Supply chain managers continue to grapple with a wave of volatility and disruptions. In this climate of uncertainty, a logistics visibility platform delivers significant value.
- Geopolitical conflicts.
- Inflationary pressures in a recessionary climate.
- Weather events catalyzed by climate change.
- Unforeseen supply chain obstacles.
These disruptions spur issues like port delays, container capacity fluctuations, and price surges, to name a few. New supply chain trends and solutions are emerging in this tumultuous landscape, offering organizations opportunities to adapt and strengthen their operations.
This article explores current challenges to ocean freight visibility and the value a shipment and order visibility platform provides in navigating market volatility. We’ll also help you understand how Smart Transportation solutions are revolutionizing logistics visibility to create more resilient and adaptable supply chains.
Current Ocean Freight Visibility Challenges
Navigating the ocean freight and supply chain landscape presents challenges. Each hurdle underlines the importance of visibility and adaptability in effective supply chain management. This section highlights four challenges the industry faces.
Data Management Challenges
We see a continued upward trend in digital transformation investment, with an accelerated focus on supply chain and operational capabilities. While this shift introduces benefits, it also presents unique logistics visibility challenges, including data sharing, data management, data quality, and partner communication. Enhanced investment to improve supply chain planning maturity, automation, and end-to-end analytics proves instrumental for increased visibility.
Importance of a Logistics Visibility Platform
Two primary types of visibility spring from this platform.
Process visibility offers an overarching view of logistics processes, similar to what a TMS or freight management system provides. It allows a deep dive into everyday operations, including workflows, automation, and decision-making processes.
Supply chain visibility encompasses a broader range of functionality, tracking everything from containers, transportation, and cargo conditions to rates, booking and container allocation, auditing, and carbon emissions. Together, these forms of visibility underpin resilient, agile supply chains.
4 Key Considerations When Choosing a Logistics Visibility Platform
Look for these essential features in a logistics visibility platform:
- Detailed Freight View – Provides information at the vessel, container, order, or item level, facilitating strategic planning and execution of supply chain operations.
- Container Tracking – Allows tracking of all containers both on ocean and land, offering summarized vessel information, including ETAs and container counts.
- Network Integrations – Integrates with existing logistics platforms and networks without dramatically changing workflows and processes.
- Single Source of Truth – All supply chain parties can access shipment information and updates with customized push alerts or updates sent directly to ERPs via API.
The Impacts of a Robust Logistics Visibility Platform
A well-selected logistics visibility platform improves operational efficiency and significantly impacts the bottom line. For instance, it can lead to reduced costs, bolster customer service, and ultimately, propel profits upward.
Revolutionizing Visibility: The MercuryGate Solution
MercuryGate’s Shipment and Order Visibility product is a revolutionary solution for inbound freight orders and ocean shipments. This tool offers unmatched global visibility and fosters multi-enterprise collaboration across the shipment lifecycle at container, order, and item levels.
To truly understand the transformative power of the MercuryGate Shipment and Order Visibility solution, we invite you to read our Shipment and Order Visibility Case Study. You’ll learn how an auto manufacturer applies this innovative solution. See how you can use it to revolutionize your supply chain operations.