Tuesday, 3 November 2015

100% container scanning is not reasonable

In a JOC.com article from last week a US congresswoman is quoted as following: “I have said it once and I will say it again, we need 100 percent scanning at our ports. The risks are too high not to.”

I’d like to use an analogy in the discussion about 100% container scanning.
Imagine you have your house inspected by the police to make sure no thief is in the house who could harm you or steal your valuable goods. After successful inspection, the police move away and your house remains unguarded and unlocked.
There is a short moment the house can be considered secure and trusted. But shortly after, the house is wide open again for any gatecrasher.
Even worse. Because of the inspection, you feel secure and you lose any usual caution, which could lead to the situation of being negatively surprised easily.

The discussion about the 100% container scanning is comparable with the house inspection.
For a short moment the container might be marked as secure, if the scanning data can be interpreted correctly. Already shortly after, however, the container is again open to hostile manipulation without any protection. And because the container is marked as secure by a Governmental Agency, nobody will doubt any moment, that this specific container is secure.
We all know, that the intrusion into a container from any side is an easy job for a trained person. And therefore – trusting a container, which is marked secure but remains unmonitored, is naïve and dangerous.

In my opinion, it is more reasonable to inspect a container at the point of loading (as most C-TPAT Tier III companies are doing anyway). After inspection and loading, the container should be monitored by a solution/service like the arviem real-time cargo monitoring service. It allows to detect any intrusion in real-time. It also allows detecting deviations from the route and/or shipment plan. And the events or alerts can be sent immediately to the responsible authorities in order to take immediate actions.

Such a procedure would be more effective and efficient and would also be supported by the shippers, as they have a commercial benefit from real-time monitoring as well.

Monday, 20 July 2015

The challenge of schedule reliability in international supply chains

According to JOC.com, SeaIntel Maritime Analysis recently reported, that the trans-Atlantic vessel reliability hit a three-year low.
“Only 42 percent of ships in the trade arrived within one day of their scheduled calls.”
This figure represents the performance on the trans-Atlantic service level for April 2015 only.
Based on the shipments monitored over the last twelve months, arviem’s performance analysis concludes on a similar figure. The percentage of vessels, which have arrived within one day of their scheduled calls, is at 60 percent (shipments monitored globally and not only trans-Atlantic shipments).

If the most capital-intensive service providers in logistics can’t sail in time, it is probably safe to say, that the other service providers are even worse, which has ripple effects on the end-to-end supply chain schedule reliability.

arviem’s analysis show, that only 37 percent of all shipments arrived “on time” (delay of 1 day or less). That means, that 63 percent of all door-to-door shipments showed a major delay, which in average sums up to 5 days.

This is one of the reasons, why arviem’s clients show more and more interest in the performance analysis of their shipments on different routes and in getting better results for the estimated time of arrival of their shipments. The ETA, which has become increasingly important for planning tight international supply chains, depends to a bigger part on the vessel-schedule and door-to-door reliability.

Some financial figures show, that schedule reliability is a factor not to be sneezed at:
·      For trade financing one of the milestones in the payment schedule is the arrival of the container in the port of discharge. The opportunity-cost for not getting the financing on time is at around 8 US$ for every day of delay.
·      The earlier the cargo gets to the client, the earlier the invoice can be sent and the earlier the cash is in. Every day the cash comes in later is an opportunity cost of 15 US$ per day of delay.
·      Cargo in transit needs to be financed, meaning it generates capital cost. Every day of delay is an additional 10 US$ bill virtually taken out of the CFO’s pocket.

Thanks to real-time cargo and supply-chain monitoring, such delays could be proactively addressed and managed. Each of the above example shows, that savings of 50 US$ and more per shipment could be achieved. Let alone the savings on product integrity, insurance, administrative activities, and many more.

What about your experience in schedule reliability?
Can you support the average delay of 5 days on a door-to-door shipment?

What actions do you take to prevent delays on your shipments?

Monday, 13 July 2015

Douglas fumigant products monitored by arviem

Arviem AG announced today that its cargo monitoring service supports the reliable delivery of Douglaschemical products to clients all around the world.

More and more companies operating a global supply chain realize, that instead of actively managing their supply chain they are mainly experiencing its risks.  Douglas chose to manage its global supply chain by using arviem services, a control tower based Cargo Monitoring Service being an end-to-end service, available on a ‘pay-as-you-use” basis.

