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How Ocean Container Visibility Helps Shippers Take Charge

December 8, 2023

Today’s consumers have high expectations. According to a report from Insider Intelligence, 65% of consumers consider fast shipping to be the defining trait of a positive e-commerce experience. Furthermore, FreightWaves reports 92% of respondents to an extensive consumer survey indicated fast shipping means delivery within two days. Facing statistics like these, today’s shippers face a high bar in providing stand-out logistics. 

In early 2022, Forbes, reporting on the need for supply chain visibility in the wake of COVID-19, wrote that a staggering “75% of companies experienced disruptions at the peak of the crisis.” As a result, many shippers implemented real-time container visibility solutions; two years after the pandemic’s peak, container visibility solutions have become an integral part of the daily operations of many of the world’s most successful shippers. Today, these solutions provide consumers with the lightning-fast shipping and seamless customer experience they expect. 

However, despite the benefits of a container visibility solution, only 37% of shippers reported using an in-transit visibility solution, according to reporting from FreightWaves, compared to a much-higher 57% of respondents across other sectors. Clearly, not all shippers are convinced of the benefits of improved container visibility. By developing a better understanding of the costs of poor visibility, shippers can better understand how improved container tracking can help them take charge of unruly operations and provide their customers with the fast, reliable shipping they demand. 

The Costs of Poor Container Visibility

The first step toward streamlining operations with improved container visibility is understanding the high price of murky operations. Here are three ways that poor container visibility costs shippers throughout the supply chain. 

Freight Loss

According to the National Cargo Security Council (NCSC), the global financial impact of freight loss will exceed an estimated $50 billion annually. As Inbound Logistics reports, “Many other factors, however, need to be considered when calculating the true financial costs of cargo loss, including supply interruption, higher insurance claim costs, expedited freight costs, lost revenues from canceled deliveries, and more.” 

Shippers competing in today’s volatile logistics industry are more likely to face freight loss. Often, the root of this freight loss is challenging to track down. Freight loss can begin at warehouses, onboard container vessels, final ports, or en route to customers. Without the on-demand analytics and improved container visibility that come with the implementation of container tracking software, shippers can find themselves helpless in the face of complex, expensive freight losses.

Demurrage and Detention Costs

For many shippers, the rising demurrage and detention costs force them to make difficult decisions. As fees rise at increasingly congested ports, shippers must consider rate hikes for customers, threatening revenue streams and customer loyalty. Global Trade Magazine reports that occurrences of demurrage and detention increased by 39% for standard containers, with the average charge rising by 12% from pre-pandemic levels. Shippers already contending with rising shipping rates are desperate for solutions to persistent demurrage and detention fees.

Regulatory Compliance

In June 2022, President Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law, considered the most extensive overhaul of American shipping and port regulations in the past two decades. This landmark legislation broadens the regulatory powers of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote U.S. exports while reining in ocean carrier market power that has grown immensely through the rise of vessel alliances.

As part of this regulatory renaissance, the newly-empowered FMC will require that logistics professionals submit information, such as average container dwell time, to a regulatory registry. If logistics professionals refuse to comply, the FMC has a broad range of investigatory capabilities and subsequent penalties. Many shippers lack the necessary container visibility to comply with the FMC’s tightening regulatory grip.  

How Visibility Helps Shippers Take Charge

Facing freight loss, rising port fees, and increasing regulatory scrutiny, shippers are desperate for solutions. With container visibility through a container tracking software provider, shippers can find answers to the common problems plaguing maritime transit. 

Go Freight-Loss Free

For shippers facing an increasingly hazardous logistical environment, lowering the likelihood of freight loss is a must. By implementing container tracking software throughout their operations, shippers can access the intuitive, on-demand analytics they need to see where and when exceptions are occurring. Once they have identified the sources of recurrent anomalies, shippers can use an integrated API (Automated Programming Interface) to communicate across logistics channels and quickly resolve issues. 

Avoid Costly Fees

While demurrage and detention fees may seem like an unavoidable side effect of a tumultuous supply chain, tech-savvy shippers are increasingly turning to container tracking, provided by container visibility experts, to avoid costly port fees. Through the real-time container tracking provided by container visibility software, shippers can adjust freight trajectories and allocation on the go, ensuring that freight assets arrive at a port at the right time, keeping customers happy and deliveries on track. 

Improved Analytics Ensure Regulatory Compliance

As the FMC tightens its regulatory vice grip around the global logistics industry, shippers are left searching for the ocean container visibility they need to comply with the new guidelines set forth by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. For shippers needing regulatory relief, improved container visibility, provided by a container tracking visibility partner, can provide the reliable record-keeping and on-demand analytics required to keep track of complex metrics. Equipped with container tracking software, shippers can confidently operate in an increasingly strict regulatory environment. 

Partner with OpenTrack to Take Charge of Your Logistics Today 

Today’s customers demand fast shipping. Yet, shippers struggle to deliver in a complex ocean freight logistics environment. By partnering with a container tracking software provider, shippers can access the container visibility they need to deliver on time, every time. For shippers looking to take charge of unwieldy supply chains, improved container visibility through OpenTrack is a must-have. With real-time container tracking, intuitive analytics, and on-demand data, OpenTrack provides shippers with the container visibility they need to remain competitive in a high-stakes logistics environment. Book a demo with OpenTrack, and see how improved container visibility can help you take charge of your logistics today.

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