We hear the term “visibility” thrown around a lot in the supply chain industry, and for good reason. From time to time, we all forget how important visibility actually is throughout the entire supply chain, and in particular – the shipping process.
Supply chain visibility gives you insight to several things – where money is going, what your risk is at any given time, and who to hold accountable at what times.
Unfortunately, visibility is often buried in the shipping industry for a few different reasons. Firstly, visibility can get lost due to lack of communication. Freight forwarders fail to correspond with clients on delayed shipments, changes in costs, additional fees, surprise U.S. Customs exams, and other matters, and it leaves customers frustrated; often affecting their bottom line and customer retention.
However, lack of communication is not the only issue with visibility. Believe it or not, in the market research we have done by interviewing hundreds of international shippers, one of the most common complaints that arose was a loss of visibility due to overcommunication.
Yes, you heard that right… Some freight forwarders are overcommunicating with their clients. So how could that possibly be a bad thing?
Well, as you’ve probably figured out during your career dealing with international shipping, the international transportation of cargo has several steps involved. You’re hiring warehousing companies, local truckers, draymen, communicating with Customs, intermodal carriers, air carriers, and steamship lines, and then all of these steps are repeated overseas.
In the transportation of a single product, cargo is often handled by over a dozen different parties, and each of those transactions has a great deal of information interchange between the respective parties and your freight forwarder. It is the job of a good freight forwarder not to rely all information, but to be selective about relaying the important information. Why?
Information overload. If you’re used to opening your email every morning to see 3 – mostly useless – notification emails from your freight forwarder, the chances of you catching an important detail regarding a delay or extra charge notice are slim.
Did you miss an email? Maybe. But is it your fault? Not if your freight forwarder has set you up for failure by conditioning your communication practices to mostly involve archiving “junk notifications” every morning from them.
Overcommunicating is often a bigger problem than under-communicating.
So what do you do? Just hope you land the perfect forwarder and take their word that they’ll keep you in the loop on the things they deem worthy of telling you about? Not a safe bet to make when you’re dealing with thousands of dollars of cargo.
The solution is a system which allows you as the shipper to select the most important details that you want to be 100% in the loop on. Here’s how it works:
GEMCA is Interlog USA’s solution to communication mismatch that causes shippers money, time, and frustration during the international shipping process. While we as your freight forwarder are dealing with roughly 29 critical milestones (give or take a few depending on the situation) in tracking your shipment, with GEMCA, you’ll be asked to identify the 5 milestones that mean the most to you, and we guarantee that you will be kept in the loop through Irresistible Notifications.
In other words, there is absolutely no way that you will miss any communication on the 5 most important notifications regarding the shipment of your cargo.
At the end of the day, shippers aren’t looking for maximum visibility of all factors in their supply chain – they are looking for complete visibility on the most important elements of their supply chain and logistics process that affect their job, and that’s what was at the center of our focus in developing GEMCA.
If you are looking to learn more about how GEMCA can provide increased visibility into the factors that affect you the most during the shipping process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team members! We would love to walk you through how GEMCA works and how it is proven to eliminate communication mismatches between you and your freight forwarder.