Importers are using multiple sourcing vendors to improve their ability to respond to market demand and opportunities. With this increased sourcing agility comes the increased risk of delivery failure due to a supply chain disruption and, concurrently, the increased importance of visibility into each step of the supply chain.
The ability to in real time identify the location and status of the sourced goods gives the importer the ability to fine tune its distribution channels, its inventory management and its ability to fulfill commitments to its end users.
The ability to real time monitor the status of goods requires a combination of container based technology, back-end business applications and an extended network of logistics fulfillment partners.
In response to this emerging demand, many companies are offering RFID, GSM and similar technology based solutions that enable locating the container at defined way-points, others are providing software based tracking solutions that require input at defined way-points, and others are offering extended yard and plant management solutions. All of the offered solutions are dependent on proprietary applications and investment in an extended infrastructure of data capture or data input equipment and process intervention.
All of these services offer piece parts to the overall requirement, for end to end visibility. No one has yet to offer or adopt a true end to end robust solution.