What do shippers look for when evaluating an ocean container visibility solution? We offer insights into seven capabilities that set the best platforms apart.
Complex Supply Chains Require Intuitive Visibility Platforms
When managing hundreds or thousands of ocean shipments and navigating tight capacity, limited labor resources, and unexpected supply chain disruptions, it can be challenging to stay on top of all your shipments. Visibility solutions can help you manage and track your shipments, but not all platforms are created equal.
If a customer calls asking about a shipment that never arrived or if a shipment is split because not all of the documentation was received by the carrier in time, it could be due to the fact that you are using a visibility platform that is based on outdated data, does not provide insights, or does not make it intuitive to find key information.
The best ocean shipment visibility platforms let you analyze your overall shipment status, foresee potential and occurring problems, collaborate on your follow-up actions, and respond before they have costly implications.
Real-time Ocean Shipment Visibility Platform Secret Ingredients
We may be biased, but these are seven key ingredients in the secret sauce to ensure you can get the most value out of your real-time ocean shipment visibility platform.
1. Visualization - Find out about the progress and delays regarding documentation, shipments, ports, and carriers quickly through a central dashboard. Easy-to-read summary charts with drill-down capabilities are your guiding light for seeing areas that need your attention each day.
2. Dynamic Predictive ETDs and ETAs - As your customers want to know when their shipments will arrive, you can access the latest estimated times from a central source. And, not relying entirely on carrier data, you can have predictive insights based on live vessel data and historical information for a more accurate estimation for your planning.
3. Intelligent Exception Alerts - When you are ready to drill down into the details, let the system do the hard work for you - offering fast access to see if your containers are dwelling too long at the port of loading, on a vessel that is skipping your port of discharge, or even if your shipment is at risk of being a split shipment. A strong visibility platform will reveal exceptions before it's too late to take action.
4. Dwell Time Analysis - In addition to dwelling too long at the port of origin which can cause a cascading effect of delays with connecting vessels, it's critical to know how long containers are dwelling at the port of discharge. Clear indicators of long-waiting containers at the port of discharge allow you to take action to minimize accruing demurrage and other port fees.
5. Maps - Maps are nearly ubiquitous now on visibility platforms, but they are essential for zeroing in on regions when you read about incidents and severe weather in the news and want to identify impacted shipments quickly.
6. Collaboration - The beauty of cloud solutions is everyone who has access can see the same view of the data. It becomes truly collaborative and time saving when everyone can add comments to shipments that have potential issues, keeping everyone in the loop on shipment status. And, with a record of the comments, you can analyze them later for future planning with carriers, ports, and routes.
7. Data Triangulation - A visibility platform that accesses multiple data sources and leverages a digital twin with live vessel data associated with your shipments can provide you with a holistic view of enriched, supplemented, and corrected data for a clearer picture for your operations. Without an engine that runs algorithms on data from multiple sources, you could be working off of outdated data or having to hunt for information on multiple websites to determine the correct information.
Elevate Your Global Shipment Visibility
Does your ocean visibility platform offer these seven advantages? They each provide key elements that can help you optimize your supply chain planning and execution and ultimately better serve your customers.
If you would like to up your game in your ocean container visibility, we invite you learn more about IQAX TrackIt, our real-time ocean shipment visibility platform for shippers, and to reach out to our experts for a demo.