• June 5, 2020

    Airfreight Vs Ocean freight

    Businesses that deal with international shipments are always faced with the dilemma of choosing between Ocean freight and Air freight at some point or the other. Although the two serve the same purpose, they are poles apart in multiple ways. Choosing to use one over the other is a highly conditional decision and boils down to a significant difference in cost and time.  Determining which one is better is undoubtedly a never-ending debate. Both of them come with their own set of pros and cons and that is the reason why companies must use a mix of the two in order to respect deadlines and budgets.  To aid the decision-making process of air freight vs ocean freight, it is imperative to consider the following factors: Cost: For most businesses worldwide, cost is of prime importance when it comes to shipments. It is a well-known fact that ocean freight offers more capacity while being the less expensive of the two options. Whereas air freight is faster and safer. But air freight comes at a very hefty price. To put that into perspective by example – a package that costs $200 by ocean freight can cost up to $1000 by air. That is why most professionals recommend that air freight be used when it costs less than 15-20% of the value of the goods.  All that being said, for ocean freight, when a package is small and less than a full container’s load, its cost is calculated in cubic metres. A lot of times, this can actually cost a lot more than air freight for the same package. That is why it is important to do a thorough calculation and cost comparison before choosing the mode of shipment. Time: While cost is a primary condition, time is an equally important one. When...
  • It is high time that logistics companies do away with manual tracking and adopt automated container tracking systems. Before the emergence of digital container tracking solutions, keeping track of all your global shipments was a time consuming, laborious process. It fell upon the logistics managers to manually visit the website, key in the booking number for each container and check the status.  Another major cause for shifting away from manual tracking systems is how the outbreak of the coronavirus and the aftermath, only brought home the fact that those companies that had more visibility into their shipments and knew exactly where their goods were, were better equipped to combat the consequences of the pandemic. To avoid major disruptions in the supply chain, logistics managers are soon realising that visibility holds the key to this problem.  And how can you achieve end-to-end visibility for all your shipments? There is only one answer to this question – invest in automated container tracking solutions. Any efficient and real-time container tracking solution provides advanced monitoring capabilities that too on a single dashboard. It allows you to get live updates and alerts on the movement of your freight, which serves to effectively eliminate the need for manual tracking. Moreover, you have easy accessibility to all the required information, due to a centralized dashboard. GoComet’s live shipment tracking system GoComet’s state-of-the-art container tracking solution allows you to track all your global shipments in real-time on a single dashboard. The module auto-captures every movement of your shipment, analyses the performance of your and sends automated updates directly to your inbox every time your shipment achieves a journey milestone.  It also offers actionable insights and helps you improve customer experience by allowing you to share the tracking data with your customers, making way for unprecedented transparency. Some reasons...
  • For any supply chain and logistics professional, invoice reconciliation is a major task; if it’s a good day, everything runs smoothly, but if not, several mistakes can and often do happen while processing invoices inviting several inefficiencies. Market studies show that 25-30% of all freight invoices are wrong, with many discrepancies ultimately going unchecked. When you factor in that most companies attempt manual invoice matching, industry studies show that the cost of manually reconciling invoices is around $5 to $12 per invoice.  A one-stop solution for such challenges is automating your invoice processing. Automated invoice matching makes some attractive promises like reducing the burden on your teams, minimising errors, identifying fraudulent claims and avoiding duplicate/missed invoice payments. Freight invoice errors play a major role in driving up unnecessary costs for your business. Also, in about 20% of the cases, these discrepancies are inevitably missed, causing overpayment, duplicate payments and lost productivity. This is where GoComet steps in with its easy to use and install Automated Invoice Reconciliation module. GoComet’s platform makes it possible to auto-approve invoices, identify/reject duplicate invoices and improve the auditing process, all at the click of a button. It provides a unified dashboard where the vendors can upload their invoices, and from there on, the entire process is automated, saving a lot of time and decreasing the dependency on human effort. How does manual invoice matching affect your business adversely? As invoice processing is a complex procedure, most companies have been slow to adopt digital solutions in this area. A traditional Accounts Payable(AP) team is in charge of invoice matching and payments, and needless to say, it is a painful and time-consuming process.  It is a completely expected scenario where invoices are sent to departments outside of Accounts Payable. Keeping a manual track of each invoice, and...
  • Shipping costs most certainly are an integral and significant part of the supply chain expense. To run your business successfully, you must try and reduce these costs without having to compromise with the service you get from the stakeholders involved.  Undoubtedly, being in control of how much you pay for your shipments and having the right tools to negotiate better is crucial to your bottom line. While the traditional approach to negotiating rates does very little in terms of managing uncertainty and ensuring competitive possible rates despite circumstances, today there are adequate solutions to solve the problem.  The simplest way to ensure that you’re procuring the best possible freight rates is to automate negotiations, benchmark prices and make data-driven decisions; and it is here that technology steps in. GoComet’s cloud-based RFQ management module fully automates your negotiation process and helps you drive significant cost savings with its unique compounded negotiation system.  Here is how GoComet’s digital automation technology solves the problems that have plagued the traditional freight rate negotiation process: Fewer negotiations, the lesser scope for reducing rates:  Negotiating rates via email or calls by design limit the total number of negotiations that happen and thus, adversely affects the rates you secure. For instance, you may have a pool of six vendors who share their quotations with you. You may then select the lowest quoting 2-3 vendors and try to negotiate the price with them.  In quite a few cases, you may not have the luxury of time and simply end up setting a target rate. You may call up a vendor or two and award the shipment to the vendor offering rates that are closest to the target price set by you. Perhaps the remaining 4-5 vendors would have been able to offer you a better price but you...
