Barbara Babati 22.09.2017 9 min read

Data integration powers the digitization of ocean logistics

Statistics from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) prove that shipping goods by the sea is far the most popular and cost-effective method of delivering products. Data demonstrates that 90 percent of all world trade is carried by ship. According to data of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the value of the global merchandise exports has increased by 32 percent since 2006, resulting in USD 15 trillion in 2016. It is safe to forecast that the growth period is going to continue going in the next couple of years and that will have an enormous effect on the global maritime shipping industry as well. However, McKinsey estimated that there is a USD 17 billion of waste in port and carrier business processes alone. 

The industry is currently facing many challenges that are making it less competitive compared to other shipping methods. The ocean shipping industry must overcome these challenges to remain competitive and ensure that its services can support a boosting trade and economy.

Technology and a great digital transformation strategy in the ocan shipping industry can help to keep up with the pace of the growing economy and satisfy the needs of partners for better digital services. Despite some emerging trending technology trends, cloud-based data integration for ocean logistics is the simplest way to revolutionize the operations and processes of an aging industry. 

Challenges of the ocean logistics industry


Traditionally, the global maritime shipping industry has been slow to change. It is still using aging technology infrastructure that is holding it back from adapting to new technology-driven models, processes, and innovations faster.

These legacy systems have not been designed for real-time data sharing which is the cornerstone of modern business operations. The lack of connectivity across systems and applications result in the lack of information sharing, as well as insufficient data quality and insights into the operations and processes. This prevents industry stakeholders and partners from collaborating better. Often the end customer is completely left out of the loop of information sharing.

Many stakeholders have developed their own tailored systems that are using proprietary data formats, therefore the lack of a unified data format is making data sharing even more difficult. Many are using ocean shipping EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) as the primary form of communicating with partners, however, the EDI standards are too restrictive.

Too often, a technology upgrade is considered as an enormous risk for the industry, considering costs, security concerns, and data protection.

Nevertheless, the industry needs more sophisticated technology solutions to overcome the major challenges discusses above and promote better connectivity and data management across all stakeholders.


iPaaS drives the future of global ocean shipping integration


The industry needs to go through a digital transformation for a brighter future. However, the digitalization of systems and processes do not need to be expensive and risky.

A cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) can rapidly enhance the legacy technologies and outdated processes used in the global ocean shipping. Operating in the cloud, it can rapidly connect any systems or applications regardless the age of the technology. The solution enables also on-premise and hybrid connectivity.

When all systems are connected and can communicate with each other – also taking the security concerns of data sharing into consideration – real-time data sharing becomes easy and seamless. All necessary stakeholders will be able to access the information that is the most relevant for them. It doesn’t only bring more transparency into the processes of the industry but allows optimized planning of the future events, as well as reduces paperwork and manual labor required.

With automated processes, it’s easier to avoid errors both in operations and in data quality. Youredi’s solutions enable validation of the data, as well as it can translate data, and transform different data formats to a preferred one.

Information is invaluable for businesses, therefore utilizing the available insights is a top priority. Analytics brings predictability into the future, allows for better planning, and increased efficiency.

Youredi has been also developing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help the ocean shipping industry to track its assets and shipments all around the globe. This solution is based on sensors and gateways that gathering and communicating relevant real-time information, therefore providing extensive visibility into the status of the goods.


Digital transformation is more than a buzzword


You are probably reading about digital transformation everywhere. However, digitalization is truly the number one priority of firms that want to remain competitive in an era when customers and partners expect digital services and increased visibility into the processes that concern them.

By defining a digital transformation strategy and finding the right technology for your needs, innovating the way you operate will happen quickly.

Understanding how data and connectivity management can help you to achieve your digitalization goals is the first step on the path towards modern, data-driven digital operations.

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