The Ripple Effect of a Collaborative Platform
In the recent months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused businesses across the globe to be severely affected. Demand for cargo shipments have dropped drastically. Companies are straddled with cargo but due to lack of logistics services, were unable to take receipt of them. To make matters worse, countries with closed borders have scheduled temporary closures of their ports forcing vessels to be diverted. Terminals that are still operational are left to work with a limited workforce and to cope with a heavily scaled-down version of terminal operations. In order to avoid unnecessary costs, they also have to consolidate their assets and equipment and optimize according to the reduced cargo capacity.
The reality of today’s situation, is that we are seeing an unprecedented set of challenges that have arose at every step of the way. As a result, the global trade is severely crippled to say the least. With its disruption, supply chain companies are scrambling to idle their fleet of equipment to cope with dwindling demands. From idled trucks, to carriers’ blank sailings and cancelled flights, cargo owners and shippers who may still be able to remain in production are hard-pressed to source for available transportation alternatives.
As a matter of fact, the pandemic surfaced underlying issues that has already plagued the supply chain industry for far too long, ie. the lack of end-to-end visibility & transparency due to silo functions in every segment of the supply chain. How then can today’s technology bring about collaborative support that will enable a more resilient supply chain that can dynamically adjust itself to mitigate disruptions.
- The effect of problem solving
Problems surmount as supply chain disruptions affected the maritime industry as a whole. Technology that allows a community of carriers to come together with shared information has far more benefits than merely improved communications. It provides timely information and brings clarity to carriers of alternative services when they are faced with port skips and blank sailings. As terminals collaborate with carriers to exchange timely schedules and berth window updates, the shared information that enable terminals to reallocate their limited workforce and resources to sustain operations.
- The effect of organizational relationships
The maritime industry has long been working in silos which may have risen as a result of a constellation of organizational problems and long drawn communication issues. When forwarders, carriers and terminals have the will and influence to come together, a positive change to trust and sustainable growth ensues. The collaborative ecosystem establishes a platform of trust that would enable stakeholders to exchange & share information that facilitates more proactive planning and allocation of resources, resulting in optimal work processes with minimized idling time. The continued success of the maritime sector is dependent on its ability to break down old mindsets of distrust that spawned the silos. Harnessing a platform of shared knowledge that collaborates across industries and geographies can promote responsible business.
- The effect of speed in response & efficiency
Today’s discerning customers expect greater shipment transparency and faster delivery. Supply chain collaboration platforms is the catalyst to fulfil such demands. Given the current global situation, prompt customer service and less in-transit waiting are almost impossible to achieve due to disjointed and untimely information. Immediate and accurate updates to terminal congestions or closures, slots availability through swaps, charters and joint operations help carriers make informed decisions and swiftly respond to customers. Ultimately, proactive customer service, terminal productivity, vessel schedules accuracy and space availability, will culminate in overall efficiency of the supply chain.
Companies who are signed up with a shared platform will be able to leverage digitalization technologies to support vessel operations and exigencies. Having advanced operational efficiency and data sharing will trigger improvements to greater optimization for the terminal’s strategic advantage. By building a thriving ecosystem of partners at all levels, high standards of communication can be translated into growth opportunities for the industry.