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  • The larger, more complex and interdependent an industry grows, greater the scope for errors to occur. Certainly, the rapidly growing and highly intricate supply chain industry is no exception.  When it comes to supply chains, be it a small error or a missed opportunity, mistakes can and do often cost a lot of money. They can not only leave businesses scrambling with reduced efficiency but directly affect your company’s profitability.  Luckily, most of these mistakes can be taken care of if only supply chain leaders are mindful of the red flags along the way and find long-term solutions to the problems.  Here are some of the most common mistakes supply chain professionals tend to make: Failure to break free from obsolete ways: While you might have got comfortable with the age-old way of creating inquiries manually and negotiating freight rates even without realising that it’s hurting your business, it’s high time you evolve. If your organisation is yet to adopt automated solutions and digitise supply chains, you are already at a major disadvantage.  Relying on the traditional system stifles the growth of your company as you unknowingly end up using resources where they aren’t needed. Managing your supply chain manually is not only labour intensive, time-consuming and tedious but affects your profits.  The easiest way to deal with this mistake is to deploy a supply chain software that can automate your business processes and save a great deal of time, energy and money.  Poor relationship with customers and vendors Your business is bound to suffer if you fail to create and maintain a good relationship on both ends of your supply chain network. Develop a system that will constantly listen to your customers and cater to their requirements. Remember that effective communication, concrete understanding of customer needs and timely management...
  • June 2, 2020

    10 Major Sea Ports in India

    According to the Ministry of Shipping, 95% of India’s foreign trade is mainly via seaports. These ports play a crucial role in the International North-South Trade Corridor (INSTC), which connects the Indian Ocean to trade with the Eurasian trade corridors and the Arctic. The coastal regions of Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and West Bengal are home to nine of the total thirteen major Indian seaports. As India continues to stir up high volumes of global imports and exports, here are ten of India’s most substantial container and cargo shipping ports: Nhava Sheva Port: The Nhava Sheva port, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), is one of the busiest container ports in India with annual traffic of 5.05 million TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit). It features in World’s Top 30 seaports and has seen a steady rise in traffic in the past five years. It is responsible for 56% of India’s container traffic and will see almost double the capacity once the construction of its fourth terminal is completed. Also known as the King Port across the Arabian Sea, it was built back in 1989 and is situated in Navi Mumbai. The main shipments exported from the port include machinery, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, textiles, carpets, plastics, and sports goods. Mundra Port: The second busiest port in India is The Port of Mundra, with annual traffic of 4.4 million TEU. It is ranked at the 32nd position in the World’s Top 50 seaports. With fast-rising traffic, Mundra Port almost doubled its traffic of 2.7 million TEU in 2014. Furthermore, it is India’s largest commercial port by size and acts as a significant gateway to the hinterland of northern India. The Mundra Port is owned by the Adani Group and has four container terminals that boast...
  • With cost-saving strategies more important than ever, companies around the world are facing a situation where faltering contracts and a widening gap between container demand and supply is forcing them to turn to the spot market to fulfil shipment orders.   For organisations with hundreds of shipments per month, suddenly having to manually create, compare and negotiate each and every rate to ensure they have secured the best deal is straining many beyond breaking point.  To ensure the best deals, your vendors need to be engaged in a series of negotiations to shrink their rates. For many, however, relying on the traditional system of negotiation is simply no longer an option.    Automate to win, with GoComet’s spot RFQ software  Quickly and easily strengthen your supply chain resilience through GoComet’s automated spot RFQ software. Deploying the power of our unique Recursive Rate Reduction system, you can ensure that you receive the very best rates from your vendors, every time, by automating freight negotiations and driving double-digit savings and efficiencies. Create and share inquiries with all of your logistics service providers in seconds and then sit back and relax, as our automated software takes care of the rest. Every time your vendors submit their quotes, the module instantly calculates the net landed costs of their quotation and reveals their rank as compared to their competitors. Crucially, however, the identity and price of their competing vendors remain concealed.  As your vendors battle to secure the coveted first rank to increase their chance of winning business, with each bid, your rates are squeezed lower and lower.  Low-touch, but high-tech GoComet is the most user-friendly logistics resource management software available in the market today. Whether combined with your existing ERP or as a stand-alone platform, our team will have this up and running for you in...
