Companies rely on real-time shipment visibility to make strategic operational decisions and manage customer expectations. Gaining access to that visibility, however, can be a challenge. High-quality visibility vendors play a large role in delivering actionable insights to customers, but there are opportunities to improve both carrier-sourced data quality and carrier-vendor connectivity. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires shippers, vendors and carriers to work together. 

Currently, common misconceptions around data quality and connectivity stand in the way of maximizing the value shippers and LSPs can gain from visibility vendors’ offerings. To realize full value, shippers should first understand where data issues come from. 

“In ocean shipping, often between 15% and 40% of carrier data can be erroneous. And in ocean visibility, over 90% of visibility data is sourced from third parties. Because of this, it’s critical that shippers ensure their carriers are both connected to and providing a baseline of quality data to their visibility vendor,” said Adam Compain, SVP of Product Marketing at project44.

Data errors stemming from ocean carriers often include mislabeled events, conflicting timestamps, missing transshipments, incorrect delivery events and bill of lading numbers. These issues make it difficult for companies to make strong operational decisions and create challenges when communicating with their own customers. 

project44 has developed the technology, products, and services necessary to identify and filter out this erroneous data. The company also provides clients with machine learning-based algorithmic enhancement of the data, ensuring companies receive the most accurate and actionable data possible. 

project44 is an extremely open visibility vendor. The company is willing to connect to any carrier a client uses. Typically, the smaller or more remote the carrier is, the less resources they have to invest in improving their data quality. Naturally, with a larger network, there is going to be carrier data in there that is of lesser quality. That does not mean the vendor quality is lesser.

In fact, project44 has generated the following in ocean data in a recent study across the four popular vectors of ocean data quality:

Completeness — 110% more complete for key events versus carrier-sourced data.

Accuracy — up to 50% data quality accuracy improvement over carrier-sourced data.

Latency — 83% less latency in key milestone events than carrier-sourced data.

Fidelity — 20% improvement in predictions through higher fidelity data versus carrier-sourced data.

While data quality issues are common in logistics, shippers are often insulated from these issues by the efforts of their visibility vendors. 

“project44 does a tremendous amount to protect the customer from the industry’s data errors by automatically identifying, filtering, and/or correcting the data” Compain said. “Most often, shippers and LSPs are unaware this is happening in the background.”

More often, shippers are faced with connectivity issues that they may mistakenly call out as quality issues. 

“Connectivity issues are common. Companies tend to assume they are receiving low-quality data, or they get upset that their visibility vendors are not providing the data they want,” Compain said. “Often, however, the real problem is that carriers are not providing complete data to the visibility vendor. That is a connectivity issue, not a quality issue.”

Companies often believe that their visibility vendors are the best people to resolve connectivity issues with carriers, but that is often not the case. It takes a village to gain visibility, and shippers that are involved in ongoing conversations with their carrier partners tend to see the best results.

“Everyone has to participate — the vendor, the carrier and the shipper,” Compain said. “As a shipper, you need to lean in and be proactive.”

Shippers tend to get faster results than vendors when it comes to requesting greater connectivity because they are able to leverage their commercial partnerships. While vendors can — and do — build relationships with carriers, requests from shippers themselves take priority due to the nature of that specific partnership.

While shippers, vendors and carriers can work together to drive visibility improvements, it is also important to consider the vast changes that have occurred. Not too long ago, having real-time visibility into ocean shipments was regarded as a far-fetched dream. Now it is an accessible reality for most shippers.

In truth, the fact that shippers are frustrated by a lack of perfect data actually points to how far the visibility industry has come in a relatively short period of time. project44 is committed to continuing that forward momentum through innovation and collaboration.

“The way to create the marginal changes that get closer to perfect is to mutually participate in this effort to get high-quality data and better connectivity,” Compain said. 

The post Common misconceptions impede actionable ocean visibility appeared first on FreightWaves.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply