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Ocean Tracking + TMS Integration: The Role of Tech to Create Proactive Ocean Freight Management

December 8, 2023

Accurate tracking and tracing of shipments are essential for any transportation service provider. But when it comes to ocean tracking of intermodal freight and cargo, improved visibility and shipping management will require carriers — trucks, rail, ocean, and air  — to become more integrated and automated with their data sharing. The demands for visibility have also evolved over the years as the need for pinpoint location and timing have become more critical than ever. Ocean freight and over-the-road (OTR) transportation rely on accurate track and trace data for better delivery predictions to operate as efficiently as possible. In this changing market, ocean tracking and proper transportation management system (TMS) utilization remain essential for growth and scalability. TMS setups today can be specifically designed to monitor and track all manner of intermodal transportation activity in addition to ocean shipment tracking capability.

Why Limited Visibility Continues to Be an Issue in Ocean and OTR Transportation

By combining ocean tracking and OTR monitoring, shippers can be more strategic in their freight management and logistics, thanks to increased supply chain visibility throughout the supply chain. According to SupplyChainDive,  it makes sense that BCOs want more visibility and transparency when it comes to tracking ocean freight throughout the supply chain. If a restaurant can provide minute-by-minute tracking, why can’t the same be done for a cargo container? Common trends and expectations of B2C business now carry over into the B2B business market as well. 

This lack of visibility, real-time access, and adaptability continues to cause problems for freight management teams across the network. Poor visibility and a lack of end-to-end transparency can also impact ocean freight management by increasing operational costs with unwanted tasks, repetitive operations, and inefficient processes. The chances of errors in processing and communication are also greatly increased, which can lead to missed opportunities, poor capacity management, excessive delays, and an increase in fees and surcharges such as detention and demurrage. Addressing this issue sooner rather than later, and implementing solid TMS integration and utilization can help reduce the severity and frequency of these common issues.

The Modern Supply Chain and How Proactive Ocean Tracking and Freight Management Impacts Shippers and Carriers

In recent years, freight transportation and ocean tracking predictions have primarily focused on single freight movement modes. The primary method used by logistics managers has largely been OTR transportation. The continual integration of proactive freight management systems and collaborative efforts with shippers and carriers makes the modern-day supply chain what it is today. Proper management, tracking, logistics, and data analysis can help the entire network be more proactive and successful, according to a paper published in Business & Information Systems Engineering. With the right TMS integration plan and proper onboarding of new and innovative platforms and tools, more accurate predictive planning is attainable. A more proactive approach and solid analytics enable managers to adjust schedules, shift capacity and tweak delivery time tables on the go in real-time. 

How to Improve Ocean Tracking and Freight Management and Improve End-to-End Functionality With TMS Integration

Many significant advancements have been made in recent years that have improved freight management and end-to-end container tracking functionally. One technology that transportation companies, including those focused on ocean tracking, can implement to boost functionality and ocean tracking success is a well-rounded TMS setup. 

The ability to share data through an automated, modernized system can vastly improve supply chain processes. with an automated and modernized system. Accomplishing these improvements takes several vital steps, including:

  • Collect and analyze data in real-time for the most accurate information.
  • Collaborate with partners,  and vendors, and third-party service providers.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with team members and customers.
  • Embrace modern innovations and technology to streamline ocean container tracking services.
  • Ensure proper training and onboarding of all team members and partners. 
  • Review and adjust freight management plans as needed to meet current trends.
  • Utilize automated systems and platforms to keep everyone on the same page.

Maximize Growth and Efficiency with Innovative TMS Integration and Ocean Freight Tracking Services

The unfortunate truth is that many ocean carriers have been reluctant to embrace many of the tools and automation available today. This, combined with a failure to roll out these new systems and services promptly, has put ocean freight at a disadvantage. However, now ocean carriers realize the power they have access to and how it can improve their operations while also benefiting shippers. This is why the growth in TMS popularity and implementation has been steadily on the rise in recent years regarding ocean tracking and proactive ocean freight management. Book an OpenTrack demo to see how TMS in combination with ocean tracking integration can benefit your supply chain today.

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