The maritime supply chain is comprised of multiple players such as warehouses, vendors, distribution centers, freight forwarders, exporters, importers, and others. More often than not, these players are operating from different locations from across the globe. The very thought of facilitating effective communication and optimizing the efficiency of the network is enough to give anyone a splitting headache.
But wait, it gets even worse. Around 200 million containers travel across the globe every year and there are innumerable emails, Dropbox documents, Skype calls, and WhatsApp messages flying across just to manage one or a couple of freight forwarders, vendors and distributors in the chain.
Here are some numbers to help you understand the situation better. It is estimated that around 50 emails must be sent by a company to ensure the smooth logistics of one container. Going by the number of players involved in the process, it could amount to about 200 emails to get one container to its destination. And we can’t begin to calculate the total number of WhatsApp messages, Skype calls, and Dropbox documents shared per participant.
Sounds daunting, doesn’t it?
How Can Multi-Channel Communications Affect Efficiency?
Information doesn’t empower you if it fails to reach you on time. For instance, let us assume that one of your vendors in the supply chain wants information on a freight arrival. Someone from the vendor’s team sends you an email asking for an update. In order to ensure that the person gets the response faster, you send a WhatsApp or Skype message while they are still waiting for your email without realizing that you have already shared the details via another channel. This leads to misunderstanding and chaos, to say the least. Remember, we live in a world where information that is delivered nanoseconds late can be useless.
Imagine another scenario where someone from the distributor’s team wants access to a document. You receive an email regarding this. You upload the document to Dropbox and then send an email to inform them that you have uploaded the document. While the prime focus here should be on granting the other party access to the document, you are wasting your time writing emails just to give updates on its status.
Long story short, in maritime transportation, what really matters is real-time visibility of information which is easily accessible to everyone involved in the process. This means only one thing - a centralized communication tool is the need of the hour.
Advantages of Centralized Communication
The only effective way to avoid multi-channel communication and the hassles that ensue is to make the process centralized. This can be done by introducing a technology that helps everyone in the network send and receive documents and messages in real time. In other words, everything happens in one place and in real time. Let us take a look at the key advantages of such a system:
· Transmission of rich data: It allows you to reply to a query as detailed as possible without relying on lengthy emails or multiple WhatsApp messages.
· Real-time visibility and crisis management: Real-time visibility of information is the key to evaluating and managing crises in the freight business. A centralized communication channel can ensure just that.
· Better coordination: A centralized communication channel facilitates better coordination among participants, which helps you resolve any operational hassles quickly.
· Data analytics: We live in a world that is governed by data. A good centralized communication system will make use of big data and can throw insights into internal performances, shipment execution, and freight rates.
Do you want to centralize your shipping communication process? Are you looking for a system that not only allows you to centralize communication but also offers real-time visibility, data insights, and other features that give a competitive edge to your business? Choose BuyCo’s SMS, a platform that is designed to make freight management more efficient and less cumbersome.
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