Ocean cargo shippers get help measuring carrier service

Shippers and logistics service providers intent on measuring ocean carriers’ schedule reliability may be using a new SaaS tool soon

By Patrick Burnson · November 9, 2011

Shippers and logistics service providers intent on measuring ocean carriers’ schedule reliability may be using a new Software as a Service (SaaS) tool soon.

According to CargoSmart Limited, their product is available now, along with a sailing schedule application for the iPhone.

“CargoSmart’s interactive analysis tools let us review carriers’ reliability on our key routes,” said Kevin Bulger, vice president of operations, Apex Maritime. “The on-time performance reports will help us monitor and enhance the service we provide to our customers.”

The Apex Group, a top three Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) for the transpacific trade to the United States, manages contracts with 16 ocean carriers.

In an interview with LM, Kim Le, director of CargoSmart North America, said that shippers can “drill down” to view the details by service, port, or port pair according to their business needs. Quarterly reports are available for customers to review the trend of on-time reliability.

“The interactive schedule reliability reports are filtered by port, port-pair, service, and carrier,” said Le. “Schedule punctuality is calculated based on tracking of over 14,000 vessel arrivals and departures every month, covering 800 ports and 20 leading carriers and alliance services.”

Le said that another key differentiator is that CargoSmart provides high quality, comprehensive sailing schedule data to power its Schedule Reliability application.

Their methodology for measuring schedule reliability is as follows:

* The primary schedule data source is direct integration with 20 ocean carriers and alliance services for regular proforma schedule updates by EDI
* The secondary data sources include AIS (Automatic Identification System used on vessels), carrier alliance schedule data, and carrier Web sites
* It also provides data optimization, established processes to verify the accuracy and supplement incomplete schedule data.

Meanwhile, similar e-commerce solutions for the ocean freight industry are in development. According to INTTRA, a neutral performance measurement resource enabling shippers and carriers to measure their own performance, has been tested in a pilot program and will be available to the entire INTTRA network next year.

 

 


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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