Balancing Technology with a Human Touch

Mr. Morten Bach, our Global COO speaks about the accelerated adoption of digital tools and explains why moving freight continues to be a people business.

Has the pandemic reprioritized the role of technology?

Although the pandemic has pushed technology more to the forefront of how businesses function, technology has been one of the important cornerstones in international transportation for a while. This is the reason why Shipco has a robust IT platform, which is developed entirely in-house, catering to all the unique needs of our customers online.

Can technology solve the challenges faced in international transportation?

Shipco’s digital platforms help open the way for customers to easily engage with our company but reliance on technology alone will not be able to support international transportation needs.

Cargo is being physically moved over large distances and at almost every step of the way, it is driven by human labor involving truck drivers, warehouse workers, crane operators, longshoremen, seafarers, harbor pilots and more. Also, exceptions in the supply chain occur from events such as weather-induced delays, port strikes, congestion, or equipment malfunctionand shortage. Many decisions and processes must be considered, and exceptions monitored so that goods can be transported efficiently and cost-effectively.

When the unexpected happens, our experts are on hand to manage the situation. We will speak to the carriers, ports, and terminals, using our global resource network to facilitate a transition through customs, ground transportation, and warehouses to resolve any number of challenges. These are the pain points our customers can address simply by choosing to place a booking with Shipco.

How was Shipco able to navigate through the disruption?

We were operationally resilient when the pandemic made it critical for us to reconfigure how we operate our offices worldwide. The shift to a work from home environment happened almost overnight, including our hands-on customer service we provided over the phone. We continued to ensure customer shipments were moving, even as the air and ocean freight services were severely disrupted. Manuvering around canceled flights and sailings, port delays, container shortages, and new workforce challenges required a strong company backbone and great employees.

Strategic workforce management was key for us, as our employees play an important role in creating value-adds for our customers and within our organization. We prioritized internal online work groups for our employees to connect through in order to deliver in the many stages of the supply chain. These were both in IT tools and also in work environment with flexibility.

How are Shipco customers being serviced following the sudden operational shift?

At Shipco, our customers will always have a choice, nothing changed that. We still welcomed customers' phone calls, emails, and instant messages. We did however see a big push from customers to work with our eBusiness Suite of web-based tools through, a one-stop-shop for our Air and Ocean products. connects customers to self-intuitive tools including booking capabilities, rate portals, sailing schedules, shipment tracking, shipment documentation handling, and cargo management functions, leaving many of the time-consuming tasks to our staff via our online platform, not the customer.

AccuRate LCL – Features more than 34,000 origin and destination combinations with end-to-end pricing including pick-up charges, origin charges, ocean freight rates, destination charges, and delivery charges.

AccuRate FCL – Make instant rate searches and quotes, sort by the carrier, commodity, container size, type, and price ranking. Offers diversified routing/sailing/transit time options with trucking, rail & ocean combinations.

Air2Z – Access rates from any U.S. zip code, on any airline, to any destination served. Quote shipper customers directly from the rate tool, book and track the shipment, and download associated shipment documents and cargo images.

TMS – Provides market competitive U.S. domestic LTL pricing for the first and final mile for any air or sea freight move. Track FTL moves in the TMS, featuring live shipment locations based on the GPS location of the truck.

All these tools are tied together under one umbrella to make it simple and quick to utilize. They function as an extension of our customers’ own operating system and can be connected via API or EDI with a variety of globally available operating systems and rate portals.

What customer challenges are on the horizon and how is Shipco able to support these needs?

Traditionally, there are two sectors in logistics. Those that use only the necessary digital services and those that take full advantage. We can blend different customers’ requirements, providing service to both groups taking more or less advantage of digital trends. We are extremely helpful in both strategies. By thoroughly understanding our clients’ needs and expectations, we successfully deliver a personalized service.

About 60% of the vessels traveling from Europe to Asia have been delayed reports Alphaliner. Container vessels on the Asia-North Europe loop are arriving on average 20 days late in China for their next round trip, forcing carries to blank some sailings as there is no available vessel (see Figure 4). The time needed to discharge and load at the three biggest European container ports was a total of 36 days between arrival at Rotterdam and departure from Hamburg. Such delays cannot be caught up by sailing back to Asia atfull speed. Describing the magnitude of delays in Europe, Mr. Christensen says, “Carriers are unreliable with delays of 3 to 6 weeks depending on where in Europe you are.”

Shippers looking to bypass initial West Coast congestion and inland capacity constraints, as well as avoid potential disruptions from a West Coast port strike have shifted vessel backlogs to East and Gulf coast ports. Meanwhile, a report by the American Shipper says the recent fall in port queues could represent “the final unwinding of COVID-era congestion as inflation takes hold", or it could simply indicate “the relative calm before the peak-season, post-Shanghai-lockdown storm”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *