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Advanced digital platforms support container liner collaboration

Container liners have been working together in one form or another for many decades. In recent years, rising competition, overcapacity and a highly volatile geopolitical environment have intensified the urgency for more container liners to seek new and better ways to cooperate effectively, both for the individual and the collective good.

Many are seeing the value of leveraging collaborative IT platforms, not just in keeping costs down but also in enhancing business performance. Where in the past, conventional means of cooperation enabled liners to, for instance, extend their service offerings to routes that they couldn’t offer on their own, or utilize vessels that would otherwise be idle, today’s IT-enabled collaboration platforms are taking these businesses further in terms of productivity, profitability and performance. For example, advanced digital collaborative platforms are empowering shipping companies to tap on powerful algorithms to make more effective decisions that ensure optimal vessel fill rates, lower transportation costs and reduced environmental emissions.

Standardized and connected

All the values that a digital collaborate platform brings boil down to real-time connectivity – between container liners and their partners as well as with the various parties including the operation networks at the ports of call.  A lot of data is exchanged when container liners work together — from vessels schedules to application for special cargo, agreements of allocation and prices, settlement of accounts and so on.

Traditional collaborative platforms are primarily manual and linear, one-to-one phone calls, or at best, one-to-many emails, requiring intensive resources and effort, and subject to inaccuracies and untimeliness. A digital platform also eliminates data and effort duplication, providing connected parties with just the information they need when they need it, accurate and in real time with no hassle of having to convert codes.

One shared reality

Every partner has access to a single view of what is going on. This information on hand gives partner parties enhanced control of the present situation, improves decision-making that enables otherwise-missed opportunities to be seized and preventable downtime to be avoided, and lends greater foresight in planning for the future.

The greater good

As collaborative IT platforms continue to advance, and more shipping lines get onboard, the industry as a whole will stand to reap the benefits of being more agile, responsive, flexible, innovative and ready for a brighter future, whatever the market and economic climate.