In the world of transporting goods, the shipping industry is one of the fastest-growing businesses. The American domestic maritime industry is responsible for over 600,000 jobs and yields about $150 billion in economic output annually, making it an important sector.
Hence as a ship owner, in terms of ROI and profit, you’re pretty much in the green. Your endeavor can provide you with a steady profit and stable revenue.
But there is a slight catch. As profitable as your business is, managing a shipping company is highly complex. Numerous layers are involved in making your company a reliable enterprise, one of which is addressing the various logistic issues that can impact your company.
Here’s a deep dive into the problems you may face as you transport goods, along with a few remedies to tackle them:
Sorting Through Government Regulations
Government policies heavily regulate the shipping industry. These limitations aim to ensure that the commercial activity being carried out is fair, legal and doesn’t exploit consumers. However, several of these regulations can be challenging for your business as they can disrupt your cargo from reaching its destination.
This is especially true when your ship gets stopped at customs, and unless you submit the due paperwork with the correct permits, it will stay there indefinitely. If your cargo gets put on hold, it can impact your business, financially drain you, and turn away consumers.
The only way around this is by contacting an experienced customs brokerage and letting them handle these affairs for you. These companies are experts in clearing cargo, producing the permits required, and are aware of the changing government regulations. By handing over your shipment to them, these professionals will ensure that, in a minimal time, all your duties are cleared and provide you with real-time tracking of delivering your goods.
Understandably, you may have a hard time keeping up with government policies. After all, these are constantly changing and, at times, are incredibly vague, with no indication of what you need to do to transport your freight.
Smoothen The Disrupted Supply Chain
Numerous factors like a surge in demand, unprecedented natural disasters, and political instability all impact the supply chain. When you can’t supply your consumers on time, they’ll rush to other alternatives and suppliers to get what they want. In such circumstances, as a shipping company, you must be vigilant about the factors impacting your supply chain.
Keep tabs on the logical forecast and meteorological reports to evaluate if there are signs of a natural disaster occurring. You should always check the tide levels and inspect how the water behaves so you don’t accidentally send your cargo on rough water.
If you think there might be a delay, offer consumers compensation and discounts on their next order to compensate for this postponement. If you feel the weather may get tough, push companies and clients to send them freights earlier, allowing you to deliver before schedule and avoiding calamity.
Mitigate Fuel Costs
Fuel costs are on the rise. Consequently, you may have to pay more to get the fuel you need to get your ships moving. But there is no denying that this sudden and drastic increase in fuel costs has made it challenging for you to maintain your business and immensely dent your company’s budget.
To deal with this issue, start making tighter schedules to dispatch cargo. You may also contact your consumers and pool incoming orders into one shipment instead of sending multiple freights unless needed. Technology can also help in coordinating and communicating. It would help if you used predictive and data analysis tools to generate reports that can tell you the optimal time to transport goods and pick out the best shipping route.
Use Disruptive Technology
Technology is an asset that can help you do your job effectively. Businesses today are under tremendous stress. Ever since the population expanded, there’s been a significant rise in demand and sales.
Consequently, maintaining your business and keeping up with the influx of orders is not easy, which is why you should turn to maritime technology. There has been much advancement in technology designed for the shipping sector.
For instance, sensors have made great strides within the industry. Sensor technology has replaced most manual tasks, such as examining the cargo and inspecting the ship.
So if you have a ship full of cargo to take, your employees can scan them using barcodes or portable sensors that connect to data logging devices that have the records of the inventory that has gone. These sensors can also pick up when the ship needs immediate maintenance or has subtle damage around the vessels that need repair.
On the other hand, robotics and 3D printing have streamlined tasks like packing, delivering, and inspecting. If a good is left behind, drones can be used to drop the packages on vessels without the need for you to send another fleet with leftover cargo.
As a result of using disruptive technology, you can ensure that you can deliver all packages on time in bulk. Furthermore, this digitization reduces the need for more workers and human resources, saving costs and making your business model more structured.
Unfortunately, managing security is one of the worst logistics issues you may have to deal with. During transit, there’s always a chance your ship can get robbed, and goods may get stolen. A successful robbery attempt can cost thousands of dollars which can be a massive blow to your business.
You can implement security at many levels; start by installing security cameras around your warehouse and reviewing the footage periodically. Use smart locks on cargo that require unique pins instead of traditional locks and keys. You can also activate sensors on your ship that detect unusual activity and alert you if your ship is being hijacked.
Additionally, try to maintain your employee records. By restricting the area, ensure no unauthorized person has access to your warehouses, loading deck, or the ship itself. Devices like biometric scanners that use fingerprints can help you take security to the next level. Once an employee logs in to the system, the data will record this interaction, informing you about their whereabouts.
Running a shipping business is hard work. To jump-start your company, you must manage numerous factors to ensure your shipping business succeeds. But no matter how flawlessly you maintain your infrastructure, you may still have to deal with multiple problems.
These include adhering to government regulations, ensuring the supply chain stays stable, and curating a budget so you don’t overspend on essentials like fuel. In short, no matter what logistic issue your company may face, you must find a practical solution. While you can’t control logistical problems, you can use every tool in your inventory to avoid them from damaging your business.