Case Studies

How Metro shipping increased their OFV & data reliability with Maritime AI™

Metro Shipping is the UK’s leading privately owned logistics provider, importing and exporting the raw materials and finished products that feed, clothe, transport and protect consumers around the world.
Being an integral part of the supply chain ecosystem, they face on a daily basis many challenges that all ocean freight movers can relate to, especially following the extremes to which these challenges were propelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year has been one of the worst when it comes to being able to predict how your supply chain is going to perform” says Simon George, Technical Solutions Director at Metro Shipping. “Anything that could have gone wrong this year has gone wrong”

Metro shipping decided to take control over the visibility on their ocean freight with Windward’s Ocean Freight Visibility.

The challenge

Metro shipping handles the forwarding of freight at a capacity of around 100,000 TEUs per year. In a time where supply chain reliability in general, and in ocean transportation specifically, is at an all time low, it became increasingly challenging to maintain the same level of service excellence that the Metro brand is associated with.

Even in times of a global pandemic, the customer service expectation bar is set high; Amazon high. Shippers looking to provide good customer service, need to understand where their boxes are and when they are expected to arrive. With limited data coming from carriers, freight forwarders such as Metro are forced to invest an incredible amount of resources to chase answers for their customers.
Being a digitalization-first company, always looking for a better solution, Metro set out to find a more effective and efficient way to automate their workflows and improve data quality without using multiple solutions.All current solutions they researched and used had no added value in terms of the accuracy or reliability of the information they provided. In essence, they all simply automated the data gathering process, but did not help Metro meet both their business and customer needs.

“Basically, if you’re in our world, you really do need to partner with somebody who can provide you with additional levels of visibility over and above what’s usually out there, or what’s the standard” says Simon. “A solution that’s both for internal and external use, a single source of truth”.

The solution

Windward’s Ocean Freight Visibility leverages Windward’s advanced algorithms and deep maritime expertise, to be able to deliver actionable insights and real-time accurate ETA predictions to improve the overall shipment visibility.

By integrating Windward’s Ocean Freight Visibility insights, Metro gets immediate access to best-in-class insights, obtained by fusing data from multiple sources and giving them the ability to update their customers in real-time about the exact location of their containers. In addition, Metro now has more time than ever before to proactively make the necessary adjustments to the rest of the shipment’s route and save the operational costs of containers arriving before or after the expected ETA. “That’s a very different approach to how people are used to working and just wait for the vessel to turn up” Says Simon. “Such planning enables us to go that extra mile for our customers and save them both dwell times and demurrage costs.”

The impact

Using Windward’s API and automated daily updates, Metro is able to manage by exception and always know which shipments are at risk of arriving at a significantly different time than expected. This had an important impact on the efficiency and scalability of Metro’s customer service team, removing nearly all of the manual processes related to finding and updating ETAs. This also resulted in a considerable increase in time spent proactively solving their customers’ logistics challenges and deepening the relationships with them.

“We were absolutely blown away by Windward’s data. The visibility down to the port details and a drill down of any delay causes – and all in real time. Other available solutions today are a million miles away from that”.

Windward Ocean Freight Visibility allows you to control your containers’ voyage data, elevate your customer experience and reduce your operational costs:

  • Be the first to know – Know in real-time about critical delays and gain actionable insights on all your containers with the most accurate ETA predictions.
  • Increase your reliability – Gain a consistent level of certainty and data quality about your customers’ ocean containers status, regardless of the chosen carrier 
  • Proactively mitigate risks – Engage in resolutions with the carriers by understanding the true reasons for any delay as it evolves.
  • Reduce dwell time and demurrage charges – Reduce operational costs caused by ocean shipment delays and affecting the supply chain.
  • Improve efficiency and scalability – Automate data collection and analysis process to enable your team to spend more time serving more customers and solve complex problems.
  • Streamline your customer service – Integrate our live container visibility map into your customer portal to enable self-service instead of needing human assistance.

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