A leading global freight forwarder based in the United Kingdom was trying to improve the efficiency of their internal processes and their ability to better serve their customers. In an effort to streamline operations and provide a higher level of service, the freight forwarder focused on two strategic operational areas: inbound container planning and ocean shipment visibility.
In terms of inbound container planning, the forwarder sought to improve the process of booking haulage in order to minimize detention and demurrage costs. This included working with haulage providers to ensure timely pickup and delivery of containers, as well as implementing systems to more efficiently track and manage the movement of containers.
The forwarder also placed a strong emphasis on enhancing ocean shipment visibility, with a focus on reducing latency and increasing overall coverage. This involved implementing tracking systems and developing partnerships with carriers and other service providers to provide real-time visibility into the movement of shipments. By improving the transparency of the supply chain, the forwarder was able to better serve its customers and respond to their needs in a timely manner.
Using Windward Ocean Freight Visibility (OFV), the forwarder was able to see massive improvements in both of these areas in under five weeks!
The challenge – data latency and unreliable ETAs
The forwarder’s Transportation Management System (TMS) was designed to provide real-time tracking and visibility into the movement of shipments. But, the company was experiencing issues with data latency, which was causing the estimated time of arrival (ETA) information provided by the TMS to be even less accurate than that provided directly by the carriers. This was a major problem for the forwarder, as it relied on accurate ETAs to make informed decisions about routing, scheduling, and resource allocation.
To solve the issues of data latency and inaccurate ETAs, the forwarder turned to Windward Ocean Freight Visibility (OFV), a container tracking and shipment planning solution based on Maritime AI™ that utilizes machine learning and deep learning algorithms to analyze and fuse together a wide range of data points that are relevant to the movement of ocean containers. These data points include weather conditions, port congestion, vessel schedules, historical data, and much more.
By leveraging the power of Maritime AI™, Windward OFV can produce highly accurate predicted times of arrival (PTAs) for every container being tracked. These PTAs are updated in real-time, and are based on the most up-to-date information available. This allows the forwarder to make informed decisions about routing, scheduling, and resource allocation, and to better serve their customers by providing more accurate and timely information about the status of their shipments. Overall, the use of Windward OFV has significantly reduced operational costs and improved the efficiency with which they work to meet their customers’ needs.
Value & impact
The implementation of Windward OFV had an immediate impact on the operations and service teams at the forwarder. By relying on the most accurate ETAs, the teams were able to easily plan the haulage booking process and minimize rebooking costs that result from inaccurate ETAs. Additionally, the overall costs related to detention and demurrage were reduced thanks to two main benefits of Windward OFV – more accurate ETA predictions, which resulted in more on-time, in-full (OTIF) deliveries and therefore less penalties; and Actual Times of Departure (ATD) and Actual Times of Arrival (ATA) timestamps on 100% of tracked shipments, which are updated in real-time and always-available. This makes it considerably easier for the forwarder to review invoices and dispute those that require it.
The service team has also benefited greatly from the use of Windward OFV. By having continuous access to real-time insights on the movement of their customers’ containers, they are able to quickly and easily respond to inquiries and provide accurate and up-to-date information. This has saved resources that would normally be required to handle daily tickets related to delay notifications, times of arrival, departure communications, and other status checks.
ROI of $12.7 per container
By using Windward Ocean Freight Visibility this U.K.-based forwarder was able to achieve: