Companies today that export cargo overseas do it with more efficiency than ever before thanks to the digital technology and the services that have developed in its wake. While ocean shipping is the most popular way to transport cargo overseas around the world, it is still a long way from achieving its full potential. As the industry evolves, ocean-based supply chains are starting to utilize technology that increases efficiency, cut costs, simplify container transport, boost transparency and increase customer satisfaction. Here are 7 services that are essential for an Ocean Based Supply Chain:
The level of a supply chain’s efficiency depends on its extent of digitization. The total number of processes and the supporting tasks can be overwhelming to keep track of for anyone is a supply chain. This creates silos of information that can waste time before it gets to the next link unless the entire supply chain is digitized and monitored on a single platform. The streamlining of processes brought about by digitization will cut out inefficiencies that waste time, money and other resources. Digitization also helps with the scalability of operation by offering customization of operational modules and meet the needs of the company without very big upfront costs.
Automation in an Ocean Based Supply Chain can save a lot of time and redundant work. Logistics and forwarding companies who work with recurring clients or recurring processes can save wasted time in reorganizing every shipment from scratch by duplicating shipments. Such shipments can include the same partners, collaborators, shipping information, documents and other processes which can be edited later without errors. The returns process is also an area where automation can eliminate repeated work and avoid a pile-up.
Tracking shipments without modern-day GPS tracking systems is a laborious and inaccurate process. Poor visibility can lead to delays in the port schedules and ultimately delays at the point of delivery. Visibility plays a critical role in the security of the shipment and other metrics that can be used to improve the efficiency of transport fleets. Real-time tracking information can help logistics companies to understand changes to the movement of the freight and respond to the change to stay on schedule. Freight management solutions can offer end-to-end visibility in the supply chain to all stakeholders and improve the process flow.
Instant communication between all the parties involved in the supply chain is a major contributor to the smooth functioning of the supply chain. Disjoint communication in the form of delayed email responses or difficulty in updating key people involved in the supply chain can waste valuable time. Running the supply chain on a single platform with seamless communication in the form of instant messaging, alerts, and progress reports can eliminate miscommunication and delays.
Supply chain analytics
Historical analysis of the data gathered from the past can offer business intelligence and insight into the performance that can be used to improve supply chain operations. Ocean Based Supply Chains generate massive amounts of data which can be instrumental for businesses to optimize their operations and streamline the flow of the supply chain. Data is increasingly being used by supply chain solutions to offer predictive and prescriptive analytics to help keep businesses ahead of their competition.
Cloud computing services are the most reliable platform over which most of the logistics software is built. It makes it easier for elements of the supply chain to use logistics solutions as a service and gain the advantage of some of its features such as access to remote locations and a dedicated team of experts and IT professionals. Its reliability is also complemented by the safety of data it insures and the fast accessibility that comes with it.
Customers such as exporters and manufacturing companies will need real-time information on the status of their shipments to schedule their logistics activities. Having softwares that keep customers on board with the real-time updates on their freight gives high visibility and increases trust because of the transparency. With time-intensive tasks such as tracking and monitoring automated, staff can work more on the documentation end to works through customs quickly.
Ocean Based Supply Chains are a highly complicated network of systems that need to perform in sync to maximize efficiency. The high risk in these supply chains arises out of a lack of visibility and inefficient operating procedures that can be eliminated by digitizing the systems and having it all managed on one platform.