Data is good business for shipping companies
A renowned Freight Forwarder signed up to one of our webinars. They were interested in container tracking, and we continued the dialog with The Senior Product Manager after the webinar.
For many of their customers, precise ETDs and ETAs are important; will my goods arrive in time for Easter? If I need to send two containers to Mumbai when should the goods leave production?
In their current setup, before making a booking they would call the carriers to check up on the current location and the ETA for the container vessel or they would revisit the sailing schedules, fully aware that sailing schedules are often not updated. This manual process is time consuming, manual and the result is not precise. The Freight Forwarder found it increasingly difficult to keep up with unstable sailing schedules and calculating port congestion on top of that.
The Freight Forwarder wanted a new digital setup that would allow them to scale and grow and make their operations much more agile. A cornerstone in that plan would be better counseling of their customers in the planning phase and during transport. Better insights and data would allow the shipping agents to make better and more stable route planning when all alternatives can be evaluated on real-time and predictive data. For goods with a high time sensibility this would be a competitive edge for the Freight Forwarder.
After the webinar and the initial dialog, we started a free trial process for data services from the OceanIO platform. The Freight Forwarder was particularly interested in Container Tracking, Arrival Prediction and Port Congestion. At first, they only tracked very few containers, but after a couple of weeks they found that the precision and the early warnings of possible delays work really well and that their customers appreciated a heads-up leaving time for planning of alternatives, so they increased the search volume; also to test our systems with a larger workload. When comparing the predicted ETA from GateHouse Maritime with the estimated ETA from the sailing schedule they regularly found huge differences – even without the extra work of calling the carriers.
After a trial period, the Freight Forwarder realized the business potential of real-time tracking, predictive services, and early warnings so they signed a contract. Now the Freight Forwarder has integrated the API data stream from GateHouse Maritime into their TMS platform already used globally for bookings and confirmations enabling them to service their customers better and much more efficient than before and it has turned out to be a good business for them.
About the Freight Forwarder
A global logistics provider for modern supply chain management. The company has 48 offices in 12 countries with 2,500 employees. They handle road, air, and ocean transport for international customers; around 100,000 containers annually and aim to develop sustainable and innovative transport solutions.