Arviem’s monitoring services enable Douglas to have full visibility at any given time about enhanced ETAs, product integrity and supply chain performance helping to strengthen the reputation for an excellent customer service.
Douglas is shipping among other products fumigants sold under the brand names Vikane and ProFume from the USA to many clients across the world.

“Conventionally used reporting systems hardly allow you to have an overview on the complete end-to-end shipping process”, says Wes Long, Chief Financial Officer at Douglas.

There have been a number of disruptions before and ever since the West Coast port crisis in the USA, from where Douglas is shipping its products, which have spilled over and get companies like Douglas to look more and more into real-time cargo monitoring.

The arviem analytics functionalities allow powerful data collection and aggregation, which enable shipment specific reporting and general supply chain data analysis creating total supply chain visibility.
“Arviem provides continuous insight into what has happened and what is currently happening, which allows to get relevant information more quickly and therefore helps to improve the decision making process for supply chain managers,” says Stefan Reidy, CEO at arviem.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Transparency and integrity for your supply chain

The package delivery turns out to be a wrong delivery, the new LCD TV screen ordered remains black, the auctioned designer piece turns out to be plagiarism - in everyday life, we are often suffering the effects of improper handling of goods. Which is a minor inconvenience for the private citizen, causes in industry and trade high economic damage.

Today's supply chains are polynomial and international with a high degree of complexity anda lack of transparency. The causes of integrity violations are often not found. Who is responsible for the transport damage, who pays the cost of lost production? The clarification of the question of guilt is time consuming and expensive. Avoid such scenarios, by having your supply chain under control. Ideally, the supply chain manager always knows where and in which condition his merchandise is.

To collect the plurality of information different technologies are used that give whole containers its own intelligence to provide additional information, their condition and environment records which can be stored and even communicate in real time.

Tracing of freight – reduce search times

Logistics manager often complain high search time for lost goods. With the deployment of the right monitoring technology you have your freight better under control. Depending on the use case an exact position of the searched objects is required. Real time monitoring makes it possible.

Avoid loss and theft

In particular for high-value goods an integrity monitoring at the object level is recommended. With sensors container conditions including door security can be monitored in real time and door opening alarm messages can be sent to the involved persons.

Clarify liability issues

Especially with liability issues the source related documentation is crucial. The data collected can be used to determine the perpetrator for damages of the merchandise . The recipient of a shipment can for example demonstrate when and where in the distribution chain, the cargo has been damaged.

Active management of the supply chain

Over satellite or GSM information can also be transmitted and evaluated in real time to a corporate network. In case of a critical deviation from normal conditions, such as temperatures are exceeded, the persons in charge are alerted automatically and can immediate initiate countermeasures to prevent major damage.

Operating a global supply chain without really knowing where and in which conditions the cargo is, who has custody of it, or when a major event occurs, is experiencing the supply chain, not managing it. At arviem we are working on the vision of a digital end-to-end supply chain and would be honored to discuss your ideas and requirements.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Knowledge is power – Start managing your cargo shipments actively

Today I want to get granular on two topics which are essential if you plan to bring your supply chain to excellence. We have asked Supply Chain Managers around the globe where they reckon the highest potential for improvements along their chains in general. It came out, that visibility and information in real time is crucial. I am not talking about tracking services as you might know it from express parcel services. I am talking about real time information that is coming directly from the cargo, for instance a sea freight container. Let’s call this information knowledge. Imagine if you would know the conditions inside your container, like temperature and humidity and get enhanced ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) calculation based on for example vessel positions, instead of simple point-to-point tracking information. This is what I call knowledge and this is what is giving you the power to manage your shipments actively. This must not longer be a nice-to-have, with arviem you can get this already today.

One platform, one dashboard

Based in the heart of Switzerland arviem is about to be a melting pot for global cargo monitoring. arviem’s knowledge and understanding of the global sea freight business and trade lanes is the basis for its web application. On workshops we sit together with interested parties and discuss their situation and analyze whether and where our services help the most.
As I wrote before, the arviem system is much more than a simple real time tracking service. Because arviem is monitoring the conditions inside of your sea cargo container and arviem is delivering the information you need: geo zone transitions, door openings, temperature or humidity alerts, and many more. And on your personal arviem dashboard you can find all your shipments by one click and get an instant overview on the, for instance, delays of your shipments. The arviem dashboard also provides preset reports which show you exactly where the most alerts were generated over a certain period. Or where most of the delays take place.
All these gadgets are very useful and presented in a nice and tidy environment, but before you can really begin to manage your cargo actively you will also have to...

