Here’s How Data Analytics Is Transforming The Shipping Industry
By Kamal Jacob
The shipping lines transport a huge volume of cargo every day. It includes large containers, petroleum products and commodities as well. Shipping is a highly dependent industry with major interdependencies. One single delivery requires multiple organizations communicating for operations. Just after the consignment is received on a shipping carrier, it goes through multiple agencies, changes hands and finally gets delivered.
Multiple operations during the shipping process generate a huge amount of data. This data includes details of a parameter such as the volume of freight, shipping time and cost. Apart from this, other data of vessel such as fuel consumption, optimal route and finding the right ship for cargo are also recorded and play a crucial role in decision making.
There are immense possibilities and applications of Data Analytics in shipping industry. Easy access to the above-mentioned data and data analytics on it is bringing new insights. Valuable insights are helping shipping organizations in improving asset utilization and reducing the cost and time. Data analytics is also helping businesses to improve the process of chartering, vetting, and voyage operations.
Challenges of the shipping, freight-forwarding & logistics (supply chain) industry
Source: 2016 Third-Party Logistics Study
The shipping industry is facing multiple significant challenges and as the conditions tighten, the industry may face more challenges in the future. According to the study, cutting transportation costs is their highest priority. 65% of the shipping businesses are focusing on reducing transportation costs.
Rising fuel prices and increased surcharges and freight rates are making a negative impact on revenue and earnings of shipping businesses. Additional overhead is added by increasing compliance regulations. Businesses in shipping industries are constantly finding new and effective ways to reduce costs as much as possible with the help of newer technologies.
The need for improving the business process
For the shipping industry and logistics industry, it is becoming more difficult to keep making advancements in their business processes. Trying new technologies sounds exciting way to overcome this issue but large-scale implementation, adoption and onboarding can become overwhelming. However, the industry has started understanding the benefit of implementing newer technologies which promise to improve the business processes but they are still unsure in measuring the impact made.
How data analytics is helping the shipping industry in seamless shipping services?
Some years ago, the process of gathering suppliers’ delivery data was extremely difficult and time-consuming for logistics companies. Due to that, real-time visibility was not achievable. In recent years, the industry has overcome such issues with the help of Big Data. Modern-day analytics is becoming immensely valuable and it is helping businesses to reduce freight costs across the supply chain.
Intuitive data visualization tools are using data analytics and pre-configured connections to carriers’ data portals to provide insights into areas for optimization and cost savings. Latest generation freight and transportation-focused data platforms are helping the shipping organization to identify key saving opportunities.
Data Analytics is making a major difference in key areas:
With access to the right data and analytics on top of the data, businesses get an advantage in decision making. The benefits of it are not just limited to reduces freight costs. Data analytics also enable companies to:
1. Compare past data to enhance efficiency
2. Streamline overall supply chain processes
3. Track and optimize key performance indicators
4. Identify optimal delivery routes
5. Build and test new business models
6. Make targeted and better-informed decisions
7. Optimize profits
Data analytics is allowing the businesses to perform real-time route optimization, quicker deliveries based on traffic or weather conditions, tracking and prediction of disruptive events in the supply chain.
Big data in the supply chain also allows businesses to better assist customers with detailed and real-time delivery analytics. Data analytics tools record data such as seasons, weather, and economic conditions. This helps warehouse and fulfilment companies’ in reducing shipping costs and time by optimizing inventory and procurement processes.
Innovative and useful products or services solutions for logistics, freight forwarding and shipping
You will be surprised to know that 90% of all internationally traded goods transported via maritime logistics. Due to this fact, maritime shipping companies are important to the global economy.
With the advancements achieved by data analytics, companies make better-informed decisions, this saves time and money and reduces business risks. Let us have a look at some startups which provide products and services such as AI-powered shipment tracking, satellite-based maritime vessel tracking to help businesses who deal in shipping and logistics.
ClearMetal is a predictive logistics company. The company builds data-driven products to provide AI-powered insights to retailers and logistics providers. The company provides insights into the logistics and transportation process and allows their client to track shipments across the entire world.
ClearMetal estimates the risks of delays and helps their customers and clients to choose the carrier which will provide reliable service. One of the world’s largest logistics provider, Panalpina, is a client of ClearMetal.
Shipamax is an end-to-end digital brokerage. It offers a communication platform specifically for bulk freight ships carrying metals, gasoline, agriculture commodities, and other products.
Shipamax integrates with email accounts of the shipping companies and extracts data from emails and attachments. Shipmax uses this data to do data entry which was used to be a manual process earlier. Shipmax is helping businesses to reduce paperwork, increase efficiency and data security.
Shipamax is also leveraging this real-time data for asset utilization, pricing and multiple other things. Shipamax also helping shippers to book a ship to according to their needs.
Big Data has resulted in big improvements!
With access to the right data and analytics on top of the data, businesses are getting an advantage in decision making. Modern-day analytics is becoming immensely valuable and it is helping the businesses to gain valuable insights and predictions into multiple areas. This is resulting in cost savings as multiple business processes have become more efficient.
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