What Do Ocean Shippers Need Beside ‘Just’ Tracking?


Ports throughout the world became bottlenecks in global supply chains in the second half of 2020 and early 2021, says an article published in The Loadstar.

Heavily impacted

Vessels were forced to wait for days offshore before being able to discharge cargo.

Supply chain directors must be prepared to manage uncertainties in maritime transit times when port congestion, longer lead times, delivery delays, and manufacturing shortages deteriorate as a result of events such as repeated Covid outbreaks in China and the war in Ukraine.

Real-time visibility

Real-time visibility of shipments is required, as well as up-to-date status of products in transit. 

Because variations from the published sailing schedule result in longer lead times that have an influence on production and distribution, an ocean shipper needs a clear view of where the freight vessel is on its route in order to make modifications.

Predictive estimated time

Ocean shippers want dynamic estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) for their cargo in addition to real-time transparency to plan ahead for delays.

Predicted arrival timings must take into account vessel speed and ocean transit distance, route traffic, historical performance trends, and major events like weather or strikes.

These ETAs should highlight any divergence from the carrier’s initial timetable so that the supply chain manager is informed of any delays.

Management can plan for delays by getting predictive updates on vessel arrival or departure times.

SKU-level visibility

Frequently, one key component in a shipment is required to maintain production or ensure that a popular product is available in stores.

Shippers require visibility down to the order and stock-keeping unit (SKU) level, in addition to container tracking.

Supply chain managers can better control pipeline inventory with this degree of granularity.

Track supplier-controlled

Shipments outside of a company’s direct control should be covered by visibility.

Even when suppliers pay for freight, the receiving party needs to know where shipments are on their way and when they are expected to arrive so that action can be taken in the event of a delay.

Market intelligence

Shippers can avoid congested ports and locate alternate shipping routes using maritime marketplace knowledge.

That intelligence should include incident-alerting for storms, fires, pirate assaults, port closures, extreme weather occurrences, and cargo rollovers, in addition to the most up-to-date information on container import and export dwell periods at all ports around the world.

Reporting on carbon footprint

More corporations are concerned about the carbon emissions from their maritime cargo as they embrace sustainability efforts.

Shippers may control their ocean transportation carbon footprint and analyse the trade-offs between cost, performance, and emissions for buying more sustainable freight with accurate emissions data.


The epidemic has demonstrated that supply chain executives working for businesses or third-party logistics providers require a comprehensive toolkit for planning and managing ocean shipments in the face of uncertainty.

Supply chain managers that are well-prepared will be able to make better educated, proactive decisions, take proactive measures to alleviate difficulties, and overcome marine hurdles in their global supply networks.

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Source: The Loadstar


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