Every year last-minute changes in shipping schedules create countless challenges for shippers and consignees across industries throughout the world. However, the extent to which the ongoing pandemic has affected vessel schedules is truly unmatched, to say the least.
While under typical circumstances reasons for vessel delays include bad weather, port congestion, the domino effect of delays at previous ports or labour strikes; incase of the ongoing pandemic, government measures to contain the spread of the virus, blank sailings and major capacity crunch have impacted the schedules. Moreover, the impact has lasted for months together and started to stage a slight rebound only recently.
If there’s one thing that the crisis has highlighted more than ever before then it is the need for shippers and consignees to have access to reliable sailing schedules. Low schedule reliability can be attributed to a series of factors and quite often they’re beyond the control of the shipping lines. It is hence crucial that both shippers and consignees follow the most updated sailing schedule for all their shipments.
Here’s how having access to schedules that are up to date help you optimise your business:
Prevents inaccurate bookings:
As a shipper, if you fail to access the latest vessel schedule, you may end up making bookings and plans based on outdated departure and arrival dates. Worst yet, dealing with the chaos that will follow will require you to notify your truckers several times, follow-up with your freight forwarder and more.
However, if you have access to a system that quickly gives you the latest information on changes in sailing schedules, you can plan your shipments accordingly and avoid the hassle that an inaccurate booking would invite.
Helps minimise costs and risks:
In case of confusion regarding the time and date of departure, cargo can be taken to the port way earlier than required. This can result in demurrage charges. On the other hand, if the departure time gets preponed, you may miss the critical cut off time and the cargo may not reach the concerned port on time. Above all, these fluctuations can and do adversely affect the reliability of the route itself. This further makes it difficult to foresee obstacles, minimise risks and save costs.
Improves relationship with customers
As much as it’s important for you as the shipper to ensure that the shipments are on time, it’s important for your customer to receive the shipment on schedule. Consignees plan their production and sales plans based on the sailing schedules.
When you have access to updates on even the slightest changes in the schedules, you will be in a better position to keep your customer informed. This will help you strengthen ties with your customers and boost business.
In a nutshell, with access to reliable sailing schedules, you can report delays promptly, plan more efficiently and avoid unnecessary expenses.
GoComet Smart Schedules
GoComet’s Smart Schedules equips you to make smart decisions while planning the movement of your freight by offering free access to up-to-date vessel schedule information.
The portal allows you to check sailing schedules of a variety of carriers on a unified dashboard, making it stress-free to find a carrier that best suits your production and delivery schedule. The system also provides information on transshipments.
Besides, the portal enables you to compare your booking rate with GoComet Freight Index (GFI) and helps you ensure that you aren’t overpaying. The system further aids you in choosing the right carrier by displaying the performance of each shipping line based on historical schedule reliability insight.