Why Container Visibility Is Going to Make or Break Ocean Shipping This Peak Season

Why Container Visibility Is Going to Make or Break Ocean Shipping This Peak Season

Retailers and importers know that peak shipping season is right around the corner. Every year, beginning in August through the end of Q4, there’s a surge of U.S. demand for goods as consumers spend on back-to-school sales and the looming holiday shopping spree. Industry leaders reported in May that e-commerce shopping would account for 20.4% of total retail sales worldwide. Major economies continue to trend toward the preference for online shopping, fueled by the global pandemic and the overall ease found in shopping at home. Companies must prepare internally for the possibility of external supply chain disruptions coming in the weeks ahead. Let’s look at how shippers can improve their visibility on container shipments ahead of the peak shipping season.

What are the Expectations for Container Capacity this Peak Season?

According to a recent July report from Drewry, global port congestion remains elevated compared with historical data. North American ports have been the most affected, with container volumes shifted to the East Coast out of fear of a potential labor disruption involving tens of thousands of unionized West Coast dockworkers. The World Container Index, which the industry uses to analyze capacity within the ocean container markets, shows a 0.7% decrease to just under $7,000 per 40-foot-equivalent-unit (FEU) container, a 21% drop compared with 2021 data. But will 2022’s peak shopping season be worse than last year? A recent survey by Container xChange found that more than half of freight forwarders and shippers think so, while roughly a quarter anticipate a level of “chaos” similar to last year. 

2021 was marked by port congestion and increased ship dwell time; there were shortages of containers and chassis, and tight carrier capacity overall, leading to higher transit rates and significant shipping delays. These constraints, combined with a lack of supply chain visibility, could create huge problems for shippers and freight forwarders during this peak shipping season.

What Does True Container Visibility Look Like?

Ocean importers need reliable container tracking for their shipments to forecast and manage their supply chain accurately. With access to true container visibility, shippers can expect the following insights:

1. Automatic Real-Time Location Updates on Every Container

A critical automated process eliminates the need for manual tracking updates, allowing forwarders to focus on more important tasks like capacity procurement and expanding business verticals. Real-time tracking streamlines communication, allowing you to update your customers and freight carriers with up-to-the-limit data about your container.

2. Access to Real-Time Data on Port Congestion and Ship Dwell Time 

Forwarders can limit potential supply chain disruptions by gaining access to real-time container tracking data. Doing so gives shipping managers greater visibility, enabling them to better coordinate with their transportation providers, reduce demurrage and detention fees, and help them anticipate problems before they occur.

3. Anticipate Container Capacity Before You Ship

In 2021, freight forwarders learned that external disruptions could cause major headaches. Peak shipping season in 2022 may lead to a shortage of containers. Having container visibility will help minimize potential shortages at the port.

 4. Customizable APIs That Connect with Your Business

True container visibility includes access to cutting-edge technology and customizable APIs that empower shippers with a digital platform that connects directly to your existing TMS.

Why Visibility is Crucial to Peak Shipping Season

Access to data analytics and ocean container visibility saves time and money for shippers, allowing them to plan ahead and navigate around potential supply chain disruptions. As global trends continue to shift away from shopping at brick-and-mortar outlets, a surge in e-commerce has created a consumer expectation that they know exactly when their products will arrive. As a result, shippers are turning to automation to optimize their supply chains, reduce inefficiencies, and help ensure their products arrive when they are supposed to. Visibility is crucial for this success, as it helps customers meet their deadlines and stabilize their supply chain.

Get Ready for Peak Shipping Season 2022 with Vizion API Visibility

Vizion API is the most cost-effective solution shippers utilize to gain true container visibility over their ocean freight. The technology provides automated real-time tracking notifications on every shipment, eliminating the time and energy spent on manual tracking updates. Vizion API also provides the most comprehensive data available on current port conditions and ship dwell time, allowing companies to plan ahead for supply chain disruptions. Get the supply chain visibility you deserve this peak shipping season, and connect with an expert at VIZION API.

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