Over the past few years, real-time shipping visibility has become increasingly important. The ocean moves around 90% of global trade however visibility in this sector, compared to over-the-road shipments, is more complex and usually filled with multiple unknown blind spots. Unexpected delays for over-the-road shipments via trucks usually add just a day or two to the overall transit time. However, delays for ocean cargo can add over 10 days to the overall transit time, and these delays are typically completely unknown for days or weeks. In many cases, the shipper only becomes aware of these delays after complaints from the end customers.
Today's customers require accurate and up-to-date information about where their containers are across the long ocean journey, and supply chain professionals have realized the importance of fulfilling this need. Fulfilling the need for real-time ocean shipping visibility to customers once used to be a stand-out service. However, it has now become fundamental to business survival and growth in light of the never-ending shocks and disruptions in today's ocean supply chain.
Research suggests an increasing number of supply chain professionals have been actively investing in real-time visibility platforms and the adoption of these platforms is expected to grow rapidly. According to a recent study conducted by Gartner, about "50% of global product-centric enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility platforms by 2030"
In this article, we will explore the practical business value of real-time visibility solutions and why you should consider adopting one.
Reduce employees' time on mundane tasks
The lack of visibility creates internal and external inefficiencies across tasks assigned to logistics teams in charge of transportation. Logistics teams usually know when a shipment is booked to be picked up and dropped off, but are more often than not in the dark on any status updates during transit. Most customer support teams typically follow up on shipments in transit manually on carrier websites which is very time-consuming and inefficient.
Real-time visibility platforms eliminate the need for manual follow-ups by automatically providing notifications on the status of shipments on a single platform so that employees can have more time to focus on sorting out issues and mitigating associated disruptions.
Hyundai Glovis adopted SeaVantage's visibility platform during its expansion to the 3PL and global logistics market. Earlier, they struggled with accessing accurate and reliable ETA from carriers. This consequently resulted in their customer service teams spending a lot of time manually following up on carrier websites about shipment arrivals, delays, and other exceptions. After they adopted SeaVantage's Cargo Insight visibility platform, which provides proactive alerts on the status of shipments of different carriers on a single dashboard, they have been able to better optimize their labor planning to focus on tasks that add greater operational value.
Improve Customer Experiences
Today's modern customers are always on the lookout for delivery updates of their shipments in transit. Many manufacturers and shippers are facing new demands from their end customers to monitor the status of their shipments over the ocean. These demands stern from the practices over-the-road deliveries provide such as same-day delivery, live tracking of shipments in transit, and notifications along the delivery journey.
For ocean shipments, real-time tracking information is rarely provided by carriers to shippers/freight forwarders. Changes to shipment ETA is usually not updated on time on ocean carrier websites or in some cases shipment delays are not updated at all. This lack of real-time visibility of shipments lead to customer service teams receiving numerous calls and
complaints about the status of their shipments, which eventually tends to deteriorate the relationship between the freight forwarder and shipper or the end customer.
Real-time shipment visibility platforms like SeaVantage, provide frequent and timely updates to the location and arrival of shipments. The shipper can view the live status of their shipments or empower their customers to view it on their website through easy API integration.
One of the world’s leading freight forwarding companies uses SeaVantages's real-time shipment visibility to keep customers informed on delays and provide accurate ETAs for operations and better incident management for shipments in transit to their end customers.
Minimize costs and fines
The lack of visibility data on ocean shipments can lead to excessive penalties and costs. There have been cases in which customers have fined suppliers for delayed shipments, early shipments, or those that don't meet the "OTIF" requirements.
Furthermore, for other companies, the absence of port and terminal congestion visibility data means spending extra costs to efficiently plan their freight strategy to mitigate unexpected disruptions.
Having real-time data, together with the predicted ETA information of shipments & vessels allows companies to identify hiccups and plan ahead to significantly decrease or avoid these fines and costs
One of the largest steel manufacturers in the world uses SeaVantage's Visibility Platform to reduce excessive logistics costs related to demurrage charges and excessive vessel chartering. They predict saving up to 30% on penalties and costs.
Anticipate and reduce risks
Ocean transportation is prone to multiple risks and disruptions such as severe weather, capacity shortages, traffic congestion at ports, and so on. Poor visibility of common events such as vessel delays, blank sailings, and cargo rollovers only exacerbates these risks.
With real-time shipment visibility, shippers can anticipate disruptions and minimize their associated risks. Predictive ETAs generated by real-time
visibility platforms provide proactive alerts about disruptions which help to identify and figure out corrective measures before the disruptions lead to major losses.
For instance, the Port Insight platform of SeaVantage allows ocean shippers to track congestions at worldwide ports in real-time allowing them to stay informed of potential delays of vessels and shipments at ports of their interest.
In today's market, ocean freight visibility is a must-have to ease the impact of disruptions on your supply chain. The cost savings from real-time ocean shipping visibility alone justifies investing in a visibility platform. Other top-line benefits include improved operation efficiency, optimized labor planning, and higher customer satisfaction.
With the recent unprecedented disruptions from the global pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, it is important to remain agile and adjust your logistics strategy as needed.
Don’t let the lack of real-time visibility hold back your supply chain. Request a demo of SeaVantage's Visibility Platform today.
Founded in 2018, SeaVantage is a fast-growing start-up helping companies transform their ocean supply chain with real-time and predictive visibility solutions. Top leading companies including Samsung SDS, POSCO, Hyundai GLOVIS, and Lotte Global Logistics utilize and trust our data solutions to optimize their maritime logistics and operations.
Our cargo insight, ship insight, and port insight platforms help our customers proactively manage and respond to unforeseen disruptions in their ocean transport, which in turn ensures a better quality of service for their end customers and financial gains.
Tel: (+82) 02-3444-7302 / (+82) 02-3444-7303