription and deducted if track & trace information is not successfully retrieved.
In order to have a subscription and pay per usage, more information can be found here.
NOTE: If track & trace information is available but ETA to the final destination cannot be calculated for other reasons (e.g. a vessel's next port does not match the expected one), charging will be applied.