Annual Review & Outlook 2014: CargoSphere

Who says instant gratification is a bad thing? Have you noticed that the way we feel about time is different these days. Our business expectations are for an immediate response, or close to it. No matter how you feel about our fast-paced world and the speed with which we get and receive information, it’s here to stay. When we look at how this applies to global shipping and how we share information, there’s work to do, especially when you consider the area of freight rate management and networking. This business process segment of the industry has not kept up.

Inefficient manual processes and insufficient template-based solutions simply aren't adequate in today’s world. Freight rates in static spreadsheets and pdf are out of date as soon as they’re received. These backward ways of processing rates are a cause of cognitive dissonance in our results-oriented business climate. This state of conflict results from the speed and accuracy we understand using technology in other aspects of our business life and the lack of it when working with freight rates.

Consider the value and efficiencies that could be achieved with a centralized, standardized system for managing and distributing rates over a connected network in the cloud. It may not stack up to immediate gratification, but would be much closer to it. Remove manual intervention and data accuracy would greatly improve. Shippers, logistics service providers, and their business partners throughout the world would have much more timely freight rates because rates in the cloud are accessible any time. For carriers, changes to freight rates could be standardized and sent electronically to a customer’s system, and they could be tracked all the way to the freight payment phase of the shipment. The efficiencies stack up, end-to-end — instant gratification achieved.

Neil Barni is President of CargoSphere.

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