The world has changed a lot in a year. Air freight space is diminished, ocean carriers only take cargo if the price is right, warehouse stocks are at near historic lows, empty containers are in short supply, a driver shortage continues and logistics provider profits are soaring.
In early 2020, no one would have predicted this series of events.
The idea of digitizing the logistics business has been talked about for five plus years. The current quest to manage space indicates that the process must be sped up.
Because space for freight is at a premium in all modes, logistics businesses are looking for ways to better manage their data so that they can better manage the freight and maximize their returns. Just this week, the ocean carrier ONE made the following announcement: “Ocean Network Express (ONE), which owns the sixth largest fleet of containerships in the world, is working with Google Cloud to advance its digital transformation and data cloud strategy.”
The announcement went on to say that ONE is the sixth largest container shipping company globally, and it handles transactions with as many as 14,000 customers across 63 countries every day. To manage these, ONE previously relied on an SAP accounting system hosted locally in each country on its legacy cloud platform.
Allow me to repeat – To manage these, ONE previously relied on an SAP accounting system hosted locally in each country on its legacy cloud platform.
This means that data from servers in 63 countries had to be synchronized to provide a reliable global data set.
I posit that it is virtually impossible to efficiently plan and manage shipping services to 257 container ports served by a fleet of 224 vessels when there is no single view of the data.
The announcement went on to say, “To modernize its systems, ONE migrated to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) finance software hosted on Google Cloud. Shifting from its on-premise infrastructure to the public cloud gives ONE the ability to scale its ERP systems up and down to meet changes in customer demands and data volumes.” With this change, ONE is now operating on a single, cloud-based, multi-tenant platform.
The value of a multi-tenant platform is that it permits many users in various countries to simultaneously work in real time to plan and operate cargo movement because each user has access to all of the data necessary. This type of environment is truly a Collaborative Platform.
Working on a cloud-based, multi-tenant platform allows every user access to shipment data that enables each party from the entire supply chain to enter, view, and use data where it is most relevant to their actions in the logistics process. This sort of technology has only become viable with recent advances in cloud computing, allowing users from anywhere in the world to access and work on the same database from any device. The collaborative platform provides strict, uniform process controls throughout the entire supply chain when entering and using data. The controls create global data standards in an industry inundated with many varying vendors and processes.
All parties benefit when collaborating through a global, multi-tenant platform. New technologies for collaboration are completely transforming the way we envision supply chains today through Global Workflow, Event Management, Automation, and Exception Management.