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The maritime industry and broader ocean supply chain are suffering from major and costly inefficiencies due to ineffective data sharing and poor cross-industry collaboration, according to a new report and industry survey released by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network in coordination with Navis and XVELA, both part of Cargotec’s Kalmar business area.
The study, “Competitive Gain in the Ocean Supply Chain: Innovation That’s Driving Maritime Operational Transformation”, finds huge opportunities to improve performance and customer service through better use of technology across the ocean supply chain.
The study is based on a global survey of more than 200 executives and professionals from terminal operators, carriers, logistics providers, vessel owners, port authorities, shippers, consignees and other members of the global ocean supply chain. It was developed in partnership with maritime industry technology leaders Navis and XVELA.
The study indicates that importers, exporters, container carriers, terminal operators, vessel owners and other stakeholders suffer from poor visibility and predictability around shipments and are losing money due to a lack of partner synchronisation and insufficient data insight.
However, there is recognition, particularly among industry leaders interviewed, that digitisation and mindset shifts are afoot, and will be a boon to all players in the industry. “Everyone benefits from collaboration and data sharing,” says Andreas Mrozek, Global Head Marine & Terminal Operations for the Hamburg Sud Group, one of the world’s largest container shipping lines. “It starts with the customers and moves to the carriers, then the terminal operators, vendors, freight systems, truck companies, and keeps going down the line. Closer collaboration is a compelling value proposition for each supply chain partner.”
90 percent of survey participants said real-time data access and information sharing was important to increasing the efficiency and performance of the shipping industry. Some 80 percent said the industry needs to improve supply chain visibility.
The push for improvements will likely come from a combination of forces, according to industry executives. Shippers will push for better operational visibility; alliances will demand better ways for their carrier members to share information to improve efficiencies and customer service; and terminals and port authorities under pressure to increase utilisation and optimise existing infrastructures.
On average, surveyed executives estimated that each of a wide range of ocean supply chain processes could be improved by as much as 66 percent and no less than 55 percent if the industry updated its IT systems and improved its ability to share data with other members of the supply chain.