Shipment visibility is key to improving customer experience

Into the second year of the pandemic, heightened supply chain volatility, and gradual recovery, shippers are increasingly focusing on the need for supply chain visibility to maneuver through the unprecedented times. Believe it or not, supply chain visibility is directly proportional to customer experience and critical to your business’ revenue growth.

In terms of ETA changes, Asia to US West Coast trade lanes increased to 3.93 ETA changes per shipment in January 2021 compared to an average of 1.67 ETA changes at the same time last year. Now imagine the impact of such occurrences on the customers expecting these shipments to replenish their depleting safety stocks, or worse, to resume production at the plant. 

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For instance, in the automotive sector, which is highly competitive and volatile, manufacturers and OEM face huge risks with disruptions in the logistics networks. Assembly line downtimes are expensive, and suppliers may be imposed with hefty penalties to meet deadlines. 

With supply chain visibility solutions, one can access reliable predictive ETAs that can support customers with strict just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing requirements as in the automotive industry. 

Furthermore, proactive alerts from these systems can help foresee a critical delay in shipments and prepare accordingly for corrective action such as emergency air transfers. But most importantly, advanced shipment visibility can deter such occurrences and help save big bucks.

Shipment Visibility in Ocean Freight

Ocean freight is unpredictable and susceptible to unforeseen events, thereby posing more risk exposure. Furthermore, situations such as the pandemic and the subsequent closing of international boundaries, and incidents such as the Suez Canal blockage present unprecedented threats to the entire ecosystem. 

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Read more about our data analysis regarding delayed vessels after Suez Canal blockage:

Over the years, the expectations surrounding visibility have evolved from mere track and trace capabilities to deep data insights and leveraging such data-backed findings to be proactive instead of reactive in supply chain responses to external stimuli. Only visibility can help shippers tackle such challenges by the horns.

Knowing accurate ETAs can help shippers communicate the same to the customers so they can assess their supply chains better and prepare accordingly.

Additionally, shipment visibility data can help shippers assess their performance as per industry standards.

Shipment visibility can also help businesses optimize the warehouse space, working capital investment, and overall freight spend.

At Ocean Insights, we’ve developed Ocean Freight Tracking System (OFTS), a suite of digital tools that help streamline the supply chain operations. It is a unified digital platform that provides standardized & consolidated shipment data, container track and trace capabilities, sailing schedule data, analytics and aid decision making among other valuable features.

With visibility being a primary utility of the Ocean Freight Tracking System, you are ensured a truly digital supply chain experience with actionable data insights that help align your business with strategic goals.  

Shipment Visibility and Customer Service

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Inefficiencies and high operational costs in any logistics network directly impact the customer service levels. With limited visibility into freight movements, companies not only risk penalties and fines for missing shipping windows but also observe significantly lower sales. 

With the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has significantly changed, and so has their demand, even in the B2B context. Unprecedented crises have led to an emerging need for more reliable and quantifiable visibility data.

Increased use of predictive intelligence through geolocation tracking, identifying shipment delays, and evaluating accurate ETAs are now core functionalities shippers look for in visibility solution providers.  

Shippers need visibility of freight down to SKU or Purchase Order levels. Many businesses have transitioned to Transportation Management Systems or TMS to manage logistics networks more effectively. While a TMS implementation can help reduce freight spend significantly, the impact on customer service is also worthwhile. 

The recent partnership between project44 and SAP, one of the leading global TMS service providers, is set to provide advanced capabilities with SAP Logistics Business Network, including global freight visibility that enables shippers to take real-time decisions and run more proactive data driven supply chains.

Evolving customer demands mean that companies are tasked with delivering the right product in the correct quantity with no damage at the right time for a negligible cost. This, indeed, is difficult to attain without a high level of freight visibility. Thus losing sight of any critical freight milestone can mean an unhappy or lost customer.

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Customer service levels will significantly improve with real-time supply chain visibility because it empowers your customer-facing teams to provide proactive and accurate answers to shipment queries.

Reliable supply chain visibility will also improve response times by consolidating shipment location data, thereby significantly simplifying order management as a transparent process. Thus, it will not only boost your business’s bottom line but also act as a competitive differentiator. 

A proactive approach to shipment delays is now a much-needed trait for businesses and brings a competitive advantage. Reactive methods of dealing with delays are no longer welcome and can significantly impact customer experience and may cause losing customers to the competition. 

Ocean Insights, now a project44 company, has been effectively helping businesses detect disruption and identify bottlenecks earlier on in order lifecycle with its advanced and reliable ocean visibility solutions. Ocean Insights Container Track & Trace solution, provides customers with precise information on their container location and accurate ETAs at port or destination. In case of a disruption, such visibility helps take preventive actions of rerouting and transshipment to avoid any delay. 

To understand how your business can benefit from the Ocean Insights advanced ocean visibility solutions, reach out to us. Also, learn more about the ROI of an Ocean Freight Tracking System and how it can bring tangible benefits for your business.