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  • For companies with an import-export oriented business, reducing transportation costs has always been a critical priority. While traditionally cutting down on transportation costs was quite a challenge, various technological advancements have made it possible to manage costs better and drive savings.  Today, there is a wide range of ways in which you can optimise transportation costs, enhance your supply chain procedures and save money for your company. Strategies for shrinking logistical expenses can range from streamlining inventory levels, optimising warehouse space, mapping shipping networks, optimising shipping routes, investing in improving relationships between suppliers and other stakeholders etc. A key ingredient in reducing logistics costs is to leverage the latest technology available in the best way possible, and increased efficiency and savings will follow. Reducing costs with a logistics software The emergence of automation technology, mobile devices, robots and a spate of other technological advancements are rapidly changing how goods are shipped from one place to another. Companies are increasingly turning towards various supply chain solutions to leverage the opportunities that have come to life through these innovations. These solutions are playing a vital role in modernising and optimising logistics operations.   One such solution that is transforming the supply chain industry is logistics management software. These cloud-based systems are helping companies streamline their operations and build cost-effective and resilient supply chains.  This article explores how logistics software can help you reduce transportation expenses while simultaneously revealing growth opportunities.  Why do you need a logistics management software? Traditionally shippers have been relying on emails, spreadsheets and phone calls to manage their supply chains. However, these traditional practices are not sufficient to get ahead in the market with ever-evolving trade environments, increasing competition and customer demands and rising freight costs. A logistics management software gives your organisation a toolset that enables you to...
  • Investing in an intelligent freight management software is one of the best ways for shippers to streamline their supply chain operations, reduce freight costs and drive profitability.  While adopting a freight logistics software may not have seemed like a necessity when these solutions were new in the market, today, these systems have become a key enabler of smart supply chain management.  To stay competitive, you must adopt a system that best suits your business’s needs and leverage it to the greatest extent. However, choosing the right system is not as simple as it sounds.  While investing in freight management software, it’s essential that you carefully weed out sub-par systems and choose the one that genuinely optimises your business. You can make a confident purchase decision and increase your potential ROI by asking the right questions while evaluating a freight software solution.  To begin with, know what you want and what you truly need Remember that every freight management software provider’s goal is to sell you the software. But all platforms aren’t equal. While most of them have a set of standard functions which allow improved visibility into freight spend and one-touch RFQ management; the key is to pay attention to other features.  Some systems add value by offering analytics, actionable insights, real-time data and more. There are even systems that have the potential to be a one-stop solution for all your logistics needs.  Besides, the ability to use cloud-computing has paved the way for easy access and upgrading of systems making these solutions even more dynamic.   To ensure that you don’t fall prey to poor-performing systems, know your business needs and what you would expect from the system.   Here are some essential criteria to consider when considering an investment in freight logistics software:  Understand the limitations of your current system...
  • Optimising operational efficiency and reducing costs are the key goals of every supply chain professional. Mismanagement in logistics can and often does result in excessive expenditures, delivery delays, missed deadlines and damaged goods.  Needless to say, if you want your company to stay financially viable and drive profitability, you must prioritise efficient planning and informed strategising.  In a world with increasingly high customer demands and fluctuating trade ecosystem, adopting smart logistics management solutions and practices can help you stay ahead in the market. You can either choose to implement these solutions all by yourself or seek help from third parties and optimise your supply chain functions.  However, if you decide to outsource a service, make sure that you are dealing with a competent service provider. By leveraging the right practices and tools at the right time, you can build agility and resilience into your systems.  What does a supply chain process look like?  Succinctly put, supply chain or logistics process means moving goods from one point to another. It could be moving goods from a manufacturer’s facility to a customer or the movement of raw materials to manufacturing plants.  A supply chain consists of a set of multiple activities and processes dealing with several stakeholders to keep the goods moving regardless of the circumstances. In contrast, logistics is a relatively narrow term referring to the flow of goods between two points in s supply chain, particularly in terms of transportation and storage.  What all is included in logistics and supply chain costs? Logistics costs generally include labour, storage of raw material and inventory, transportation and administrative expenses. This cost tends to vary depending upon the nature of goods. For instance, the logistics process would differ significantly for perishable goods as against imperishable goods.  When we speak of reducing the cost...
