Benefits of a Shipping Software Solution

Traditional ways of managing shipping activities often lack real-time tracking and information which requires a lot of face to face interaction among employees. The advancement of technology has provided every available option for shipping and logistics companies to manage and improve their business more efficiently. To gain a competitive advantage in the rising market, every shipping company should ensure that the best technological tools are adapted to assist in improving their business process activities.

Since global trade has been increasing over the past years, it is important for shipping industries to utilize a shipping management software based on a company’s specific needs. Customized software that are essential for a company’s operation are developed and designed for different shipping operations such as liner principals, liner agency, feeder operators, NVOCC, surveyors, container terminals and claim handlings. Shipping software has helped companies in various parts of the world enhance their productivity and competitiveness through better and organize planning and management of their operational activities.

Save on Costs

One of the main concerns of every company is the high operating costs involved in their day to day activities. By having software that generates an automated solutions, costs and expenses condition are visible, making them easy to monitor, control and track properly. Hiring a shipping software provider eliminates the need for an additional in-house IT expert or another worker to fully navigate the various components of the software. An overall user friendly interface, functional menus and other features with the highest quality standards are combined in one system which can be completed in a couple of minutes than the usual work hours as compared to the traditional process. Most of these software providers have their own technical support team which can assist and answer questions and concerns regarding their software.

More Efficient Operations

Shipping software covers various business activities ranging from bookings, operations, documentation, managing distribution and other back office support. Transaction inflows and outflows are processed and documented more easily without the need for time consuming and tedious retyping of data. Redundant processes are eliminated thereby a more simple and efficient handling of operational activities is possible. All of these activities are incorporated into one system which provides an economical resource in managing a company’s needs.

Implementing an information technology platform allows a shipping company to provide a faster and more precise process in facilitating the flow of a business operation. The importance of having an automated tool no matter how big or small a shipping business is it can improve the efficiency of a company’s operation. In providing the best solution for any shipping and logistics company, continuous investment in the latest technology should always be a priority. Having an up to date and right process is not only beneficial for a company but is also of value to their customers. Utilizing a shipping software provider can be the best solution for a shipping company. It doesn’t just reduce costs; it also leverages control and improves the overall process thereby increasing productivity.

Effective Shipping Business Management With Shipping Software Solutions

Over the years, the process of shipping goods has evolved in many ways. Cargo volumes have increased every year, vessels capacity has grown and the requirements for shipping companies to comply with regulations (i.e. Customs, IMO, etc.) have also increased steadily. Freight forwarders and shipping companies used to depend highly on manual labor throughout the entire shipping process – from packing, to warehousing, inventory, loading, transshipping, and discharging of consignments. Nowadays, much of these tasks have been automated, thanks to modern shipping software solutions which enable shipping companies maximize shipping efficiency.

Maritime software solutions have been developed for companies that provide cargo transport services. They are available off-the-shelf for Shipping companies like Bulk, Tank, Container, RoRo, and break bulk carriers. They are easy to use, can be customized for specific purposes, and can be integrated into existing platforms and applications. Once employed properly, integrated shipping software can provide significant cost benefits and higher level of operational efficiency.

Since no two shipping companies are alike when it comes to their software needs, shipping software companies develop different types of shipping software depending on their functions. Container management software centrally manages a global or regional container fleet and provides visibility on container stock, container expenses and facilitates the planning and forecasting of container stocks. It maximizes the use of a container fleet. It manages complex tasks, eliminates paper works, and provides real-time reports allowing operators to monitor transaction processes from start to finish.

Modern shipping companies use container tracking software to provide their clients visibility on the actual progress of the container transport process. It generates real-time data on the exact location of containers, and provides logs of exact time each shipment leaves the port and of its estimated time of arrival.

Voyage calculation software also known as voyage accounting software enables operators to have an early forecast on costs and income to expect from each port call and/or voyage. It calculates all costs involved including port costs, canal fees, and bunker costs. With these data, operators can proactively manage their cargo mix and simulate the contribution impact for different port rotations or vessel speeds. They can then choose the most cost-effective deployment and rotation of a vessel and avoid expensive and/or less-profitable ones.

To ensure quality customer service maritime software solutions eliminate problems prevalent in cargo shipping such as lost, stolen, or damaged shipments, tracking problems, delayed delivery, uncontrolled transaction costs, and many others. Proper use of these software solutions provides powerful and seamless results, and enables shipping companies to enhance productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

Benefits of Using Packaged Shipping Software

It’s hard to imagine a shipping business without an IT department nowadays. As technology becomes more and more advanced, carriers keep up by taking advantage of the latest innovations and best practices in the industry in order to remain competitive. Forward thinking operators have taken advantage of the rapidly changing technology by using advanced shipping software solutions to enhance their competitive advantage. However, when it comes to choosing the right software solution, the shipping industry is divided between in-house and packaged solutions. Shipping companies need to analyze their unique requirements to determine the type of business solution that will bring more advantage to their daily operations.

Global operators seem to have conflicting views with regard to the cost-effectiveness of building in-house IT systems compared with buying ready-made, customizable platforms. Both have their own advantage when it comes to streamlining operations that have direct effect on the cost-efficiency of a shipping business. Understanding the specific differences between these two systems can help operators make more informed decisions in using their resources.

Bespoke System

Many operators prefer hiring programmers and software developers, and build customized software to fit their specific business requirements. Doing this gives them full control of software development. However, bespoke or in-house systems will require time until they are working live, which will delay the positive impact of automation sometimes up to 3-4 years as seen for bigger implementations. It will also consume resources on the carrier side not only from the IT but also from the involved departments.

In addition, the fact that technology evolves rapidly, software solutions that have been custom-tailored to support a specific function may date quickly and not work on newer platforms, necessitating a painful upgrade that may include an expensive migration process. For the same reason, in-house systems require skilled IT staff which results in increased operational expenses – something that does not sound interesting in a slumping economy.

Packaged System

Generally, ready-made shipping software are a lot cheaper and easier to implement when compared with in-house systems. In fact, buying off-the-shelf solution can be 10 to 50 times cheaper than developing a bespoke system. In addition, modern packaged software incorporates a switching capability, which allows the user to customize each application to handle specific requirements without any expensive re-programming. Once customized, packaged software have the capability to automate time-consuming and resource-intrusive business processes.

Modern packages solutions are flexible enough to work for almost any carrier, regardless of size, specialization, or local requirements. This capability makes it even more appealing for vessel operators to buy off-the-shelf instead of commissioning expensive in-house solutions.

Packaged software solutions are widely available in the software market and can be purchased at very reasonable prices. In addition, many software companies offer excellent guarantee periods for their products during which any software issues are fixed without extra cost.

Change can be Painful

Despite the impressive features of packaged shipping software solutions, many carriers are still stuck with bespoke systems because of perceived difficulties that accompany a change in IT infrastructure. In most cases, these difficulties have something to do with legacy systems which often control key areas of a shipping business. Change in this case must be managed properly using correct methodologies avoid common problems that usually come with the process of implementing a new business system.

Shipping goods involves too many complicated processes that require focus and expertise in all aspects. To be more productive, operators must focus on their core business which is operating ships. They should not divert large amounts of resources to other activities outside their expertise to avoid uncontrolled expenses that can hurt their business in the long run.