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Magaya + INTTRA: Better Together

With ocean shipping on the rebound after a troubled 2020 and 2021, things are looking up.

More precisely, everything is up, from shipping volumes to port delays to total costs of sending goods worldwide. As noted by The Economist, the average price of shipping a 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU) is now more than $10,000. For late bookings, meanwhile, freight forwarders could pay double — or more — to keep supply chains moving.

The result is a perfect storm of increased supply and demand, in turn creating an over-stressed system that makes it frustrating for shippers and clients to know exactly where their goods are, what’s holding them up, and when they will arrive. In short, limited options, soaring costs, and challenges in end-to-end visibility present a growing — and costly — problem. Magaya and INTTRA offer a solution: together, they can help your business build resilience with more and better shipping options.

Batten Down the Hatches: Current Challenges in Ocean Shipping

The general consensus on shipping and logistics? Challenges abound, and things are likely to get worse before we see a real improvement. Consider the recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Review of Maritime Transport 2021, which found that the total amount shipped by bulk carriers rose almost 4 percent last year, the combination of “logistical bottlenecks and soaring costs, along with an asymmetric recovery, have heightened uncertainty.”

While shipping is on the rise worldwide, not every region is experiencing the same changes at the same pace. Some ports are overwhelmed with massive container ships, while others are struggling with unpredictable staff shortages as waves of COVID-19 sweep through workers. Government regulations are also changing at a breakneck pace as countries look to navigate the shift from pandemic pressures to endemic efforts.

For logistics firms and freight forwarders, the outcome is a market that’s both volatile and valuable. If companies are able to capitalize on evolving client demand for real-time goods tracking and reliable delivery, they’re positioned to stand out from the crowd and find their niche first-choice partners in a post-pandemic world. In the absence of viable alternatives to turn to when go-to carriers, partners, and agents can’t commit, freight forwarders are in a fragile position that puts businesses at risk. Having options at hand is key in building the resiliency needed to weather the storm we’re currently navigating.

And while it’s expected that acute shipping congestion will slowly ebb over the next year, fundamental changes will remain, such as the shift to ultra-large container vessels (ULCV) capable of moving massive shipments across the globe, and the need for in-transit, self-serve carrier tracking.

Navigating the Storm — Keeping Your Head Above Water

With shipping storms set to continue unabated, at least for the time being, how do companies keep their heads above water — and set the stage for sustainable shipping practices over time?

Here, four components are key:

  • Scalability

As shipping demands evolve, businesses need practices and processes capable of scaling to match. For many companies, this means a shift away from legacy solutions that may be working as intended but lack the ability to keep pace with cloud-connected platforms or mobile-enabled solutions. It also means having a strong network of partners at hand to be able to adapt when needed.

  • Visibility

Shipping is a multi-stage, multi-operational process. And thanks to evolving supply chain challenges, it’s more important than ever for companies to gain visibility across this process from end-to-end. This includes everything from initial product production and shipping to land-based logistics tracking, port challenges, shipping container acceptance, and transport, import and customs clearances, and eventual last-mile delivery. While visibility isn’t easy to achieve, it’s now critical for companies to both ensure operations are on track and deliver top-tier service to clients.

  • Simplicity

Even the best tools and technologies won’t improve shipping operations if they’re complex and cumbersome to use. Why? Because at the end of the day, staff are the ones on the ground interacting with these solutions to ensure shipments are packed and tracked effectively. As a result, it’s now critical for companies to embrace agile and on-demand software solutions that provide an intuitive and easy-to-use framework for staff and clients alike.

  • Certainty

When clients have questions or carriers have concerns, you need the certainty that comes with accurate and real-time data. Customers don’t want to hear that you’re uncertain about where their shipments are or when they’ll arrive — you need confidence that the data you’re collecting and reporting is accurate, complete, and relevant.

Better Together: Improving Ocean Operations with Magaya and INTTRA

It’s one thing to recognize the need for improved ocean operations — it’s another to implement them in practice. At Magaya, we’ve developed a cutting-edge digital freight platform to help companies better manage every aspect of logistics operations. From the ability to create and send booking requests and instructions to easily submitting verified gross mass (eVGM) data to carriers and providing self-service customer options with our LiveTrack service, Magaya helps you better manage all aspects of shipping and logistics.

The INTTRA ocean booking platform, meanwhile, makes it easy for companies to plan, book, and track shipments across the world’s largest network of ocean carriers. With access to more than 35,000 shippers in 170 countries, 60 leading carriers and NVOCCs, and over 150 software partners, INTTRA sets your company up for success. With more than 850,000 container orders per week initiated via the platform — or one-quarter of global trade — it only makes sense to leverage the INTTRA integration for Magaya Supply Chain.

Together, Magaya and INTTRA can help organizations both meet current demand and ensure ongoing operations are capable of handling change. Benefits include:

  • Streamlined operations

Paper documents are familiar but oh, so frustrating. Sending paper documents to multiple shipping lines is both time- and resource-intensive — staff must manually create, check, and send these documents and then act quickly if changes are needed or errors are found. The Magaya Ocean interface lets you accomplish this work in an instant without leaving your Magaya system.

  • Reduced errors

Extra steps and manual processes naturally lead to errors. Best case scenario? These errors are caught early on in the shipping process so they can be easily remedied and shipments can arrive as planned — even in this case, however, extra work is required by staff to ensure data is updated and clients are kept in the loop. Worst case? Errors cause significant problems at port or during the customs process, resulting in goods being returned or held for long periods of time. Here, even small manual errors could be extremely costly for your organization. Magaya and INTTRA digital document integration means fewer steps and fewer manual processes, in turn reducing the risk of errors.

  • Enhanced visibility

With Magaya and INTTRA, every step of the request process can be posted and viewed online by customers. This makes it possible for clients to easily track their shipment from end-to-end and watch events unfold in real-time. For example, if shipments are delayed by port congestion, clients don’t need to wait for manual updates — they can access tracking data on-demand to see exactly what’s happening.

  • Real-time accuracy

The more accurate your data, the better your decision-making. Magaya and INTTRA make it possible to access global shipping data anytime, anywhere, in turn giving you the actionable insight necessary to respond as conditions evolve worldwide. Shipping challenges aren’t going anywhere — but your shipments still need to get where they’re going. With Magaya and INTTRA, you’re better equipped to navigate the storm and create a sustainable shipping model to help you find solid ground.

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