  • One of the best ways to ensure that your business keeps growing is to work towards improving your customer service. Be it shipping and logistics or some other industry; good customer service is critical to the growth of your business.  When offering a logistics solution, both the parties involved must benefit from the deal. The customer should be provided service that results in nothing, but satisfaction and this should be the case irrespective of how big or small, new or old the customer is. Besides, in shipping and logistics, exceptional customer service would mean consistent good service till the time you work with a particular client.  While exceptional customer service could encompass a lot of things, at its core, there are three critical elements to ensuring efficient customer service; those are as follows: Clear and open communication The very foundation of customer service in shipping, logistics, or any other kind of business is clear communication between the customer and the service provider. Especially in the case of logistics, where the customer is dependent on the service provider to know the status of their goods, there must be open and consistent communication. Open communication in logistics would mean sharing prompt updates on the movement of the goods, informing the customer about when the goods will be delivered, giving updates in case of any delays and disruptions and more. Generally, the level of communication expected by the customer is set right from the beginning. It simplifies the communication process between the parties and eliminates scope for confusion.  Thorough understanding of the industry One can offer exceptional customer service in the most real sense only when he is equipped with enough knowledge to address each query a customer may raise. Moreover, a mere understanding of the logistics industry is not enough. As a...
  • December 19, 2020

    Top 10 shipping lines around the world

    As a majority of the world’s goods continue to move by sea even today, the role played by shipping lines in global trade cannot be overlooked. It is these companies that have kept the international supply chains running for the longest time and have stood the test of time.  Today, several players have emerged in this space, with multiple USPs, offering reliable and efficient service to shippers across the world. In light of ever-proliferating options to choose from, we have put together a list of some of the most reliable, well-known shipping lines in the world. 1. A.P. MOLLER-MAERSK GROUP Founded: 1904 HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark Official website: www.maersk.com The Danish business conglomerate, the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, is the largest vessel and container ship operator in the world. Maersk Line, APM Terminals, and Maersk Container Industries are its various core subsidiaries and are renowned for their transportation and logistics services. Their other subsidiaries include  Maersk Supply Services, Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, and Maersk Tankers. They are well-known for their contribution to the energy sector.   The company operates in over 130 countries and annually manages to ships around $675 billion worth of goods. The company owns and operates a fleet of five Maersk Triple E-class container ships. Each one of these ships has the capacity to carry over 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).  Track your Maersk containers in real-time for free here.   2. YANG MING MARINE TRANSPORT CORPORATION Founded: 1972 HQ: Taiwan Official website: www.yangming.com Yang Ming Transport Corporation offers global shipping and logistics services. Kuang Ming Shipping Corporation, Jing Ming Transport Company, and Yes Logistics Corporation are the subsidiaries of the company. Yang Ming’s fleet includes 101 vessels with an operating capacity of 7.74 million deadweight tonnage. The company operates in over 70 nations and has more than 170 service points....
  • When it comes to supply chain networks, bigger the business, more complex its supply chain management tends to get. Moreover, ever-increasing competition in the market and rising customer expectations have further added to this complexity.   While the market may have left organisations with herculean challenges to overcome, a crucial relief is the emergence of a spate of state-of-the-art supply chain management solutions. These solutions equip you to simplify your supply chain management process. Besides, when used right, the solutions allow you to identify new opportunities and boost business.  Here are some of the must-have tools for supply chain professionals: Supply chain management has several dimensions to it, and it’s vital to understand these varying aspects, the scope for improvement in each of them and how various SCM solutions can help your business. A thorough evaluation of how different technologies can impact your company and teams and drive efficiencies is a must.  Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (VRS) A significant aspect of ensuring efficiency while delivering goods is choosing the best route possible. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. To optimise your routes, you will have to consider a dozen different criteria such as traffic patterns, weather conditions, road speed limitations, elements such as how traffic signals can affect fuel consumption and more.  This is where a Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (VRS) software steps in. The tool is developed to help companies optimise their routes and choose the ones that will guarantee speedy delivery, minimum fuel consumption and thus, be cost-effective.  Delivery Experience Management (DEM) A Delivery Experience Management product provides you visibility over all your international last-mile shipments. The tool is designed to analyse data and offer you actionable insights. It can thus, equip you to make the right decisions and address problems at scale.  A DEM solution facilitates...
  • For decades together, the logistics industry has invited criticism for not being environment friendly and for the lack of willingness to adopt green solutions. However, the last few years have witnessed a wave of startups coming up with innovative, green solutions that are certainly going to pave the way for a more sustainable, eco-friendly industry. While most of these startups are still in their initial stages, their solutions are promising and have managed to grab the attention of companies across the globe. Let’s look at some of the green logistics solutions that are transforming the industry:   1. Velove – Electric Cargo Bikes As major cities around the world continue to get crowded, traffic has become a significant hurdle in transporting goods within cities. While increasing the number of vehicles involved in your logistics operations may help speed up the delivery process to some extent, it will tend to worsen the problem. Above all, it won’t be a sustainable solution in terms of meeting the growing demands of the market.  The industry today requires a solution that can solve the problem while being sustainable in the long term. Besides, it must be cost-effective and not disrupt the existing systems.  Velove, a Swedish startup manufactures e-cargo bikes to solve this problem. These bikes are cost-efficient and high capacity vehicles that are enabling organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable in the long term. The bikes carry goods in containers built with a lightweight material, but crucially, these containers are made theft-proof. Compared to combustion engine vehicles, these bikes consume less energy.  2. RigiTech – Cargo Delivery Drones Last-mile delivery is an integral part of logistics operations. More often than not, traffic jams make it challenging to make timely deliveries. This compromises service and leaves you with unhappy customers.  Drones...
