One of the most significant challenges for shippers over recent years has been a "sick" supply chain battered by dramatic supply and demand shifts due to COVID-19 and fluctuating consumer purchasing behavior. The sudden and unprecedented demand for medical supplies, essentials, and consumer goods during the pandemic showed a supply chain unable to meet market demands. Warehouses were overwhelmed and unable to store stock and supplies, and strained transportation networks couldn't meet capacity needs.
This supply chain turmoil led to shortages of groceries, medical equipment, and other necessities, leaving consumers, hospitals, and manufacturers unable to meet their needs. Repercussions spread throughout every market segment worldwide.
While demand has since leveled off from the worst days of the pandemic capacity crisis, shippers still have concerns. Constantly shifting markets, consumer demands, economic turmoil, and the chance of another global crisis could leave shippers' operations in dire straights due to a sick supply chain.
According to a post-pandemic McKinsey survey, 93% of supply chain leaders hope to make their supply chains more resilient after the previous crisis.
So how are industry-leading shippers preparing their supply chains for resilience in the next supply chain crisis? To heal their sick supply chains, shippers have been turning to ocean freight visibility as a solution.
Three Ways Ocean Freight Visibility Helps Build Healthy Supply Chains
Wondering where freight is in its ocean journey and how many containers will eventually arrive could be more effective. It is also costly as shipping charges such as detention and demurrage fees result from an inability to plan. Lack of visibility also hides problems and valuable insights in the shipper's supply chain. But there is a solution to these problems.
Ocean freight visibility improves communication between all stakeholders, provides logistics analytics and insights, and enables operational planning with real-time information. It doesn't only help overcome problems but opens up new opportunities.
Improved Communication Through API Logistics
Resilient supply chains are built on improved communication from an API providing real-time data and insights. Shippers are enabled to identify and address potential issues proactively before they become problems. Upon identifying potential issues, actionable insights are quickly shared through an API with logistics partners.
Additionally, cloud-based APIs enable shippers to access a much more comprehensive range of resources with easily integrated data add-ons, ensuring the shipper's software platform scales along with their logistics network.
Collected insights, once implemented, make all the difference in optimizing operations and ensuring on-time deliveries. Higher costs associated with delays see reductions, and customer satisfaction and operational efficiency realize significant increases.
On-Demand Logistics Analytics
Shippers build healthy and resilient supply chains with on-demand logistics analytics by having access to real-time insights into their shipment statuses, inventory levels, and the performance of each carrier.
According to the FreightWaves article "Creating value in the supply chain through digital collaboration,"
"Enterprises generate more data than ever before and are looking for ways to leverage it to see their business in new ways and make better decisions. Predictive analytics extracts information from data sets and uses it to predict trends and behavior patterns, allowing supply chain participants to mitigate risk in down cycles and seize opportunities in growth periods. Freight forwarders can use historical data to predict drayage capacity crunches on the East Coast due to cyclical and seasonal factors; consignees in the United States can proactively manage their order flows in response to models forecasting container rates on the volatile Transpacific lane. Shippers who can accurately predict freight transit times will be able to continue reducing inventory in a period of rising interest rates. In each case, sharing insights between partners creates a data-driven collaborative process producing better decisions and more value."
Logistics data allows shippers to address potential disruptions proactively, monitor their shipments, and plan for alternative routes as needed.
For instance, volatile labor issues on the U.S. West Coast have shown the essential need for this level of flexibility. After 40% of supply chain managers shifted trade from the West Coast, they show wariness to shifting it back once an International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) labor deal is reached, increasing demands on East Coast ports.
Data is only beneficial if it is compiled and becomes actionable. Partnering with an ocean freight visibility partner gives shippers the analytics and actionable insights they need without the expense, hassle, and error-prone manual data processes.
When shippers leverage on-demand logistics analytics to anticipate and mitigate disruptions, they ensure their supply chains remain flexible and agile in any circumstances that might arise.
Optimized Operations With Real-Time Visibility in Logistics
Post-pandemic, the value of a real-time visibility platform is now recognized by shippers as essential. Demonstrating this recognition of importance is the increasing amount of investment flowing into logistics tech companies since 2020.
Per the mint article, "A tech 'golden age' awaits supply chains limping out of the pandemic,"
"Venture capitalists and other private-equity investors have been funding logistics tech companies at a rate of $9 billion a quarter since late 2020."
Real-time supply chain visibility has allowed shippers to track shipments as they happen and adjust operations as needed, resulting in one of the most important advancements ever seen in managing supply chains. They develop the ability to optimize processes, reduce costs, and take customer service to new heights.
Monitoring the performance of their supply chain and making proactive decisions to ensure goods and efficiently delivering goods makes real-time supply chain visibility a game changer. They have greater visibility into their operations and can spot and correct problems quickly, saving money and ensuring timely shipment delivery.
For a Healthier Supply Chain, Partner With Vizion: The Industry-Leading Ocean Freight Visibility Provider
The improved communication, on-demand data, and resulting optimized operational performance brought by real-time logistics visibility lets shippers heal those sick supply chains. Shippers face the next crisis with confidence and security.
Vizion was founded on bringing the tremendous benefits of real-time visibility and healed supply chains to shippers. Reap the benefits of an efficient supply chain now and the promise of resilience when needed most. Book a demo with Vizion today