As a Windward blog post mentioned, “It is critical to understand the many factors that affect port congestion. There is no standard regarding the information provided by ports. Different ports provide different information, and some ports do not provide any information at all – especially not in real-time. Congestion can’t be estimated just by the number of vessels anchored or drifting in port waiting areas. Transit time to port is the most reliable measurement of congestion because it accounts for vessels in port waiting areas, as well as the many vessels that slow-steam their way into ports when they are known to be congested, or when the vessel doesn’t expect to get a berthing slot any time soon.”
An instructive example: if one port performs better than another, importers and exporters can ask their suppliers to ship via the better-performing port because of the insights received from an OFV solution.
Using AI technology, an ocean freight visibility solution can automatically track cargo vessels at sea on their journey from the original POL to the POD. This journey can be complicated when there are many stops along the way and transshipments.
Transshipments are explained in an earlier Windward blog post: “when cargo or a container is transported from one vessel to another while in transit to its final POD. In a classic transshipment scenario, container X will leave the original POL on vessel A, travel to a transshipment port, be discharged from vessel A, and be loaded onto vessel B, which will transport it to the final POD. During more complicated scenarios, there could even be one or two more intermediate ports.”