No one wants to think about black swan events.
They’re unpredictable, seemingly random, and rare. How can organizations know exactly how to plan when they do not know what they are planning for? Unfortunately, the chance of such an event is not zero, and just the past few years have shown us that unpredictable circumstances are bound to happen. Among the biggest ways that shippers and freight forwarders can prepare is by considering how container tracking and visibility can support them in these situations. By providing more in-depth, accessible visibility data, shippers can increase their resiliency and mitigate the impact of an unforeseen black swan event.
The Increase of Black Swan Events
The reality is that black swan events are increasing. Think of the concept of entropy in physics—a system gradually gets less orderly over time. Weather events are more intense than they were 100 years ago, and with that, they bring bigger disruptions. According to the World Meteorology Organization, natural disasters have increased five times over the past 50 years. Supply chain impacts by shutdowns, delays with manufacturing and transportation, and volatile demand for transport, warehousing, and other services.
COVID-19 brought factory shutdowns in China, high demand for e-commerce, port congestion in California, shipping container availability problems, and a warehouse space shortage. The start of the pandemic shook the global economy and caused ripple effects due to the event’s magnitude. But we’ve also seen disruptions from the 2021 blockage in the Suez Canal, hurricanes impacting ports in Florida and Georgia, and China’s Zero-Covid policy reigniting backlogs at their ports.
The presence of more frequent black swan events doesn’t mean that they are becoming more predictable, unfortunately. We know the next significant disruption is coming, but we don’t know precisely how or when it will occur. Essentially, we need to better prepare for any situation that may come by being more proactive and increasing overall resiliency.
How Container Tracking & End-to-End Visibility Help Mitigate the Impact of Black Swan Events
Resilient companies can withstand challenges and recover with minimal impact on daily operations. The problem with black swan events is that there is no way to know what disruptions will come into play. It may be delays, congestion, or shortages, similar to what we’ve seen in the recent past, but it could also be different types of issues, having other factors or limitations. What organizations need more of is actionable data that increases their agility or the ability to respond quickly. End-to-end supply chain visibility can equip organizations to make data-driven, timely decisions.
Tracking ocean freight is one area where companies need greater visibility to inform their supply chains. The container’s ocean journey ends at the beginning of the inland distribution, or the first mile. Container visibility during disruptions impacts the rest of the supply chain’s ability to recover quickly by providing real-time information on the location and status of the container as well as insight into shipping trends with industry data.
Benefits of Proactive Container Tracking for Supply Chain Resiliency
With container visibility, shippers and freight forwarders get the benefits of tracking at scale. The benefits start at the container level, which can help boost the customer service experience by providing this information. However, when a company has visibility across its entire supply chain plus data on the industry trends, they get additional benefits. They have access to reliable tracking and reporting that tells them when issues arise across the industry. This gives the soonest possible notice so they can respond to protect their supply chains and manage their risk. One example is the insight that helps with access to container capacity by knowing when capacity is in short supply. Being proactive with container monitoring helps shippers stay ahead of changing demands for the services they need.
Protect Your Business from Disruptions with Container Visibility
Despite the occurrence of black swan events, global supply chains are becoming more agile and tuned in to strategies they can use. VIZION provides container visibility that supports more resilient supply chains, both in times of predictability and disruptions. Shippers and freight forwarders can be more proactive to reduce the effects when unforeseen events throw them different curve balls. Real-time location tracking and updates give the advantages of clarity, more data, and updates received sooner. Learn more about VIZION and how your business benefits from the proactive strategy of container visibility by reaching out to us today.