  • The startup ecosystem has set in motion several exciting trends in the supply chain and procurement space in the last few years. All thanks to the innovative solutions these companies are offering, business models in the industry are undergoing a smart transformation.  A wide range of new themes are increasingly emerging in the market today, and their adoption is undoubtedly going to increase in the years ahead. Let’s look at some of the exciting startups that are setting  new trends in the supply chain and procurement industry: Negotiatus – Cloud-based spend & procurement management solution Founded in 2014, US-based startup Negotiatus offers a cloud-based platform that allows shippers to manage procurement and related expenses. The system facilitates the integration of all the vendors/suppliers on a single platform. It enables enterprises to procure goods via a cart system.  The startup has also developed solutions that provide functionalities such as real-time tracking of deliveries, visibility on expenses in real-time, big data analytics, digitised approvals & budgeting, consolidated invoicing, etc.  BravoSolution – Software solutions and consulting services provider for Supply Chain Management Italy based BravoSolutions offers a software solution along with consulting services for Supply Chain Management. Founded in the year 2000, the startup specialises in the areas of sourcing, spend management, supplier performance and contract management, etc.  BravoSolutions has its presence in the United Kingdom, South America, Mexico, Italy, Benelux, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Spain, and China. The startup recorded revenue of  €71M in 2014 and has been proliferating over the years.  SourceDay – Cloud-based ERP supply chain portal SourceDay is a US-based startup founded in 2013 that provides a cloud-based ERP supply chain portal. The solution allows you to automate communication between buyers and suppliers involved in your supply chain network and integrates with any ERP...
  • December 8, 2020

    8 Best Supply Chain Management Tools

    To meet the needs of global supply chains which are growing both, in size and scale, it’s vital that organisations rapidly adapt to the changing landscape of the industry and gain a competitive edge over their competitors.  Right from creating a quotation to the point of delivering the goods to the customer, an intelligent supply chain management software can enable your organisation to streamline and automate various functions. These tools can help you save time and costs by improving processes and help you build an agile supply chain network. As supply chains continue to get increasingly complex, supply chain managers must leverage various tools at hand. Here is a list of some of the most crucial supply chain management tools: 1. Shipping Status Tools Supply chains can be quite complicated for corporations that run businesses on a global scale with hundreds and thousands of shipments each month.  Shipping status tools can be a significant time and efforts saver in such cases. It’s a simple way to keep track of all your international shipments on a single dashboard. These systems will keep you updated about the location and status of your shipments at all times by giving you real-time updates.  Crucially, the system will automatically send you updates every time the status of your shipment changes and eliminate the need for you to track your shipments manually.  Some software also go beyond simple shipment status tracking. For example, our supply chain management software allows you to automate RFQ management and invoice reconciliation along with tracking of shipments.  2. Order Processing Tools The order process requires you to keep track of multiple functions simultaneously. Many SCM software offer order processing tools which are engineered to keep track of all your operations on a unified dashboard.  Besides, some systems allow complete sales channel...
  • To tackle unanticipated disruptions head-on and build a resilient supply chain network, you must stay ahead of various advancements in the industry. Today, a spate of state-of-the-art technologies are setting new trends in the supply chain field, and their adoption is bound to accelerate in the years to come.  Most of these technological innovations have come to be due to several start-ups that are budding in this space. These startups are all set to revolutionise the industry with their innovative ideas and solutions.   Let’s look at the top 9 logistics industry trends that have dominated the industry in 2020 and are here to stay in years to come:  1. Internet of Things  The application of the Internet of Things technology has gained quite a popularity in the logistics and supply chain space thanks to the convenience it has brought along. The Internet of Things or IoT refers to a connection of physical devices that transfer data via the internet without then need for human intervention. Several systems are now available in the market that use IoT technology to enhance supply chain visibility and improve Logistics Resource Management. These systems have managed to transform the way companies monitor their supply chains, manage their inventories, track shipments and more.  Fleetroot – Fleet Management: This United Arab Emirates-based startup offers an IoT platform that enables companies to monitor, control and manage their fleet efficiently. The fuel management solution provided by the company offers fuel consumption and wastage reports to fleet managers. Besides, the system also facilitates easy monitoring of vehicle performance via sensors and devices embedded in the vehicles.  The user can then analyse this data, compare it with historical data and plan the maintenance of their fleet accordingly. Other solutions offered by Fleetroot include route optimisation and delivery solutions that aid in...
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