International sanctions on Russia for unleashing a war against Ukraine has severely destabilized global trade and maritime transportation in several key regions. Port connections to Russian, Ukrainian and other international ports have either been put at a halt or heavily disrupted. This has led to worldwide shortages in food, raw materials, agricultural products, energy supplies, and consequently, price increases of those commodities. The war in Ukraine has left 68 vessels, about half of which are carrying grains, stranded in Ukraine’s and Russia’s Black Sea ports.
Among the many cargo vessels stuck in Odessa, one of Contguard’s major clients was carrying four containers worth several million dollars. When inquiring about the whereabouts of their cargo, the client was misled by the carrier that they were moving along according to the planned route, only stopping in a transshipment port in APAC region. However, when the client attempted to track the cargo, it could not be tracked via the carrier’s tracking system because the container ID had vanished from the system. Having left the client incredibly frustrated in this situation of uncertainty, the client had no other means to locate its high-value cargo apart from employing Contguard’s independent tracking solutions.
Contguard’s tracking devices embedded in the containers, as well as integrated data from various sources, enabled the cargo to be located and managed by the client with its unbiased information regarding their goods. Looking into the analyzed data confirmed the unfortunate scenario – the vessel was still docked in the Odessa port with more than 9,000 TEUs onboard, including our client’s containers. Thanks to our intelligent platform, our client was provided with insights that enabled them to employ a contingency plan which included shipping additional goods through an alternative route.
Although classified as unprecedented, this event is not rare at all, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, abnormal shipping trends began to occur across the globe. In one case, Contguard’s CGI platform was able to identify extreme delays at Port Ensenada in Mexico. These shipments were delayed for over five months, going back and forth in circles from port to sea. Our client was unable to find any tracking data regarding his shipment through his carrier, resulting in a massive delay in plans.
These cases provide insightful examples of how Contguard’s independent tracking solutions can help prevent massive financial losses and shortage of goods and avoid losing its competitive advantage by being seen as an unreliable supplier.
While extreme, unprecedented events such as wars and pandemics are seen as exceptional, they are, in fact, not abnormal. Through the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more essential than ever for companies to have supply chain visibility based on unbiased data that enables them to track, monitor and manage their supply chain in real-time.