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Leveraging Freight Visibility in Times of Global Conflict

December 8, 2023

While the world looks on in horror as the war between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, many in the supply chain are working quietly behind the scenes to ensure that vital supply lines remain running despite the impact of the growing conflict. From food to medical supplies, invaluable supply lines are ensuring that, even in high-conflict areas, supply chains continue to provide necessary goods. 

While the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas may have a grip on the world’s attention, it is far from the only conflict impacting global supply chains. By looking closely at this conflict and its impact on supply chains, shippers can better understand how to create the conflict-resilient supply chains needed in times of geopolitical strife.

The Importance of Resilience Becomes Clear

Although the conflict in Israel may not yet have had a wide-scale impact on global supply chains, this could quickly change: many industries with roots in Israel stand to be significantly impacted by continued escalations between Israeli forces and Hamas, including electronics, defense, agriculture, and healthcare. “We were already under tight supply,” said Johnny Rungtusanatham, Professor of Operations, Business Analytics, and Information Systems at the University of Cincinnati.  “Remember, a while back, cars couldn’t be made because we didn’t have the advanced chips, but this could be a potential situation that could exasperate.”

In this section, we’ll be taking a look at the industries that stand to be impacted by the war between Israel and Hamas. 

  • Technology: During the 12 months ending July 31, 2023, Israeli suppliers contributed a staggering 14% of the computer processing parts used by the European Union, according to Supply Chain Dive
  • Aerospace: In the same period, Israel exported $3.15B of aerospace products, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), per Hellenic Shipping News.
  • Pharmaceuticals: S&P Global noted that the Israeli pharmaceutical industry, worth over $2B, is especially susceptible to supply chain disruptions. 

While Israeli imports and export levels have remained relatively steady since the beginning of the conflict, early signs are signaling a shift in shippers’ minds. FedEx and UPS have cancelled the vast majority of flights into Israel’s main airport in Tel Aviv, with DHL currently the only of the big three air carriers operating flights into the country. From a maritime perspective, some carriers have been invoking the force majeure, a contractual clause allowing carriers to escape liability in the case of extraordinary circumstances like war. This comes as major carriers begin canceling. As they reconsider whether they’ll continue shipping to Israeli ports, Israeli authorities, aware of their nation’s dependence on imported goods, are growing nervous.

For shippers, the supply chain landscape in Israel can be summarized in a single word: unpredictable. As the conflict develops, it’s up to the carriers whether shippers can receive or send goods to Israel. Facing significant uncertainty, shippers are turning to innovative freight visibility solutions to ensure maximum reactivity in the face of possible disruptions.

In an Unpredictable Geopolitical Landscape, Shippers Turn to Freight Visibility

With conflicts around the globe—from the wars in Israel and Ukraine to the potential for unrest in the Strait of Taiwan—no shipper is immune from the supply chain impacts of geopolitical strife. That’s why today’s shippers must invest in end-to-end freight visibility for their maritime operations. Ocean freight visibility provides shippers with both the ground-level operational understanding needed to make split-second routing decisions and the birds-eye view required to develop a comprehensive knowledge of ocean freight operations. 

Let’s dig into three specific benefits of ocean freight visibility software and how it can help shippers optimize ocean freight operations in times of conflict.

Real-Time Port Visibility 

When conflict breaks out, time is of the essence. In highly dynamic situations, shippers don’t have time to manually search steamship lines, navigate container terminal websites, send track and trace emails, or manage outdated spreadsheets. Instead, shippers need instant actionability through immediate access to real-time container locations.

Ocean freight visibility software provides shippers with the instant, actionable updates needed to make the difficult container management decisions required in times of conflict. With data gathered from all major carriers, steamship lines, ports, terminals, and rail carriers, ocean freight visibility software provides shippers with complete operational awareness in fast-changing situations.

Data-Driven Industry Analysis 

As we’ve learned in recent years, complex geopolitical conflicts can take a toll on supply chains over a long period of time, usually measured in years rather than months. Facing ongoing complexities due to conflicts, shippers need strategies to build a holistic understanding of port conditions. Without a data-driven knowledge of port volumes, shippers can easily find themselves stuck with shipments that they cannot move. 

With complete port-to-port ocean freight visibility data from a data-driven freight visibility software provider, shippers can ensure access to the latest port conditions. They can easily understand congestion levels, wait times and container throughput. In times of conflict, a data-driven understanding of port conditions through ocean freight visibility is essential to an ocean freight shipping strategy.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

In times of conflict, communication is vital. As conditions around ports quickly change, shippers must ensure they’re current on the latest container developments. By partnering with an ocean freight visibility provider that employs automated, fully customizable notifications, shippers can guarantee that they stay in the loop on the latest high-stakes container events, including rolled cargo, last free day, and demurrage and detention.

In an Uncertain World, Build Resilience Through Ocean Freight Visibility from OpenTrack

Shippers facing global conflict on multiple fronts are under more pressure than ever to be resilient. By leveraging freight visibility software from OpenTrack, shippers can access a vital suite of cloud-based freight visibility software assets.

  • Intermodal Container Tracking provides shippers with seamless visibility over all containerized operations.
  • Automated Exception Alerts offer instant awareness to shippers facing blank sailings, port fees, and delays to create effective drayage priorities.
  • API Integration means that shippers can seamlessly integrate ocean freight visibility from OpenTrack into existing tech stacks, meaning that shippers can keep what works and change what doesn’t.

Ready to build resilience with ocean freight visibility from OpenTrack? Book a demo with OpenTrack today and see how freight visibility software can transform your supply chain. 

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