Real-Time Supply Chain Tracking with Compass

Clock  6 minutes to read

2021 was the year of supply chain disruptions. The Covid pandemic, increased demand for freight, shortages of containers, port closures in China, the temporary Suez Canal blockage, rocketing container costs, driver shortages and backlogs at ports have all contributed to uncertainty and delays across the system (at least for those that were unprepared…).

In these challenging times, we have been able to provide reassurance and clarity to our clients through our innovative Compass platform and Warehouse Track & Trace system. Real-time visibility of where your freight is at every stage of its journey through the supply chain means both you and our teams can plan accordingly, whether delayed or not. 

How does it all work?

The Challenges of End to End Supply Chain Management

Jo at Green Garden’s consignment of patio furniture is stuck somewhere between Alexandria and Rotterdam, but she doesn’t know where. Craig at Tapp’s Tiles is waiting to hear from his freight forwarder about when he’ll have a slot on a container ship. Sam at Shirts R Us is out of warehouse stock and can’t say when he’ll be able to fulfil orders.

For some importers, the quest to find out where their shipments are and how long it’ll be until they see them has become a daily torture. Items that were once simple to source and process now take a lot more time and paperwork, and greater demand on space, resources and labour mean delivery schedules are no longer predictable or reliable. 

Behind much of the frustration lies a simple lack of knowledge. If shipments are delayed for whatever reason, then not knowing where they are or how long they might be can cause further anxiety. Conversely, being aware of what stage of the journey your cargo is at, even if it isn’t on time, gives you some reassurance that your goods are not simply in limbo and means you can take action to mitigate further problems. 

That’s why we set up our two real-time tracking systems with client-only access: Compass and Warehouse Track & Trace. In effect, they make following the progress of your shipments just as easy as tracking an Amazon delivery to your home.

Get an overview of our two comprehensive solutions below…

Online ways to track shipments

Compass

Our flagship online portal gives you full visibility of your shipments, whatever your route and wherever in the world they might be travelling from or to. Compass provides you with real-time vessel and flight tracking, as well as offering vital carrier and port data integration, so you’ll always know where your goods are whether they’re travelling via sea, road, rail or air. 

Its versatile dashboard – featuring maps, transit mode, duration, carrier, destination, status and expected arrival – allows clients to view live updates for their shipments from dispatch to delivery on desktop, phone or tablet.

The added benefit with Compass is the easy access to all the data around your freight, so you can analyse it, identify ways to streamline your supply chain or cut costs, and make forecasts to inform future planning.  

Want visibility on your shipments?

Get in touch with our team today via our Contact page.

Warehouse Track & Trace

Serving as a comprehensive direct online connection to your goods stored in our warehouses, this purpose-built platform gives you all the information you need on your current inventory levels. You’ll be able to monitor inbound product, track outgoing orders and know the exact status of your stock at any time, every day of the year. 

The system can even set up alerts, letting your team know when to reorder if stock falls to a certain level. Warehouse processes like order picking can be automated and tailored to your specific needs. And all data around your inventory and its movements is available for download as an Excel spreadsheet or seamlessly transferred via EDI links. 

You’ll have your own secure login for your business, allowing you and your colleagues convenient access to all the activity around your stock. When used hand-in-hand with Compass, our Warehouse Track & Trace facility provides a valuable complete overview of your supply chain.

And a bonus: our container devan schedule

In addition to the above, we’ve added an extra level of visibility for all customers and their partners. Our container devan schedule offers a window into our operations, providing a rolling list of all the containers passing through our warehousing facilities during the next  seven days, and many listings of planned arrivals up to 4 weeks in advance.

With no login required, our NVOCC clients and their customers can stay up-to-date on the status of their groupage containers by looking for the corresponding container number, and easily see when their goods are ready for collection or delivery. 

Why not take a look

What can disrupt your supply chain?

The are currently many factors that can cause issues with the transportation of your goods, but here are the top four:

Labour shortages

The soaring demand for online ordering and home deliveries during the pandemic also necessitated the need for more people to ensure orders were fulfilled. On top of this, Covid caused many already working in logistics to be absent from work. From warehouse staff and port operators to drivers and admin staff, it’s been a problem to keep up with the level of requirements.

Brexit

With the UK leaving the EU, importers and exporters now have to contend with a lot more documentation requirements and regulations. This means goods take longer to pass through customs, which can lead to delays and bottlenecks. 

Limited vessel and aircraft space availability

Increased demand for sea and air freight has put huge pressure on the existing supply chain capacity. This has not only made it more challenging to get shipments fulfilled promptly, but also created a highly competitive market, with the cost for container and cargo space quadrupling (or more) in months.

Port closures and congestion

China forced the full or partial closure of two of the most major ports in the world, not only to prevent the spread of the Covid pandemic but also to ensure they use less energy and meet their environmental targets. Large numbers of consignments were either stuck, delayed or rerouted elsewhere. Around the globe, a combination of Covid repercussions and increased traffic meant that most ports had a greater volume of freight than they were able to process, causing bottlenecks throughout the supply chain.  

Storms

Nature can disrupt travel in a number of ways, from volcano eruptions pumping dust into the atmosphere and grounding flights to severe heat melting the tarmac. But high winds and hurricanes play havoc with every mode of transport – disrupting flights, creating churning oceans that cause freighters to spill their loads or go off course, and flooding towns, cities and roads. 

Want to get experts involved with your supply chain?

If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of visibility on your shipments with your current provider, then help is only a phone call or an email away. 

To discuss your shipping needs with a member of our expert team, call +44 (0)1473 852958 or email us at sales@hemisphere-freight.com.