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Bolstering Shipping Operations with Technology Integration

Technology advancements taking place across economies will be more disruptive for the shipping industry. New technologies for business communication will transcend fleet of ships as one virtual unit and optimize cargo transport. There will be opportunities and also host of rough challenges associated with new tech adoption. You will need horizontal and vertical integration to integrate technology investments at ports, terminal management, and third party logistics service providers (3PLs).

Shipping Industry and the Technology Integration Challenge

Maritime shipping is a common and popular mode of delivering products. More than 90 percent of world trade is done via shipping. It can be safe to say that seaborne trade is the reflection of the worldwide economy. Disruptions to this industry ultimately impact the international commerce.

The shipping industry grapples with several challenges, i.e., competition, compliances, human safety, etc. To climb these barriers, maritime leaders are deploying high-end personnel and technical management software that hold the promise to improve efficiency and enable safe ship operations. However, adopting technologies haphazardly with little focus on integration is creating mouse traps for them. These technology changes are bringing their own set of challenges and issues. As a result, teams are failing to enable collaboration between business systems of ship board teams and shore based teams by virtual means.

For harnessing more value from their investment, a Shipping company needs automation to integrate technical and functional aspects of business. Utilizing home grown and proprietary solutions for integration makes business systems less efficient. This prevents stakeholders from sharing data in real-time with partner based systems or extracting more value from the information.

An end-to-end solution enables quick integrations and data transformations between partners and customers. It streamlines processes centric to carriers, shippers, & consignees and allows technologies to scale as per business needs. Business teams can bring data to the backend systems and save a lot of time that goes into manual data entry. With this unique advantage, teams can eliminate multiple sources of truth and improve supply chain operations.

Technology Integration Improves Shipping Services

Like other industries, the shipping industry has also seen the advent of custom technologies. The areas like human safety, ship management are primarily addressed through dedicated technologies. But new technology implementation is creating gaps and differentiations in their IT environment. The answer to this problem is technology integration. It builds those gaps existing between differentiated technology architectures, organizational structures, data formats, and minimizes disruptions.

Relying on conventional formats for data sharing is definitely a no-brainer. An enterprise-class integration solution can make the message sharing easier and faster, allowing partners to share data in real time. It packs a web based integration solution that requires no architectural set up for installation. All information exchange in cloud or on premise happens smoothly without any hassles.

A right integration solution focuses on global supply chains and logistics. It provides custom workflows to clear obstacles related to order bookings, schedules, and container tracking. The solution covers pervasive integration needs and orchestrates processes between partner and systems.

Solving the EDI Challenge with Any-to-Any Integration

The most common messaging format for shipping industry is Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT). The format is too restrictive for conventional EDI systems as the industry participants use diverse data formats. Simultaneously, many other processes running in parallel use manual or paper based data connectivity approach. Connecting the manual process with point-to-point connectivity can be time taking as well as expensive. A dedicated integration solution not only enables smoother data interchange, but also makes processes more efficient. It takes care of all data transfers and simultaneously enables business analysts to enrich data quality. The outcomes are clear, less manual labor and improved margins.

New technologies and trends will continue to shape the future of shipping industry. The aging industry has just started to embrace cloud services, machine learning, analytics and system management. Technology integration shows the simplest path to transcend. It can help industry participants to keep up with new technology and business trends and revolutionize services and processes.

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