Adequate visibility into container shipments remains a pressing concern for many shippers. This lack of transparency has far-reaching consequences, leading to supply chain inefficiencies and inflated costs.
The causes of this visibility gap are multifaceted, stemming from the fragmented nature of the supply chain, a lack of standardisation in data exchange, and the tendency for freight forwarders to make last-minute decisions. Additionally, unpredictable transshipments and extra stops further complicate the tracking of shipments.
The consequences of unreliable arrival estimates are significant :
• Increased safety stocks and warehouse space
• Suboptimal use of logistical resources (air freight)
• Excess capital in transit costs
• Deferred sales
To address this pressing issue, various solutions have been proposed. Tracking devices provide limited visibility and may not always be accurate, while also being susceptible to loss. IT systems integration offers the most accurate approach but is often too complex and expensive for shippers to manage independently.
CargoProbe, a company specialising in supply chain visibility, has developed a system integration approach that provides shippers with reliable estimated arrival times. Their solution aggregates data from multiple sources, including AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracking data, historical sailing times, schedules, port congestion information, and customs data. This comprehensive data is then cleaned and standardised, and supply chain heuristics are applied to generate highly accurate arrival estimates.
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