Companies that need to transport goods overseas often find themselves relying on their shipping companies or 3PLs to monitor their cargo. Because of this, a great deal of blind spots and lack of information concerning their cargo’swhereabouts arise, making them vulnerable and putting them at a disadvantage.
One of the main issues that arise from lack of independent cargo monitoring control is the inability to analyze data. When companies have multiple suppliers, internal and external, and platforms from whom they collect information, it can become difficult to piece together the parts and see the big picture in a way that can lead to actions and this creates a significant “black hole” in the supply chain.
This is where the case for an independent cargo monitoring solution is strengthened. When companies chose to monitor their cargo using an independent solution, they are able to gain an analytical edge and clear view of the entire product journey, reducing the need to try to aggregate data and deal with the hassle of multiple platforms and dashboards.
The Impact on the Supply Chain
A strong argument for the implementation of independent cargo monitoring solutions is the overall improvement the data and analysis can have on a company’s supply chain management.
When lacking a comprehensive overview of shipments whereabouts and other measurable parameters, companies cannot accurately understand their entire supply chain, and as a result, cannot see where they can improve overall efficiency and operations.
Having an independent solution in place to monitor cargo prevents that by giving an objective and transparent real-time view of a cargo's location, the surrounding factors that impact it, such as weather fluctuations, dear time spent at port or warehouse and other important factors.
Independent solutions also have the advantage of higher quality reporting and recording information throughout the entire journey rather than just fragments. As a result, companies do not need to piece together information to see the whole, but rather can gain a comprehensive birds eye view that can then be used to improve their understanding of their entire supply chain, and provide insights into how it can be improved, costs can be reduced, and efficiency enhanced.
Objective Information from Independent Solutions
Simply put, relying on shipping companies for accurate information of cargo is not enough for companies looking to understand the entire cargo journey and have that information at their disposal to analyze and understand at later points. Furthermore, relying on shipping companies removes the ability to objectively asses the information provided and therefore does not provide an accurate benchmarking tool by which to measure data or rate KPI’s.
To such extent, as global companies work with a wide range of shipping companies and 3PL’s they should be able to measure the reliability of these service provider in an objective way and take the best insight-driven decisions for their supply chain.
Beyond being able to validate information provided by their cargo companies, having an independent solution ensures that no matter what the cargo encounters along the way, there is always information about the location and impacting factors. Shipping companies may be targeted by cyber attacks, as evident by the Maersk cyber attacklast year, and information can be compromised during such attacks. If such events happen, companies not only risk being in the dark for several days until updated by their shipping company, they risk losing on vital information that could cause significant harm to their overall operations.
Immediate and Uninterrupted Data for Actionable Insights
Large companies produce globally, and the complexity of the supply chain choreography intensifies as the need for “just-in-time” inventory management becomes a more and more widespread strategy. These companies’ need to rely on shipping companies and 3PL’s grows, so will their need to transform the way they view and manipulate information.
Consequently, it is increasingly important to control multiple supply chain management aspects and that requires a shift in the way data is processed. By implementing an independent cargo monitoring solution, companies can take control of their data and use it to leverage their operations, improve efficiency and streamline the entire supply chain. As we talk of blockchain technology and digital supply chain it is obvious that one day (soon) all of this will be transparent to create ultra-efficient supply chains.
Solutions that have strong BI and analytics capabilities alongside trustworthy monitoring solutions are what global companies need for immediate transparency of their supply chain and propel them into the next era of digital supply chain management. That is exactly what Contguard offers.
-by Dudu Goren, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Contguard, professional supply chain management and processes.