If the start and end point of a company’s supply chain followed a straight and narrow path, software solutions would be simple to create. In reality, the supply chain looks more like a freeway interchange filled with twist, turns, and crossing lanes.
This complexity is certainly evident in global logistics and ocean shipping, where shippers encounter many barriers to enabling a streamlined process, including:
Inefficient Processes: A lot of shippers resort to manual processes to procure capacity and communicate shipment details with the many parties involved in ocean movements.
Access to Information: To plan and execute an international shipment, shippers need to access many different sources for information including trade compliance, sailing schedules, requesting bookings, import and export filing, and tracking.
Drayage Management: Inability to synchronize ocean booking with drayage loads for seamless movement between land and sea.
Visibility: A lot of shippers are in the dark when trying to track containers.
Freight Audit and Settlement: Manual processing of ocean invoices leads to inaccuracies and delays.
Addressing these barriers and streamlining the entire global logistics process, therefore, should be the primary focus of a global transportation management system (TMS). Shippers should be able to plan and book full container load ocean moves directly with the vessel carrier or freight forwarder, maintain full visibility of each container from pickup to delivery, and ensure compliance with international trade laws—all on one platform and in one workflow. This not only saves money and internal resources, but also reduces the opportunity for human error.
A Global TMS must have the functionality to help shippers improve productivity and reduce the bottom line. But since global transportation is always changing — whether it’s new regulations, shifting sourcing strategies, or changing carrier networks — the solution roadmap should never reach the finish line. Solutions need to continue to evolve as new issues impact the market.
Simply put, shippers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to steering software providers toward developing solutions that address their logistical speed bumps. Each successful solution keeps the logistics team revved up for the next mile in our journey to build better supply chains together.
Anthony Kaly is Sr. Product Launch Manager at LeanLogistics. Anthony has 16+ years of transportation and software experience. As a product launch manager, Anthony works directly with customers to develop insights on new products that can impact their business, and he manages the beta product launch programs with customers to roll out new functionality and features to the market place.