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.

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.

Advantages of Shipping Software Solutions

Over the past few years, automation of business processes has been accepted by almost every industry, be it, telecommunication, aviation, banking and many more. Shipping industry also accepted it as automation simplifies many crucial shipping operations that requires expertise and is consumes a lot of time. Choosing shipping software that integrates with your work flow and for a long-term business growth and sustainability is a crucial task.

Below I have listed out few points to elaborate the advantages of shipping software.

1. Comprehensive

Shipping software is more comprehensive as removes the change of human error and is an innovative approach to shipping process.

2. Affordable

Traditionally most of the large-scale shipping companies still rely on 3rd party logistics or hiring a logistics expert to manage their logistics operation. Hiring a logistics expert or a 3rd party logistics requires huge and recurring investment. But shipping software can be implemented by any small or big business owners as it is cost effective, simple to use and gives appropriate results.

3. Full control of shipping arrangements

Most of the shipping companies face the problem of lack of communication when their logistics operation is handled by 3rd party logistics company. A logistics or shipping software effectively place the power of logistics function in the hands of shipping companies by providing an easy user-customer interface, making it an ideal transportation management program.

4. Excellent delivery time

Logistics software benefits the companies by improving their shipping time and reducing the cost of shipping process including warehouse management. It examines the optimal integrated transportation solution that suits the transportation of goods.

5. Record Maintenance

A logistics or shipping software maintains a database to store the records required for keeping a track of the various processes associated with the supply chain. The software can manage, distribute, keep a check on warehousing, maintain inventory, transportation details and expenses and also presents a customer-friendly service option.

6. Easy to Operate

Shipping software comes with an easy to understand user interface that reduces learning curve, so even if you don’t have a logistics background you can easily operate it. The software easily gets integrated with a company’s already existing transportation procedure which is another advantage of it.

Now that I have listed out all the advantages of shipping software, you can easily make out the effectiveness and usage of it over hiring a 3rd party logistics company. Business needs to be handled smartly to reach on the top. Today technology is ruling every industry and the one who stays updated with the latest technology is the master in his area of business.