This article details how containers are tracked in our system by using a master bill of lading number, and how containers are identified in association to their master bill of lading with parent and child references.
Tracking Containers Using Only a Master Bill of Lading Number
The Vizion Ocean Freight Visibility API tracks containers on a container level no matter the input.
When tracking a shipment with only the master bill of lading number Vizion will:
- Identify all of the containers associated with that master bill of lading
- Create a reference for each individual container on the master bill of lading
(See "Parent & Child Association" below for details)
- Provide updates for each individual container's active or most recent journey
Parent & Child Association
parent_reference_id: A reference representing a master bill of lading number where no container ID was input with the master bill of lading. The parent_reference_id is only populated when using a master bill of lading number on its own to track containers, and will only be shown in child reference updates. This allows you to easily group shipments together as you receive updates for each container.
child_reference_id: A reference representing a container number that is associated with a master bill of lading that was entered separately from the container ID. The master bill of lading reference number will be the parent_reference_id for all of the containers associated with it, and each container will be identified with its own reference ID.
In the example response below a reference was created using only the master bill of lading ONEYSINA68242400. The parent reference ID for the master bill of lading reference is 961012a5-9e06-4e3f-93e5-77e544d4ce (see in bold). Notice the container ID field is null for a parent reference.
"message": "Reference created successfully.",
When creating a parent reference note that you will only get a response back containing information pertaining to the parent reference. The API will then create children references but not send you a response with the info for each child reference.
In order to find an active parent or child reference please read more here.