By Irit Singer, Chief Marketing Officer, Windward
Sometimes I almost forget that our Ocean Freight Visibility (OFV) solution was only launched a year ago… it was energizing and reaffirming to once again hear that the benefits we have been offering the wider maritime ecosystem for over a decade are also a natural fit for freight forwarders, importers and exporters, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) and more.
I am still processing the many interesting conversations we had. Having such open, direct and meaningful discussions is very insightful in understanding the true pain points of the industry and where our focus should be in developing our roadmap.
One thing is already clear, though: visibility in and of itself is no longer enough… knowing you have a problem (when it’s too late) is not enough – actionable insights that enable you to be proactive are the main need across the board.
Visibility was highly visible at Manifest
Our booth at Manifest simply laid out the characteristics that organizations are looking for from an ocean freight solution: Visibility. Predictability. Efficiency. That basically summarizes what mostly everyone at Manifest was talking about.
Many of the keynote speakers emphasized how critical visibility is for logistics and the supply chain, as did many of the people I spoke with at the event, but visibility is part of the journey, not the destination. Many organizations in the ocean freight space are putting a premium on greater efficiency and cost savings (our previous blog post can help!), while others prioritize a better experience for their customers, or more accurate tracking of CO2 emissions.
Regardless of the main goal(s), logistics and supply chain visibility will help the organization achieve its aims.
As we demonstrated at our Manifest booth, comprehensive maritime visibility generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics is already here. It’s not something to fear, because the goal is not to replace human resources. The question now is how can key personnel best work with AI’s behavioral insights to heal some of the supply chain’s pain-points, drive the business forward and proactively address future challenges?
Efficiency is the name of the game
Ideally, AI should fit in and fill the gaps in current decision-making workflows – it should work for the organization, and definitely not the other way around. Predictive analytics that can flag realistic risks, without paralyzing the business with false positives, is critical. And merely possessing information on port congestion is not worth much if a freight forwarder cannot take action and figure out how to avoid demurrage charges.
The people we spoke with at Manifest kept returning to a dominant theme: actionable visibility. This next iteration of visibility (visibility 2.0) is valuable when it empowers supply chain organizations to:
- Avoid fees and penalties
- Make more time to serve customers, by automating mundane tasks
- Offer clarity on delays, to improve customer service
- Optimize planning, leading to cost savings
Interested in actionable insights? Check out our latest Port Insights report and…