  • In today’s fast-paced freight world, more and more businesses are looking for a way to redesign their distribution methods. After dispatching your shipment, there are a lot more forces involved in getting your freight from point A to B—Freight forwarders, shipping lines, port handlers, marine insurers, inland transportation and others. Although, real-time tracking is an integral part of this process, having so many players moving your freight effectively takes the control away from your hands. The question here is—What exactly is going wrong with your distribution and how significant a role does tracking play in this picture? Manual tracking of freight and 3PLs are hurting your business The pressure associated with meeting delivery deadlines is quite high. This responsibility falls on your logistics team and the logistics team goes a long way to ensure that your freight reaches on time and in full (OTIF). This is where tracking plays an important role:  Lack of knowledge on delays in exports can spoil your relations with your customers and affect future business. In imports, lack of knowledge can result in you incurring extra detention charge and ground rent. But tracking freight is not easy. At present logistics teams deploy both or either of the following ways:  Manually visit each shipping line’s website or agent and track shipments using the consignment number. Outsource tracking to Third Party Logistics (3PLs) and let them take care of the freight. The former process is time-consuming and riddled with inefficiencies. A rough estimate states that the manual process of tracking takes nearly 133 hours. Being updated with the location of freight is almost impossible in this case. Any delay or carrier failures push the expected time of arrival even more. The challenges of the latter process of outsourcing the implementation of IoT visibility solutions to 3PLs outweighs...
  • The COVID-19 menace has become a catalyst for organizations across the world to revisit their supply chain networks, examine its vulnerabilities and build resilience.  As your business gears up for the world beyond coronavirus, you might be facing questions such as how to emerge stronger from this crisis? How to maintain business stability in the post-COVID world? Is it possible to gain a competitive advantage while recovering from the setback?  If you focus on the right strategies that fortify your business for today and tomorrow winning this battle is not too far-fetched.    Here are six key takeaways that will help you navigate better in the world beyond the pandemic: Time for proactive crisis management The present crisis is a stark reminder that we need proactive and not reactive crisis management. A proactive approach stands on a well-planned and collaborative ground where teams are in a better position to handle disruptions.  Readiness to respond to disruptions cannot be achieved overnight and requires a flexible ecosystem. Adopting a proactive approach means diversifying sources, having a system that facilitates remote working, fully understand one’s supply chain network and having thorough visibility on operations. Undoubtedly, the post-COVID world will leave behind those with limited appetite for flexibility and diversification.  Supply chain visibility matters the most  Your immediate response to the pandemic should be focusing on improving visibility over your supply chains and extended networks. Companies that have visibility across their supply network have responded well to the crisis by making specific decisions. They are in the position to sense, respond and even predict how their supply chains will react to disruptions.   Without supply chain visibility, it is impossible to understand and assess the impact of disruptions. It is as simple as this, you cannot prevent or manage a problem without knowing where it lies.  There...
  • Today’s dynamic logistics and supply chain environment requires strategic planning; execution of strategy; measurements to goals; analysis against industry benchmarks; and continuous improvement. However, negotiating quotes for your freight remains a static process. Freight procurement via an RFQ (Request For Quote) is plagued with inefficiencies when done manually. With logistics operations accounting for nearly 95% of your time, a lack of a single platform as well as a pre-existing bias in the marketplace and sub-optimal rates, are combining to damage the revenues of your business.  The Limitations of Manually Negotiating Freight As soon as your RFQ is issued, your logistics team has to engage in a plethora of emails and calls to negotiate with your LSP (logistics service provider) to receive an optimal quote. This situation becomes increasingly complex with spot contracts. The logistics team has to manage to get all the vendors onboard, inform them of the RFQ, and start negotiating the quotes while facing constant time constraints.  Your LSPs have very little motivation to drive their prices lower due to the absence of competition. Shipments might get delayed for days until you find a fair quote. This process puts the vendors in the driving seat and leaves your logistics team with little to no control: the result – you pay more.  Due to this increased freight spend, the onus falls on the finance teams to compensate for these losses. There are three major takeaways from this process: The sheer volume of time, effort, and resources wasted on this can be allocated to other projects. The process has been in place, unquestioned, for so long that companies seem to have trivialized the need to change it. The pressure to execute is so high that expecting your team to negotiate and win the best deal at the best price is...