  • Real-time container tracking is a necessity that demands the attention of supply chain professionals. A few years ago, keeping track of all your global shipments was a time consuming, laborious process.  Logistics managers had to manually visit the website, key in the booking number for each container and check the status. But now, with the newest advancements in technology, it has become extremely simple to track the precise locations of all your containers as and when updated, thereby obtaining much-needed visibility into the supply chain operations. The emergence of state-of-the-art container tracking systems give you timely updates on the different stages in the movement of your shipment and enable you to proactively deal with any rerouting or delays. With more and more companies rapidly shifting to automated container tracking solutions, there has been an explosion of such software in the market. To separate the wheat from the chaff, identify the best-suited software that gives you the best ROI for your company, asking the right questions is crucial.  We have done our due diligence and compiled a list of the best container tracking software available in the market today that might be a possible fit for your company.  Here are some noteworthy real-time container tracking solutions… Any efficient container tracking system should provide detailed information like the name of the port where your containers may be stored, live location of your containers, status and exact delivery times. Here are some of the container tracking systems that have helped several shipping companies in streamlining their freight transportation processes. GoComet Container Tracking Software GoComet’s container tracking solution allows you to track all your international shipments in real-time on a unified dashboard. The module auto-captures every movement of your shipment, assesses your carrier performance and sends automated updates directly to your inbox every time...
  • When shipping goods is an integral part of your business, reducing transportation costs by default becomes a top priority. Along with fluctuations in market prices, regulations by governing authorities and regular hikes in fuel prices, there are several other forces at play that ultimately determine the cost involved in transporting your goods.  Optimising transportation costs, building supply chain agility and driving profitability for your business requires an eye for innovative yet practical solutions, the ability to develop sound strategies and implement them successfully.  These strategies or solutions can range from building better relationships with the stakeholders involved in your supply chain, improving your inventory management to adopting smarter tools that facilitate automation across workflows, etc. At the end of the day, what matters the most is having clarity over what you can do and what you must do to realise your ultimate goal of reducing costs.  Here is a list of six practical solutions that you can explore to drive down your transportation expenses:  1. Try to ship more, less often  Larger the shipment, more the savings. Convince your customers to place larger orders and if possible, try to incentivise these orders. Shipping 10 containers at a time will always be more profitable than shipping two containers for five days. Yet another way to approach this is to better use the storage space by optimising packaging and stacking.  By improving the way you use your storage space, not only will you be able to ship more goods but also minimise the chances of those goods getting damaged in transit. Work towards eliminating vacant spaces and try to increase the density of storage.  2. Build flexibility into your chain by using multiple modes of transport Typically shippers tend to rely on a single mode of transport. Having rarely explored the possibility...
  • While digital transformation has been slow, if not stagnant in the logistics industry, recent times have witnessed rapid developments in this space. With more and more supply chain professionals adopting digital alternatives to traditional methods by automating RFQ management, opting for digital freight procurement strategies and purchasing real-time container tracking software, the time has come for digitalisation to shine in this industry as well. Automating your freight procurement processes enables a world-class performance and drives ROI to a major extent. Emerging digital tools in the procurement field boast of superior results by taking the data-driven decision making to the next level and enabling the procurement teams to always be a step ahead. These developments are set to realise the goal of every company to gain a competitive edge in every aspect of their business over their competitors.  Not only do digital procurement technologies decrease the amount of time procurement teams spend on getting invoices processed but also free up time for them to work on better negotiation and cost optimization strategies. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, many CPOs working on digital procurement programs expect a 40% increase in gross savings, and a 30-50% less time spent on transactional sourcing. Digital Freight Procurement: The definition Succinctly put, freight procurement is the process of acquiring third party logistic service providers for transportation of freight, at the best rates. Everything from assessing logistics partners to selecting the right fit for your company to transport your freight from one place to another comes under freight procurement, also known as transportation procurement. To carry out efficient freight procurement, companies are turning towards digital tools and software that simplify the entire process. This is termed as digital freight procurement or e-procurement. E-procurement providers can enable shipping companies to be in control of their supply...
