The impact of COVID-19 has been a definitive jolt to supply chain logistics stakeholders, as the widespread transport blockades impacted global freight movement.
Maritime logistics operations witnessed massive delays at the port terminals and customs, as countries shut down borders for several weeks.
While the maritime industry is the primary modality to move freight in the mid-mile segment of global supply chains, the lack of visibility within its operations is telling. Opacity, combined with market fragmentation, has created a situation where logistics stakeholders struggle to track freight through the end-to-end supply chain.
Digitalization becomes paramount in the current logistics environment riddled with complexities arising from the pandemic and restrictive trade policies. With digitalization, businesses can streamline workflows and create tangible insights from their data streams, providing operational efficiency gains.
However, for realizing true end-to-end logistics visibility, it is critical to think beyond the maritime mid-mile. Data streams across the entire value chain must be tapped for insights while initiating inter-modality collaboration to gain real-time intelligence over freight movement.
In that context, the recent announcement of maritime visibility leader Ocean Insights partnering with over-the-road visibility major FourKites is a welcome step in integrating transport intelligence across modalities.
Robin Jaacks, the chief commercial officer at Ocean Insights, explained that the collaboration resulted from Ocean Insights customers seeing the need for visibility “beyond what happens on the ocean.”
Such a partnership is unprecedented in the supply chain visibility segment, as it brings together two market competitors to jointly improve freight intelligence for their user base.
Though digitalization has made significant inroads into supply chains, the data streams arising from logistics operations are often stored in silos, seldom leveraged to create insights. Also, as data standardization across the industry has not materialized, multiple sources of disparate data streams can be arduous to work with for collaborating companies.
The Ocean Insights and FourKites partnership streamlines multiple data sources by creating a plug-and-play deployment model that gets logistics stakeholders a step closer to gaining real-time end-to-end visibility.
The model integrates Ocean Insights’ ocean freight tracking data with FourKites’ real-time visibility platform. This data intelligence helps import and export teams rely on a single system for door-to-door tracking.
The FourKites’ network has over 260 global shippers, accounting for 18 of the top 20 food and beverage companies and nine of the top 10 CPG companies. FourKites monitors more than 600,000 shipments every day — operations which will now be assisted by Ocean Insights’ real-time tracking capabilities.
By tracking and collating millions of data points on a global scale, Ocean Insights has built a big data system that can generate actionable insights into ocean freight movement for stakeholders to improve visibility, while inducing transparency and delivering efficiency gains to maritime operations.
This gives shippers insight into the global supply chain at large and allows them to quickly and accurately identify potential costly delays such as detention and demurrage charges or cargo rollover which could greatly impact delivery schedules.
The user reception to the Ocean Insights and FourKites association has been very welcoming, as the customer base already had significant overlap.
While Ocean Insights pioneers the integration of carrier information and actual vessel whereabouts, FourKites uses its proprietary algorithms to calculate over-the-road shipment estimated time to arrival (ETA), lower operating costs, and improve end-customer relationships with a higher percentage of on-time arrivals.
This realizes excellent value for logistics stakeholders as the combined data streams can provide reliable real-time monitoring and ETA statuses across every supply chain node — from the point of origin down to the freight’s last-mile handover.
About the Author : Josha Brazil works as the Chief Operations Officer of Ocean Insights.
Ocean Insights has a best-in-class software and team of experts to make supply chain data visible and actionable.
They bring down your demurrage and detention fees, support day-to-day operations, and strategic decisions within the freight industry.