Widening the Gap
Shipping has been around for about 5000 years, but, rapidly, the model of control and efficiency of the sector is changing. For many ports, port authorities and shipping companies there is a serious danger that they will be left behind if smart shipping technological advances are not incorporated into their businesses. The move to smart shipping is a swiftly moving trend and can be compared with the game-changing containerization revolution that took place in the 1960s. Using smart shipping aspects, ports and shippers can obtain solutions to a wide range of problems such as: the need for optimization of cargo, increased documentation due to regulations, management of 3PL and greater integration between ship and shore. It may even have an effect on personnel – making them happier and more productive. What this technology actually achieves is, in many cases, reliant on how the process is managed, but generally the objectives cheaper, more reliable and better quality transport.
Tools needed for innovation
There are several tools that need to be listed on a maritime company’s innovation plan – if they are not there already:
- Telematics tracking and monitoring of ships and containers;
- The collection and storage of data around every aspect of the shipping operation and the creation of intelligent reporting for management decision making;
- Automatic document processing that eliminates retyping documents
Time (and therefore cost) saving planning for all phases of, docking, unloading and loading, fee calculation/invoicing and storage;
- The incorporation of Apps and customer portals with smart-phone access for up-to-the-minute information.
In many cases this may affect the internal organisations of many companies who are dragging their feet when incorporating new systems. Often staff who have worked for many years with paper-based systems are reluctant to change to new technology. As profit margins continue to decrease, rising energy costs and the increasing need for upscaling capacity, efficiency becomes more and more important. These new technological advances will have to be incorporated – otherwise competitors that have adopted smart shipping ways of working will sweep up the business.
Ultimate Software and smart shipping applications
Ultimate Software’s FlexPort & FlexShip solutions are perfect examples of smart shipping applications that are built to cater to the requirements and needs of today’s international port business. They are integrated solutions suitable for Port Authorities, Landlord Ports, Port Agents, Stevedores & Terminals, 3PL providers, Transport Fleet owners – or any combination of these. Learn more about how your organization can stay on track: FlexPort & FlexShip.