How to master maritime visibility with real-time ocean cargo tracking

Jul 15, 2021
Supply Chain
Innovation

Since the pandemic began, ocean freight has remained one of the most disrupted forms of freight transportation in the world. Delayed shipments, overloaded ports and a shortage of containers have been causing supply chain pains around the globe. As organizations seek clarity on where their shipments are and when they’ll arrive, it has drawn attention to the availability of new tools for tracking them in real time.

The challenges of ocean freight transportation visibility

Just like for road transportation, there is a lot of manual work involved following up with various parties to find information about freight whereabouts and expected arrival times. It can be a time consuming process for transport managers keeping track of various shipments via calls and emails.

There are no automated notifications for container shipment status updates and no standard online portal to log into, for shippers or their partners. Enquiries must be made manually with ocean carriers and no information is proactively given. A lack of real-time ETA often leads to inaccurate understanding of departure and arrival times and can contribute to long waiting times at ports or during handovers.

As customers aren’t proactively informed, they end up calling or emailing to find out where their goods are and when they’ll arrive, creating inefficiency for customer service teams and an undesirable customer experience.

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The benefits of maritime visibility

Shippeo’s Maritime Visibility extends real-time transportation visibility beyond road and rail to include ports and ocean cargo, so that customers can anticipate delays and any exceptional events for their container shipments. By integrating with shipping lines, Shippeo can automatically share events, status updates and accurate and reliable ETAs with shippers and their supply chain partners. Events captured include things like containers arriving at loading sites, loading and unloading during transhipping, containers being unloaded at destination ports and then departing via subsequent transport.

The real-time insights on ocean shipments make it possible to do things like:

  • Access accurate ETAs to anticipate delays
  • Receive live updates about things like changes of vessel
  • Accelerate communication and improve alignment between all stakeholders
  • Avoid and reduce detention costs
  • Streamline processes and improve business planning
  • Improve customer service and overall experience

This approach is made possible by doing something unique. Shippeo focuses on tracking orders rather than just the transport itself, to differentiate between FTL and maritime legs. It allows for the end-to-end tracing of shipments throughout the supply chain and incorporates the ETAs for all transport legs.

Anticipate delays and exceptional events for containers with real-time ocean shipment monitoring

Quality maritime data integrations

We don’t scrape websites to get our visibility data. Shippeo’s platform integrates directly into container information systems, vessel AIS/shipping lines and port terminal platforms and systems using APIs to enable automatic and real-time data exchange. This ensures the data our customers rely on is accurate and up-to-date and displayed for customers in one convenient place, whether it’s via our Shippeo control tower or your own TMS solution. Our platform also increases the quality of data by independently verifying status data received by other parties, such as port terminals, and checking it against GPS location data in relation to geofences (virtual perimeters) we’ve created for each location.

Shippeo Maritime Visibility aggregates data from multiple sources, then presents it to customers all in one place

Shippeo’s platform is also fully integrated with the SAP ecosystem. SAP are one of Shippeo’s key strategic partners (as well as one of Shippeo’s investors). As a result, Shippeo offers clear integration paths into business systems such as store management systems or parcel integration, for example.

Fast integrations to a wide maritime visibility network

Shippeo integrates with shipping lines and port terminals extremely quickly, connecting with new shipping lines within hours, and new port terminals within a day. To date, Shippeo covers 85% of global fleet capacity. Shippeo’s maritime tracking approach combines terrestrial and satellite tracking to eliminate maritime visibility gaps and provide unique continuous visibility.

Nearshore tracking (Orange, Terrestrial-based) combined with Offshore tracking (Pink, Satellite-based) to achieve continuous coverage.

Digital hub for multi-leg documentation

Along with real-time updates and ETA predictions, Shippeo provides a hub to store all related documentation digitally, including customs forms, eCMRs and ePODs, making it quick and easy to upload and retrieve important shipment information at any time and share between stakeholders. This often helps to clarify issues and speed up dispute resolution in the event something goes wrong.

Shippeo has unique expertise in maritime visibility tracking, alongside barge, road, rail and parcel. For more detail on how Shippeo’s solution works, contact one of our experts about a demo or discover more about what makes Shippeo unique in our visibility guide ‘Choosing the right transportation visibility provider’.

You can also find out how Europe’s largest pet product retailer Fressnapf is using maritime tracking and Shippeo’s multimodal visibility network to improve end-to-end visibility of stock in transit and unlock greater growth potential.

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