The term efficiency is being redefined by many industries thanks to the many tools and technologies readily available for use. Yet, for container shipping, efficiency is still a hard thing to come by due to the very nature of the industry. From choosing the right container to communicating with multiple players involved in the shipping process, several factors impact the efficiency of your process. Any glitch, technical or operational, can be detrimental to your brand image.
When shipping large volumes, you end up managing several containers each month and coordinating with multiple international partners in your supply chain. The catch here is that time is at a premium. You cannot (and should not) be spending all your time on repetitive container management tasks. In other words, you need to maximize efficiency such that large quantities are shipped and delivered in a highly competent manner.
Fortunately, there are ways to save time and maximize efficiency in each step of the process.
Here are a few of them:
Using the right search tools
Often, when searching for a carrier, you or your freight forwarder are forced to look through 2 or 3 different websites to search the routes your partners are taking. Considering the number of bookings you make each week, this becomes a time-consuming and taxing exercise. Instead, use a Carrier Search Engine to find all your partners’ routes with your pre-negotiated prices in one place.
A Carrier Search Engine also allows you to find all the other carriers that take the given route in case you are interested in establishing a new partnership. New routes are being opened up on a daily basis by various carriers from all around the world, and a Carrier Search Engine is the easy way to become aware of them.
Using the right communication tools
“Collaboration platforms connect all the players in the logistics chain: carriers, shippers, freight forwarders, health authorities. In this way, the actors benefit from a better visibility on the supply chain.” Alexis Michel — Former Director CMA CGM for reefer cargo
Proper and on-time communication with your shipping partners is crucial for operational efficiency. This includes emails, messages, document sharing, and reviewing of information, to mention a few. By using a single and centralized platform that lets you do all these in one place. Rather than resorting to multiple tools, you save time and also rule out lost information and unnecessary delays.
Integrating your tools to a single platform
While being engaged in freight management, you use multiple tools for multiple purposes. While this is a common practice, the challenge here is that you end up entering the same information in your various ERPs, TMSs, and specialized tools, which can take up a lot of your time. It is essential that you find open platforms that can be easily connected to your other tools by API/EDI so you can check one channel of information rather than many. A Container Shipping Platform like BuyCo can accomplish this for you.
Increasing productivity with automation
Your shipments are often similar from one to another; you probably work with recurring clients. However, time is wasted in re-organizing each shipment from scratch. Automation speeds up this process by allowing you to duplicate shipments. A duplicated shipment includes the same collaborators, partners, shipping information, and documents, which can be edited after. Automation ensures that shipments are organized correctly and efficiently. Container Shipping Platforms allow this to be a possibility.
To discover more challenges and possible solutions to address those challenges, download the eBook" The Top 8 Challenges & Solutions in Container Shipping Management"