  • The coronavirus pandemic caught organisations around the world off guard due to a series of factors, one the main reasons being lack of supply chain visibility. Even today, as businesses try to bounce back from the setback, gaining end-to-end supply chain visibility on the movement of their freight remains a challenge.  While supply chain visibility could mean different things to different stakeholders, fundamentally it implies having access to real-time information on the movement of all your freight. It is the ability to trace and track every single element of your supply chain easily. Naturally, this level of sophistication is not easy to achieve. However, modern-day solutions have made it possible to a great extent.  Why is supply chain visibility important? When you have end-to-end visibility on the functioning of your supply chain network, every time something goes wrong, you’re well equipped to identify and resolve the issue. It puts you in a position where you can easily address unforeseen problems and offers you a certain level of flexibility.  Due to the complexity of supply chains, a major issue with supply chain visibility is being able to access all the relevant information at one place in a format that facilitates easy understanding. True clarity can be achieved only when each person in the organisation or every stakeholder involved in the chain has access to the same set of information.   This is where the modern-day shipment tracking solutions step in. These systems allow you to track all your shipments in real-time on a single dashboard. They automatically notify you every time your freight achieves a milestone in its journey and even alert you regarding possible delays.  We observed that when coronavirus hit the industry, many of our clients rapidly extended our shipment tracking module to their companies in other geographies. This seldom...
  • The unprecedented impact of the ongoing pandemic has made it clear that global supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link, i.e. visibility. It has become more imperative than ever to adopt a system that enables real-time container tracking. Any efficient and real-time container tracking solution provides extensive monitoring capabilities via a single dashboard. Get live updates and alerts on the movement of your freight, which serves to effectively eliminate the need for manual tracking.  Who does not want to experience end-to-end visibility on all their shipments in real-time?  Choosing the right container tracking software can be a daunting task, especially with the numerous options available in the market. But taking the time out to do your due diligence on each solution and asking the right questions before evaluating and assessing whether the selected container tracking application is the right fit for your company will prove very fruitful. To identify the best-suited container tracking system that is perfectly aligned with your company’s requirements and also, one that provides the best return on investment in the long run, here are a few questions that you may want to keep in mind before purchasing any such software. Questions to ask before investing in real-time container tracking software Is the container tracking solution meeting your business requirements? There is no point in settling for a system that does not understand your business. It is very important to select a container tracking system that provides real-time information and is well-equipped to deal with any challenge that comes its way. Your company’s needs will not be the same as that of another company’s and your chosen solution must be compatible with that. Is the application user-friendly? If the real-time container tracking system has a complex user interface, it might do more harm than...
  • When you think of ways to reduce your freight costs and drive efficiency and profitability, the cost involved in invoice processing may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, it’s one of those expenses that are hard to spot and continue to slowly eat into your bottom line.  While industry studies estimate that the cost of manually reconciling invoices is around $5 to $12 per invoice, the true cost involved goes way beyond it as the process is prone to errors, labour intensive and time-consuming. From our data, we discovered that up to 60% of invoices do not match the final quotation. Besides, in about 20% of the cases, these discrepancies go unchecked causing overpayment, duplicate payments and lost productivity.  While traditionally, the account payables team has relied on human efforts due to the complex nature of the work, technological advancements of today’s world have made fully automated invoice reconciliation possible.  Here’s a list of problems that are likely to occur due to mismanagement of freight invoices: Duplicate payments: There are several instances when a carrier or your freight forwarder accidentally generates invoices for the same shipment twice, creating scope for duplicate payments. In absence of an efficient system that effectively deals with this possibility, you may end up being double-charged for the same shipment.  Discrepancies in delivery address: You must cross-check the ‘bill-to’ part of the invoice as the fees for commercial, residential and limited access locations tend to vary. If the pickup address is not stated accurately it can cause delayed and at times even missed shipments. Moreover, some freight companies will charge you additional fees for poor classification of delivery locations and incorrect addresses.  Overpayments: Inconsistencies between the original quotation offered by your vendor and the invoice can often result in an overpayment....
  • Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out in the logistics industry, there are quite a few common terms that you need to be aware of. This will help you to understand the freight forwarding process and ensure smooth operations. To enable an efficient supply chain, and avoid miscommunications in payment of freight, shipment costs, insurance and security policies as well as minimize errors, it is advisable to keep common shipping terminology at your fingertips. Understanding the importance of shipping terms is crucial for transporting your goods safely, without any hassles. But keeping a track of all the abbreviations and terms used in the industry can be a tad difficult. Here are some of the most relevant terms in the freight industry that a shipper must be familiar with for a hassle-free shipment process. Essential logistics terms to remember: Incoterms The International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) is a set of standards that determine the responsibilities of buyers and sellers for the delivery of goods by all modes of transport. In simpler terms, the Incoterms are the terms that both buyers and sellers agree upon when undertaking international or domestic trade.  Incoterms are revised every 10 years by the ICC and it is advisable to adhere to the latest version for lesser misunderstandings i.e. incoterms 2020. Find out the key changes in Incoterms 2020 here. Change of Destination (COD) Due to unforeseen circumstances, if there is a need for changing the destination of your container other than the one that had been agreed upon in the Bill of Lading, you can request a COD. This request will take care of discharging your container and transport your goods to the new destination. Bill of Lading  There are several definitions of a bill of lading and several variations as well. In the...