...Attack prejudices

Bring yourself back into the driver seat, examine and steer your shipments. It is time to stop blind trust on your logistics service provider. Get the information you need in real time and take the chance to actively manage your cargo! But what does that mean and how you can reach that target?
Well, first you have to get rid of prejudices you might have, like 
- the tracking service of your logistics service provider is always right
- the routes our service providers take are optimized
- the conditions booked are observed and maintained correctly
because if, what is listed above was true, why differ the transport costs and lead times that heavily? And why do we face 30% of the world’s cargo shipments either delayed, damaged or stolen? The arviem system cannot prevent your shipments from acts of God but we can at least give you visibility, real time notifications on conditions and events like for example door openings, delays, temperature exceedances and many more. All of this information is the basis for your actions and next steps which are bringing your processes closer to excellence.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"Surprises and disruptions are the name of the game in global supply chains"

I just stumbled over an article from Peter T. Leach on JOC.com about "West Coast congestion points to need for greater shipment visibility".

see JOC article here

The quote in the title of this blog is from an anonymous importer in Peter's article.

We, at arviem, can fully support the message from this anonymous importer as well as Peter's article.

arviem's real-time cargo monitoring services can provide that greater visibility.

The arviem services allow among other benefits the independent calculation of the estimated time of arrival (ETA) as well as anytime visibility of the actual position of all cargo in transit.

With the data coming from the cargo directly, at the edge of the supply chain, arviem is independent from any data sources of any other party in the supply chain, that "aren't up-to-date" quoting Peter's article again.
With a very user friendly arviem dashboard, shippers will not be faced with the challenges described by Mike Simon: "Where is my cargo? When can I expect my cargo? People are making a lot of phone calls to carriers and terminals to get some sense of where the vessels are physically at the moment."

But the arviem dashboard goes even further and allows the monitoring of product integrity or supply chain diagnostic and predictive analytics.

arviem's clients were in a position of strength during the west coast congestion, as they had full visibility at any time.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Industry 4.0 and Real-Time Cargo Monitoring

It means reduced costs and improved efficiencies. It means greater speed and scale. It means smarter products and services.
It means Industry 4.0.

In order to make all this happen, factories need to become more flexible, more intelligent and more efficient – machines, assets and products will start “talking” to each other within the factory but also between the different players. The car manufacturing process is an often-used example. At the moment the car manufacturer assembles the injectors into the engines, the information will also be sent to the injector supplier and to the supplier of the injector supplier – a seamless vertical integration will happen, which allows not only efficiency gains.

HOWEVER – I have hardly ever heard about the Industry 4.0 implications on the physical integration among the factories, warehouses, suppliers etc.
The supplier of the injector supplier knows now in real-time, when to produce the next batch of components to be delivered to the injector supplier, who can now better plan the production of injections, which have to be sent to the car manufacturer.

What happens, though, if the components suffer from some external parameters like condensation during transit time with implications on the quality of the injector? And what if the (bad-quality) injectors, while in transit on a container, suffer from a strike at the port of loading and arrive delayed?
The horizontal integration of suppliers and clients in the Industry 4.0 concept neglects the intelligent integration between the different parties like suppliers and clients. It neglects the intelligent integration of the supply chain – the supply chain 4.0.

Similar to the intelligent factory, where parts become intelligent and start talking to each other, the common denominator in the intelligent supply chain are the items, pallets, containers, trailers, trucks etc. The more these parts in the intelligent supply chain are able to collect data and talk in real-time the sooner the same concept in supply chain can be applied as with Industry 4.0 – the supply chain 4.0:
It means reduced costs and improved efficiencies. It means greater speed and scale. It means smarter decisions!

Electronically connecting the supply chain however means also collecting a lot of additional data. And the data has to be analysed efficiently to make actionable information out of it.
A “Chain Control Tower” is required, which allows not only shipment specific reporting and data analysis (in real-time) but also big-data analysis.
By doing so, the “Chain Control Tower” will empower clients and suppliers to make quick decisions on shipment level in case of deviations from the plan with implications on Industry 4.0.
At the same time the “Chain Control Tower” will break up the silo-view and establish the digital supply chain with diagnostic and even predictive analytics.

At arviem, we are working on the vision of a digital end-to-end supply chain and would be honoured to discuss your ideas and requirements.