Planning and visibility in transportation

Which tools help agile companies gain a competitive advantage in the global challenge?

The transportation management ecosystem is evolving to support the increasingly complex challenges of the global supply chain.

The past few years have shown that the longer the supply chain, the higher the risks associated with delays, lack of resources and increased costs.

Chip shortages, collapsing ports, rising commodity prices and lack of transport operators are just some of the most visible effects of supply chain disruption.

The crisis of global supply chain

The origin of this crisis does not arise from a single cause: we are not only talking about global disruptive events such as the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the closure of the Shanghai port due to the new lockdown, but also about incidents at local level, such as, the case of the ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March 2021. This leads us to focus on how nowadays, due to the global dimension of trade, a critical event can cause negative impacts on the entire supply chain.  

As we wait for major economic changes to reshape the supply chain from a local to a global perspective, the immediate answer to supply chain issues is to equip companies with a system that allows them to have a more accurate visibility over everything related to transportation — from shipment tracking to documentation management and decision-making support.

Integration of transportation and production planning as an immediate response

Integration between transportation and production planning is the first step towards solving supply chain problems. 

How? By managing all transportation and logistics activities through new systems that streamline their activities and give companies complete and direct visibility over orders in transit.  

These tools enable companies to track in real time the services provided by carriers, plan transportation, and monitor distribution centers. All this is to have reliable information, especially regarding the expected time of arrival of goods (ETA) – nowadays more and more uncertain – so that production can be rescheduled accurately.

Tracking, machine learning and artificial intelligence

Valuable allies to these real-time tracking systems in scenarios of high uncertainty are advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence: essential solutions for all decision makers for effective and efficient supply chain management even in highly critical situations. Modern technologies enable the calculation of a predictive ETA by analyzing big data starting from the automatic ship identification system (AIS transmission), and going all the way down to port congestion, the ships behavior, weather conditions, etc. 

This will enable companies to create simulation and forecast scenarios in real time.

Extra costs on logistics and marginality

Pricey energy, conflict in Ukraine, sustainability, lack of carriers, and rising raw material costs — all critical issues related to business logistics chains that cause delays in the shipment of goods. To date, in 90 percent of cases, issued orders are not ready for shipment until weeks later. 

What is the “easiest” solution adopted by companies in such cases? Deciding on an alternative shipping route, such as opting to ship the goods by air and not by ship. This decision, if made without evaluating what is the impact of the delivery delay on the production itself, implies an extra cost for the company which does not always allow it to fit into the established plans both in terms of costs and benefits. 

For this reason, before a decision is taken, it is important to have immediate visibility on cost-benefit. sedApta. Thanks to the Control Tower, sedApta supports companies right at this stage, giving support to managers in the most delicate phases of decision-making processes, guiding them towards the best solution to adopt, always with an eye on the sustainability issue. Nowadays, in business decisions it is also important to take into account indicators such as the compliance with the CO2 emissions budget.

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