Attaining Actionable Container Tracking in Supply Chains  

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    In this blogpost, we’ll explore how leveraging advanced Maritime AI™ models can transform your container tracking efforts and the way you manage your ocean shipments, by helping you achieve actionable supply chain visibility.

    Actionable Supply Chain Visibility Milestones

    The word “visibility” has become a buzzword in the supply chain industry. Organizations are looking to go beyond the basics and find an actionable visibility solution that can assist in forecasting what is likely to happen. Windward combines expertise in the ocean/maritime and supply chain industries with cutting-edge AI technology. It’s clear that AI-powered insights and predictive analytics offer decision support and effective exception management for a more strategic maritime viewpoint and greater operational efficiency. 

    With the integration of advanced Maritime AI™ models, you can gain unparalleled visibility into all of your ocean shipments. This means you can effortlessly track and monitor your containers and bulk shipments in real time, from origin to destination. This is critical for building a resilient supply chain and helping to optimize your entire ocean shipment operation. 

    As explained in Windward’s container tracking glossary, “Containers pass through multiple milestones during a standard container journey. For example, both the importer and exporter need to know when a container has been loaded at the port of loading (POL) and if there is a freight on board (FOB) agreement. This is the point when the official cargo handover takes place, and the shipper receives payment.” 

    As mentioned in a previous Windward blogpost, “Crucial milestones, such as the ATA and the ATD, are not provided by most carriers. The carriers don’t necessarily provide milestone updates for a hundred percent of ocean freight shipments, even regarding the milestones they do usually cover. Sometimes shippers and freight forwarders will get updates, and sometimes they won’t.” By having access to detailed information about each milestone, such as ATA (Actual Time of Arrival) and ATD (Actual Time of Departure), you can obtain a clear understanding of the progress and expected timelines of your shipments for the most accurate container tracking, and bulk shipment tracking.

    What is Causing Shipping Delays? 

    Shipping delays are an inevitable part of the shipping industry, but understanding the reasons behind them is key to planning better and minimizing their impact. Windward’s reasons for delay include:

    • Rollover – the container failed to be loaded onto the vessel that was scheduled to transport it out of the transshipment port (TSP) or POL
    • Transshipment delay – the transshipment (TS) will occur later than scheduled
    • Late departure – the vessel left the POL later than scheduled
    • Short transshipment buffer – transshipment has a high risk of not being completed as scheduled, due to the TS window being too small
    • No vessel allocation – no vessel has been allocated to load your container(s) at the POL or TSP
    • Unfeasible journey – the expected transit times provided by the carrier are too short, based on Windward data and estimations

    By leveraging accurate Maritime AI™ predictions, you can proactively identify potential delays and take necessary actions to mitigate their consequences. Armed with insights into the reasons for delays, you can make informed decisions, optimize your supply chain visibility, and ensure efficient planning to avoid late fees and penalties, for example, detention and demurrage charges

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    Predictability for Better Planning

    The ability to instantly spot delay severity empowers you to make better decisions regarding haulage and warehouse needs. With actionable supply chain visibility, you can analyze the top container ports and terminals around the world. This in-depth analysis provides you with critical information, such as congestion status, turnaround efficiency, and more. Armed with these insights, you can optimize your routes, adjust schedules, and make informed decisions to ensure timely and efficient deliveries.

    Efficiency through Automation

    Manual processes can be time-consuming and error prone. By automating these processes and embedding Windward insights into your existing workflows, you can streamline operations and save valuable time and resources. This will also improve employee satisfaction, allowing them to focus on other critical assignments instead of wasting time on manual tasks. With an easy integration option, you can seamlessly connect the Maritime AI™ system with your existing tools, including transportation management systems (TMS), customer-facing portals, and business intelligence (BI) tools. 

    This integration allows you to customize and combine data from multiple sources, such as proof of delivery and invoices, enabling you to validate invoices and dispute unjustified detention or demurrage charges.

    Exception management is another way to facilitate efficiency. As explained in a recent Windward blogpost, “It filters all your shipments and identifies those that are significantly or critically late, or early (which can also negatively impact your organization). You can then take appropriate action to mitigate any potential issues.” This results in improved efficiency, by freeing up personnel to concentrate on their core responsibilities. 

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    Reduced Costs and Enhanced Customer Value

    Implementing actionable visibility in your ocean freight and container tracking operations brings clarity and value not only to your internal processes, but also to your customers. By reducing costs, managing the supply chain efficiently, and avoiding delays, you can enhance customer satisfaction and build stronger relationships. Accurate Maritime AI™-predicted ETAs enable you to provide your customers with reliable information, allowing them to plan their operations effectively. 

    As noted in the intro, it’s no longer just about supply chain visibility, but rather actionable supply chain visibility. The transparency and efficiency you achieve through actionable visibility can become a competitive advantage. The power of actionable visibility lies in its ability to transform your business processes and bring clarity and value to your internal operations, employees, and customers. 

    Without visibility, your organization is sunk. But there are critical next steps if you really want to stay ahead of the game and be successful…

    Looking to Implement Actionable Supply Chain Visibility?

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