The Benefits of a New Perspective

Posted on: January 25, 2022

Sometimes it’s interesting to reexamine something we do every day and simply take for granted. Could we benefit from doing the same old thing but, by looking at that process from a different perspective, find ways of getting things we’ve wanted for a long time but for which we have not been able to put the technology in place, or get everyone to use it?

Let’s take a new look at Security Filings. First of all, everyone within your organization, including your agents, is using the same technology to enter all the shipment information. Second, this data is very standardized because the various Customs organizations that we are sending the data to will not accept it any other way. So, this gives us full shipment data from before the cargo can be loaded on board the vessel, in a standardized data set.

Here are some ideas on how that same data could be used to gain efficiency, save time and effort, and give your customers things they have been looking for.

Carrier Bill of Lading Instructions. This same security filing data could be sent to the ocean carrier for the Shipping Instructions with the push of a button. This would save a lot of retyping and would also ensure that the carrier data matched your data. That’s a nice time saver too, because inconsistent data won’t need correcting. Not to mention here the cost savings of using the automated B/L Instructions rate vs the manual rate; $10 vs $50 / Bill of Lading.

This data could also be part of your customer Track & Trace visibility and, if you submitted the Shipping Instructions (SI), then there would be automatic shipment tracking as a side benefit for both you and your customer.

Your destination offices could use the Security Filing shipment data in our system to track the cargo coming in, issue the Arrival Notice, and manage the release process and delivery. New connectivity coming in place with e-Modal in the United States opens the door to scheduling the terminal appointment, making payment to the carrier, and triggering the release process all with a few keystrokes.

Alternatively, if your destination offices are running a different software, then the Security Filing data could be transferred electronically (Traditional EDI or API) to their system to create the import file and prepare for Customs Clearance creating yet another major efficiency. Or, it could be sent to the Customs Broker so they don’t have to re-key the data. Remember: it’s the same standardized data that US Customs will demand from the Customs Clearance Entry filed via ABI, so it will slide perfectly into any Customs Brokerage technology application.

Linking the Security Filing shipment data and the Carrier and / or using our Rail Tracking and Back Office Tracking functions creates great tools for monitoring Demurrage and Detention. This ensures that there will be no surprise invoices for either Demurrage or Detention coming from the carriers. Your destination offices can see what is happening and let the accounting / finance office know to make sure they bill the customer even before you receive the invoice.

And, last, we are working on the Peel Off Stacks and targeting a full program by this spring. We are now collaborating with a few key customers to work through trials with some trucking companies that have been actively involved with Peel Off Programs for several of the major importers. Once we have this organized, we will start looking at building up volumes to make this a true community benefit that moves containers out of the terminals within four working days, eliminates or greatly reduces Demurrage, and makes sure that your customer’s cargo is moving and not stationary.

All this, as a result of data you are already entering. That’s not a bad pay-off for looking at an old process from a new perspective!

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