Basic Introduction about shipping analytics

Over the last two decades, technological advancements have reduced the cost of transactions while increasing competition and transparency. Similar technological advancements have made other industries such as insurance, healthcare, transportation and retail more competitive. However, marine transportation has not yet seen such large-scale transformation, which has resulted in a largely outdated and burdensome decision-making process.

Finding the right ship for cargo at the most economical price is a key function performed by charterers. However, charterers’ access to this information is limited to what is provided by existing brokers and ship owners. Since the information is shared “selectively,” it may or may not be most efficient. Charterers who have established relationships with many brokers will most likely be able to find a suitable ship to transport cargo, but the same is not true for small ship owners and charterers who lack access to timely information. In such a situation, how can charterers ensure they have made the right decision if the information provided is incomplete or suspect?

There is an opportunity to utilize readily available, accurate and actionable information to improve decision making. Consider a charterer who is looking for a third-party vessel to move cargo from the Arabian Gulf to South East Asia for a certain cargo size and date. Rather than relying on the ship brokers for options, freight rates and other information, a simple information portal (see Figure 1) can provide various alternatives for review. The charterer can provide pertinent inputs, such as load area (Arabian Gulf), cargo size (280,000 MT) and trade dates (October 26 to October 30). The information portal will then provide a list of suitable vessels available in the Arabian Gulf around that time.

This is how shipping analytics works in other countries and shipping analytics services are fulfilled.

How shipping analytics transform the shipping industry

Shipping analytics services has seen a wide change in the way the shipping industry has successfully evolved.

This success is made possible by integrating Automatic Identification System (AIS) information, position reports, estimated times of arrivals, vessel specifications (such as size) and market information into an exchange portal used to find all available alternatives, as well as the freight forecast. This type of portal can give charterers and ship owners access to more options thus improving transparency and competiveness. The charterers can further improve decision making by integrating vessel availability data with their internal or external vetting information. If a vessel does not meet the required standards and has sub-par feedback, then the ship can be removed from the selection process early on. This process will also help save time by selecting only the best available vessel for the cargo.

Shipping analytics and shipping reporting services are unique due to the visibility across orders from all of your selling channels (if you use shipping software with that capability). It’s typically the most holistic view available, and in many cases it is more powerful than even your own accounting system.

Shipping analytics services and platform analytics services can provide valuable insights into many aspects of customer behavior and the performance of your shipping process.

Benefits of shipping analytics

Below are five insights that shipping reporting services can provide to your supply chain to help improve process quality and performance.

  • Monitoring Carrier Performance

    Shipping analytics software provides real-time data on carrier performance, which is a powerful tool for shippers. Carrier performance directly impacts the customer experience. For instance, to improve relationships with customers and enhance their customers' experience, you need to know if deliveries are arriving on time. Late deliveries can negatively impact repeat business. FreightOptics shipping analytics can keep track of carriers’ on-time delivery performance over extended periods of time. You can then calculate whether the cheapest carrier or the most efficient carrier is the one you should be using to balance both shipping spend and the satisfaction of your customers.

  • Shipping Costs

    Shipping analytics can also help with the issue of cost per pound, or cost per package. For the best supply chain performance, you’ll need to measure both together. There are many factors that can cause variation in these data points, but being aware of both can help you uncover if, and why, these costs are affecting you. This information will guide you toward making better logistics management decisions. Shipping costs per package and per pound are predominant indicators of greater shipping cost increases. Managing them independently won’t help you solve major cost inefficiencies; however, it’s difficult to manage both at one time. Our shipping software is your solution. Allow the cost analysis to be automated with algorithms programmed into easy-to-use shipping technology to get actionable data in your hands.

  • Distribution Zones

    Zonal distribution begins to combine cost and customer shipping data. This data takes distance into consideration. Distance affects customer satisfaction, as it relates to time-in-transit and cost, because the farther the packages are shipped, the higher the costs and fuel surcharges. And today’s consumers are increasingly concerned with fast shipping times. Data on shipment cost, which considers distance, transit-time, and zonal distribution, works to optimize your shipping strategies and supply chain management. Shipping every package in the same way is never the answer because each shipment is unique. In order to most effectively manage unique shipments, you also need unique solutions.

  • Weight

    Managing costs can be difficult, but packaging solutions and weight distribution analytics are the perfect way to stay ahead. Between potentially applying weight distribution to contracted rates, concerns about dimensional billing, and increasing issues with package weight and shipping costs, shipping analytics provides you with the information on how to manage your shipments. This data can provide ways on how to save on parcel costs or get cheaper shipping rates without sacrificing faster shipping times. These initiatives will keep customers happy while also improving logistics management strategies and enhancing supply chain performance.

  • Shipping Rate Visibility

    One final aspect of the supply chain, which can be improved through our shipping software and parcel analytics, is clear visibility of your shipping costs. Unfortunately, the exact expenses involved in parcel shipping aren’t always laid out in detail in the beginning. Shipping data, however, can track trends to show which carriers estimated routes vary from the invoice consistently, which have unexpected accessorial charges, and so on. This visibility allows you to make better decisions about parcel shipping and turn your shipping function into a competitive advantage.