November 11, 2022

Three Essential Requirements for Proactive Shipping Container Management

When you hear the words “proactive shipping container management,” what comes to mind?

The classic definition of the word “proactive” is “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” Applying that concept to shipping container management shouldn’t be difficult, right?

Actually, with advances in technology for shipping container management, proactivity has become not only a possibility but an expectation. Gartner® estimates the freight visibility market was valued at nearly $300 million in 2020 in North America alone and will more than triple to $1 billion by 2024. The world’s largest retailers are rightly concerned about the most efficient way to agilely handle their shipping containers, and don’t like surprises. They like to know they can count on their logistics provider to pivot when the best laid plans go awry. In other words, today’s BCOs are looking for more proactive container management.

Many of our customers originally came to AV Logistics seeking a more comprehensive view of their shipping container management because they were dissatisfied with their current methods. In some cases, our customers just did not feel supported by their former logistics company with anything other than the supply of statistics and data. For others, their former platform kept them guessing about dates their shipments would reach port or it did not provide the updates customers wanted on the status of their containers. These concerns were all valid because the wrong visibility platform can ultimately lead to expensive mismanagement of shipping containers, and a failure to provide the proactive response that would have saved per diem and/or demurrage charges.

It’s clear that the “holy grail” of supply chain visibility platforms is one that will not only tell you what’s happening with your shipping container management, but provide proactive solutions when your logistics hits a snag. We recognize this and have worked hard to develop a platform that facilitates “proactive container management” by incorporating the three key elements you need to achieve it!

#1 A STRONG VISIBILITY PLATFORM

A strong visibility platform is a priority for any organization engaged in shipping container management and wanting to operate as proactively as possible. After all, if you’re not supplied with the right information on your shipping containers, you cannot identify or manage problems that may arise. Your visibility platform should deliver the data you need, when you need it. Our customers told us they wanted a portal that they could access 24/7/365 with customized reports on demand, so we developed our proprietary supply chain visibility platform,  Coreviz, with this feature. We also answered their request for the tracking of more shipping container milestones, including 30 days of on-the-water visibility.  Having this depth of information is an advantage for the customer. They can anticipate problems and we can help them find solutions before any unforeseen circumstances bring their shipping container management to a grinding halt.

#2 DATA VERIFICATION

If information is needed to make proper decisions on your shipping container management, isn’t it important that the data is trustworthy? In logistics, as in American culture, we have learned that not everything published or posted is true. Any visibility platform is only as good as the accuracy of the data within it. Amazingly, many BCOs unknowingly work with information that has not been refreshed or updated. Doing so can cause logistics problems ranging from a wrong bill of lading number to a missed re-routing due to a sudden change in weather. We realized this was missing in the industry, so we seized the opportunity to provide it with Coreviz. Within our visibility platform, all data is verified by our track and trace team before it is loaded into the system. By verifying data, we safeguard clients against expensive mistakes, help them adjust for sudden changes in logistics, and thereby stay proactive throughout their shipping container management operations.

#3 PROPER RESPONSE

Once you are armed with a great visibility platform and data verification to ensure you have accurate information, there is only one more thing you need to ensure proactive container management: the proper response. Here is where an experienced team is necessary.  For example, when it’s clear that a ship carrying your containers will need to be rerouted, or port congestion will cause a delay in unloading your freight, someone must manage the changes in our drayage operations to keep the freight moving on to its final destination. Our customers appreciate that we not only deliver state-of-the-art supply chain visibility, but we also provide a team that helps customers implement a proactive response to changes in schedules, etc.

These three things—a strong visibility platform, data verification, and the proper response–can make the difference between cost-saving proactive shipping container management and costly, reactive shipping container management.  Which one would you rather have?

If we can help you make your shipping container management more proactive, contact Peter Pace, VP of Sales to discuss your needs at 201-960-3159 or email at ppace@av-ck.com.

Cargo Ships Entering The Busiest Port Singapore.