Tuesday 24 June 2014

Major Change for Container Types

With the upcoming update of TrakIT (build 100), to be released on the 29th of June (Sunday), a major change will be implemented with respect to the way TrakIT handles container sizes and container types. It is important that you go through this article thoroughly and understand the implications and impact of this change.

These changes affect two fields in the work order header - Container Size and Container Type. The Container Size field can currently have value of 20' or 40', or it can be blank. The Container Type can currently have one of the following values:
  • General
  • Insulated
  • High Cube
  • Flat Rack
  • Tank (Gas)
  • Tank (Liquid)
  • Open Top
  • Reefer (Live)
  • Reefer (Dry)
  • Half-Height
  • Platform
The default Container Type was 'General' and you can set the Container Type to any one of the above choices.

In order to align TrakIT with industry ISO standards, the Container Type field will be changed to store the standard ISO Code of the Container Type.

ISO 6346 is an international standard covering the coding, identification and marking of inter-modal (shipping) containers used within containerized inter-modal freight transport. The Size and Type Codes section in the document will now be used by TrakIT to identify the container type and size.

As the Type Code includes the size of the container, the Container Size field in TrakIT will become a read-only field that will be populated automatically when the Container Type is set. Furthermore, the Container Type field in TrakIT will be non-mandatory.

The complete list of the Container Type Codes can be seen in Master Tables > Container Types. Some of these codes are set as "common" and appear in bold. These codes appear first in the list of codes.

The existing Container Types selected in Work Orders will be mapped to the new container codes as per the following table. It is possible the below mapping is not 100% correct for all work orders as there isn't a one-to-one correspondence with the new codes.

Old Container TypeNew Code for 20'New Code for 40'
High Cube25G1L5G1
Flat Rack22P142P1
Tank (Gas)22TN42TN
Tank (Liquid)22TN42TN
Open Top22U142U1
Reefer (Live)22R142R1
Reefer (Dry)22R142R1

Selecting a Container Type Code for a Work Order is straight forward. When editing the Work Order Header or creating new work orders, click on the Find link next to the Container Type text box as shown below:

A popup (shown below) opens up with the common container types listed. Click on a code to select it and insert the code into the text box. If the container code required is not a commonly used code, click the Show All link to see the full list of container codes.

As before, you can choose to apply the code to the specific work order or to all work orders in the shipment.

Once the container type code has been entered, the length of the container is automatically set as per the code.

Impact of Changes
  1. Custom & Advanced Reports - All Custom reports and Advanced reports that have the Container Type field present will now export the new code instead of the old one. The Container Size field will remain unchanged and will accordingly export the correct length of the container as per the code.
  2. Corridor Demurrage Defintions - The existing demurrage rate settings will apply to the 20' and 40' containers as applicable. If non-standard container sizes are used (i.e. other than 20' or 40'), demurrage rates will not apply if the particular size has not been defined in the Demurrage definitions for the corridor. Additionally, the Container Type field will be removed from all Demurrage definitions and rates will only apply on the size of the container.
  3. Container Size field has been removed from New Work Order creation page - both for Form Input and CSV input.
  4. Container Size field has been removed from the Edit Work Order page.
  5. All export of work orders will now include the new code for the Container Type field.
  6. A new field called 'Container Type Detail' has been made available to Custom & Advanced reports. This field will provide the description for the container type for the relevant code.

Other Changes in TrakIT

Other notable changes in the new update:

  • The Carrier is now an optional field for Work Order creation.
  • Default date filter for Advanced reports has been increased to 6 months (from 3 months). The default date filter is only applied when the WO Status filter is not being used.
  • A Booking Number field has been added to the WO Header - This field is populated only when work orders are created by an external system.
  • The Global Search feature has been modified to exclude closed work orders. It will now return only active work orders.
  • Several other minors fixes and improvements...

For any questions or concerns, please contact TrakIT Support.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Work Order Comments

With the last release of TrakIT, you can now add any number of comments on a work order or shipment. A new tab called 'Comments' has been added to the Work Order page.

Click 'Create' to add a new comment for the shipment. Please note that comments apply to the whole shipment and not just one work order. Comments appear in "Newest First" order by default.

Additionally, these comments will be visible to the customer when the TrakIT Customer Access Module will be implemented (This is currently under development). Customers will also be able to make comments here. Therefore, please take care not to post internal or sensitive information here.

