Guidelines For Choosing the Right Shipping Software Solution

In the shipping industry, choosing a software solution is a crucial undertaking for long-term business growth and sustainability. It is therefore important for shipping companies to maneuver through the selection process with knowledge that not all shipping software vendors offer solutions that could address all their operational concerns.

In order to find the best software, shipping business leaders must always remember that acquiring new information technology should not just reduce costs but also assist the progress of processes to improve efficiency and gain significant business advantage. They must perform the following proactively when selecting the right shipping software solution:

Gather data. Choosing enterprise software solutions that do not meet a company’s operational requirements is a waste of time and resources. It is important to identify key issues prior to starting the selection process.

Develop a list of software requirements. This should be performed in order to find out which requirements solution providers respond to. Only then can a vendor short list be created to determine the candidates.

Request for information and prepare a proposal. Buying enterprise solutions demands scrutiny, piloting and comparison with other similar solutions. A collection of data from different departments of the company should be obtained. The information gathered should clearly define employee responsibilities, business processes, data and work flow for the vendors to identify which areas of operation the software solution is greatly and least advantageous to.

A proposal from the shipping company should be prepared to provide an orderly and sensible view of the business’ environment and ideals for automating vital business processes.

Create scripted scenarios. Conventional strategies for evaluating software have become insufficient for complex integrated systems. Scripted scenarios can be used by companies to help them with software selection. In a scripted scenario, businesses can present a unique challenge that they want to be addressed and resolved. Creating these scenarios provides the opportunity for the company to express their vision for their operational environment following the new software’s implementation.

Have the vendor perform a detailed demonstration. Companies should have vendors arrange a detailed product demonstration using the organization’s scenarios as basis. This should be done in order to avoid the vendor from running the demonstration freely and overlook vital issues that need to be addressed. Evaluating the software can be relatively simple if the software provider will perform a concise demonstration of their solution.

Choosing the most beneficial shipping software solution for liner businesses takes thorough analysis and proactive decision-making. Enterprise solutions can be extremely costly and companies do not want to waste both time and resources in implementing software applications that would fail. It helps businesses tremendously to utilize a system for evaluating and measuring software capabilities.

Why Shipping Software Is Crucial in Modern Maritime Industry

Liner vessels carry more than 60 percent of cargoes transported by sea each year. Transporting these cargoes involves a network of ships, trucks, and trains moving through several transfer points known as intermodal connectors. Any problem or disruption anywhere in the network can result in shipment delays and increased costs – issues that hurt many shipping companies even until now. Eliminating such problems is the reason why more and more liner ship operators invest in liner shipping software.

Liner vessels such as Roll-on / Roll-off (RoRo), container ships, and break bulk vessels are capable of moving thousands of truckloads of cargo on a single voyage at full capacity. However, managing cargo transport operations can be complicated and may require hundreds of workers to manually perform routines from packing, to warehousing, inventory, loading, transshipping, and discharging of consignments. Integrated shipping software automates time-consuming and labor-intensive processes involved in tracking and managing cargo transport process resulting in increased efficiency, profitability, and reduced overhead.

Marine software solutions can be purchased off-the-shelf and at affordable price from many software houses in the market. These are easy to install, can be customized to fit different business requirements, and can be easily integrated into existing business platforms. Additionally, modern shipping line software have built-in “switching” feature which ensures that operators and their customer are not forced to use on-size-fits-all system.

One example of maritime software application which can be found is container tracking software. Operators use this software application to provide their clients visibility on the actual progress of the cargo transport process, giving them peace of mind knowing that their shipments are in good hands and are delivered on time. It captures real-time reports on container movements including departure, transshipment, and discharging.

To maximize profitability, shipping companies use voyage calculation software to forecast operational costs and income they will generate from each voyage or port call. Also known as voyage accounting software, this application enables operators to calculate all possible expenses including port costs, cargo costs including voyage and bunker costs. Operators can use this information to identify desirable and undesirable freights, manage their cargo mix, increase or decrease volume when necessary, and choose the most cost-effective deployment and rotation of a vessel to ensure profitability. Additionally, operators can use this application to run multiple calculations simultaneously and compare rates in order to determine options with best commercial value.

Shipping software companies continue to develop solutions in order to provide operators with tools they need to automate critical processes and develop strategies to effectively streamline and simplify their operations, reduce overhead, and improve their services. Operators must evaluate their business carefully and decide on the right type of shipping software solution to use.

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.