  • A lot has changed in the freight ecosystem over the last few decades – From regulations to carrier technologies. The way we look at procuring freight rates – The Request for Quote/Price/Tender (RFQ/P/T), however, has been the same for decades. RFQ is the first step towards freight procurement and the one that decides the cost of your freight. This is where with the help of the right tools, you can drive significant cost savings. While signing long-term rate contracts is effective in curbing costs to some extent, it’s often not possible for enterprises to employ them. The demand-supply entropy in the real world leads to unprecedented shipments and poor predictability. That essentially brings more spot contracts to the table for the enterprises.  Your spot RFQs limit optimization by design Over time, enterprises develop trust with select vendors. These vendors receive an RFQ and return a rate to the vendor. This transaction typically happens over emails and phone calls. The same media is employed when enterprises want to negotiate on the rates shared by the vendor.  The logistics team reaches out to vendors every time there is a new lowest bid and tries to negotiate the offering. In every instance, the team needs to reach out to all vendors and try to negotiate a better price.  For the logistics team, we have –  A short deadline to close the RFQ with an offer, where a single negotiation is slow, manual, and unconsciously affected with vendor biases. Engage multiple vendors using tedious mediums (phones, calls), repeatedly. The efforts increase in multiples for every new vendor you engage with – essentially making it difficult to engage with a large number of vendors. This typical manual process is plagued with inefficiencies and designed for suboptimal freight rates.  To improve this process, we need to...
  • Spiraling freight rates have left businesses around the world scrambling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, piling yet more pressure on already stretched global supply chains.  At the core of this problem: shrinking cargo space.   Here’s what has led to a decrease in cargo capacity and how it is impacting freight rates. Airplanes grounded, but rates flying high Air freight rates are reaching abnormal highs as 90% of the airlines have grounded their planes amid lockdowns in various parts of the world. There are limited spots available on cargo planes and as manufacturing units in China are slowly recovering, shippers are striving to book them.  Generally, over half of the world’s air freight moves in the belly of passenger planes. The present situation, however, has forced shippers to turn to cargo planes. A recent report by Business Standard stated that China’s air cargo capacity has gone down by 39% relative to last year because of the cuts to passenger flights.   Blank sailings have opened the door to low supply Shipping lines are cutting down on the number of sailings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to an increase in blank sailing where scheduled voyages are suspended or canceled, containers are piling up at ports and freight rates are increasing despite a drop in crude oil prices. A further reason is that local markets have started facing the brunt of the crisis: as the spending capacity of consumers is compromised, orders are being canceled which in turn leads to yet more blank sailings. Moreover, cargo is beginning to accumulate across several ports as shipping lines skip calls to avoid sailing without full loads. To fetch better margins, operators are trying to reduce the number of ships to make sure that the carriers that actually sail are completely filled.  According...
  • April 30, 2020

    Data-driven Freight Management

    The lack of data in your freight management process is disrupting your supply chain and leaving your logistics team in the dark. Read this blog to find out the benefits of integrating data and freight analytics into your freight process.
  • As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, our reliance on supply chains has never been more starkly illustrated. From medicine to medical supplies, facemasks to foodstuff, manufacturers and their logistic teams are working round-the-clock to ensure that essential goods are being delivered.   Many though find themselves close to breaking point, as country lockdowns and chronic container shortages cripple their ability to keep the world’s goods moving. It is here that technology can help. GoComet’s Logistics Resource Management (LRM) platform makes it possible for companies to comprehensively transform the way that their supply chains operate, creating process resilience and driving double-digit cost savings. Cloud-based, our easy-to-use software is quick to set up and can be rapidly extended across organizations and is simple to integrate with existing systems. Automated Spot RFQs – the best deal at the best price  As freight contract rates across the world lose their competitiveness, organizations are rushing to the spot market to keep their goods moving. For companies with hundreds of shipments per month, the traditional practice of manually contacting each and every vendor, and comparing each quote becomes impossible. GoComet’s RFQ platform offers an innovative solution to this problem, by automating the negotiation for you and allowing you to create and share inquiries with all your vendors simultaneously.  RFQs can be created and submitted to vendors in seconds, who can then submit their quotes and see their rank compared to their competitors but crucially, not their price or identity.  Through compound negotiation via vendors’ efforts to secure the first rank and increase their chance of winning business, the rate you pay keeps shrinking, ensuring that by the end of the bidding process you can win the best deal at the best price.   Track & Trace on a single dashboard Knowing exactly where your goods...