Comments once posted cannot be modified. You can, however, delete a comment you have posted within one hour of the posting it, provided no one has posted another comment after yours.

For any questions or concerns, please contact TrakIT Support.

Friday 7 March 2014

New TrakIT Enhancements

In the latest release (build 96), some cool new features have been implemented to give users improved functionality and increased transparency.

Updating Event & Data for the Shipment

Users can now view or update a particular event or data field for multiple work orders belonging to the same shipment with same or different values in one go. This cuts down update time drastically when the same event or data field has different values for each work order. Users don't need to go into each work order to update the field.

When you open any work order that is a part of a shipment with multiple work orders, the event and data fields of the work order appears as a hyper link. Clicking on the event/data field name opens up the following popup:

Here, you can see the selected event for all work orders in the shipment. You can update the event corresponding to any container as required, just like a regular event update in TrakIT and click on the 'Save' button.

To copy the event date/remarks to other rows, select only those containers that you wish to copy to (by selecting/deselecting the check-boxes) and click on the icon (Copy to Selected) on the row from which you wish to copy. For example, if there are 30 work orders in the shipment and you wish to update the event for only 15 of them, just select those 15 rows, enter the event in any one row and click the icon for that row to copy the data to the other 14 rows.

Event fields cannot be updated out of sequence (unless allowed in the corridor), and this may differ for different containers belonging to the same shipment. The same validation process applies as when updating events normally.

Demurrage Fields from Container Tracking in Custom & Advanced Reports

You can now add Free Days, Actual Days and Demurrage fields to your custom or advanced reports that are created by work order, to predict and monitor detention. In the Export Fields tab select the 'Source' as Header and select the  fields as shown below:

The data is, of course, obtained from the Container Tracking module. The work order in question must be active in the Container Tracking list, otherwise no figures will be populated.

Event Completed Count option for Custom & Advanced Reports

You can now add the count of work orders for which a particular event has been completed to Custom and Advanced reports created by B/L, as shown below:

While creating/modifying an event field, the 'Select Option' menu gives you the option to choose 'Event Completed Count', which when selected will display the count of work orders for which this event has been completed. Using this in conjunction with the 'Total WO' field, you can check whether a particular event has been completed for all work orders in the shipment.

For further queries on the above features, please contact TrakIT Support.

Friday 28 February 2014

Broadcasting Messages

Do you wish to inform all users / customers / transporters / agents about some general information or something urgent? TrakIT allows you to do just that...

The Broadcast Messages feature allows Administrators to broadcast a message (along with an optional attachment) to a group of people. This group can be all TrakIT users, customers, transporters and agents of specific countries. 

Go to System > Broadcast Messages to see the list of all the messages that have already been sent out along with the date and time of their broadcast. Click on the message to view the details and the recipients it was broadcast to.

Here is a sample message:

Broadcasting a Message
Click on the 'Create New' button to create a new message for broadcast. The following window appears: 

Under the Recipients section, select one or more Entity Types, User Roles and From Countries. Enter a subject in the Subject section and information that you need to broadcast in the Content section. If you need to attach any document with this message, you can do so by selecting a file to include with the message (max 1 MB). Once the message is ready, click on the Send button and the message will be emailed to all the selected recipients.

Note: If you have selected any of the Entity Types as recipients, then you are allowed to select a maximum of four countries.

For further queries and questions about this feature, please contact TrakIT Support.

Monday 3 February 2014

Slow loading Advanced Reports?

Over the past few weeks, we've discovered that some Advanced Reports were "hogging" the system and slowing performance. Additionally, these reports were being sent out twice or thrice daily...

As an example, a report was generating about 19,000 rows with 24 columns of data - that is about 456,000 data items in one single report! The resulting Excel file was a few megabytes in size and was being sent out daily.

Upon investigation, we found that the filters for the subscription were set incorrectly, thereby causing large amounts of data to be included in the report.

With the latest update of TrakIT (released last Saturday), we've included a way to measure how long a report takes to generate. Under the Advanced Reports subscriptions, you will see a column "Last Gen" that indicates the number of seconds that the report took to generate the last time it was sent or manually generated.

We've also added a filter for system admins to identify long running reports. Take a look at this screenshot:

The "Generation Time" filter is currently visibly only to System Administrator - but it will be made available to all admins shortly.

We recommend you go through your subscriptions to see how long the last report took to generate. If you find the figure missing, it will be updated the next time your report is sent out.

For any questions or clarifications, please contact TrakIT Support.