Streamlining Cargo Management Systems With Software

Maritime and freight management companies are increasingly turning towards intelligent digital solutions to streamline their operations. This shift has seen drastic changes (and improvements) in how key processes such as cargo management are handled.   

More to the point, in a world currently seeing supply chain disruption like never before, cargo management systems and other similar technologies have become even more pivotal in ensuring no opportunity is missed or mismanaged.  

If you’re still sticking to traditional methods, it might be time to consider a switch, after all, software can save us on two things we’re all interested in: time and money.

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cargo management system at sea on a ship

(Image Ref: Unsplash)

The Pitfalls of Traditional Cargo Management

Traditional cargo management, even now in 2022, can be surprisingly manual. With so many moving parts and plenty of money on the line, the shocking truth is that there’s still a portion of the shipping and freight community operating from little more than an Excel spreadsheet and a fax machine. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to significant problems along the way:

  • Human error is unavoidable, and with the complexity of transportation management, mistakes become inevitable when handled manually.
  • Hours are lost to checking emails, transferring information, and manually updating the status of cargo—all of which mounts up in the long term.
  • Without a cargo management system to help give you a 360° overview of your business, opportunities can be easily missed.
  • Customer satisfaction is hard-won and easy lost; with a lack of transparency across your business, it’s easy to make one too many mistakes and lose valuable clients along the way.

How Software Is Improving Cargo Management 

The dawn of digitalization within the transport industry has paved the way for vastly improved logistics management. From increasing productivity to minimizing mistakes and missed opportunities, digital tools have become critical for many shipping and freight companies.

Of course, the story doesn’t just end with adopting cargo management software. The means to a competitive edge is by integrating your cargo management software with your existing tools for a harmonious flow of information across the business. 

The benefit is that by integrating workflows, you sidestep the pitfalls we mention above. Put differently, while you may have both a very intelligent cargo management system and an equally functional internal communication system, both can end up existing in their own bubbles that still demand some degree of manual intervention. Take the example of sharing a cargo or ship list. You still need to accurately add information from your cargo management tool to an email to send, and as we all know only too well, where there are manual processes, there’s room for costly human error.

By integrating software and platforms you benefit from a network of tools that all work harmoniously together. The results include a greater level of context throughout the business, more efficiency, and far fewer mistakes. 

The Challenges of Software Adoption for the Shipping Industry

cargo shipping containers

(Image Ref: Unsplash)

We’re the first to admit that the early days of software adoption for the shipping industry were not without its challenges. One prime example of this is security. While shipping software as we know it today is highly sophisticated, traditional software was not always so ironclad, leading to data breaches and, understandably, setbacks to the mass adoption of digitization within this space.

Similarly, the change management process was yet another area that caused a lot of anxiety among shipping organizations for many years. This anxiety was primarily caused by a lack of support when switching from manual processes to software and cloud-based ones. It was too much all at once and often left a few users attempting to not only navigate these new tools alone but simultaneously bring the rest of their team up to speed too. It’s why modern smart email platforms make a point of making digital transformations simple and quick to set up. Nowadays, the SaaS industry understands that creating a product to ease the pain points of niche organizations is only half the battle. The other—just as important—half is empowering users to own and succeed with software so they can make real change within their organizations.  

The challenges of software within shipping and other complex organizations were at one time grand enough to make plenty of managers stick with what they knew. Today, with advanced technology, sophisticated security features, and a myriad of tools to increase ROI, it’s no wonder that industry leaders are choosing smart email platforms to maximize profits and save time. 

 

Finding the Right Cargo Management Software for You

As with many things, not all cargo management softwares were made equal, and so when it comes to choosing the right one for your business, it’s vital to make sure it has some fundamental features included:

 

Make Sure It Includes Document Management

It’s evident to anyone working in this sector that one of the main challenges is managing the sheer amount of paperwork that goes hand in hand with this process. Whether it’s dispatch notes, certifications of compliance, or bills of lading, document management is a vital feature of cargo management and crucial to get right. For this reason, it’s essential that your cargo management software incorporates an element of document management software. Some software includes inbuilt document management, like SEDNA’s Flexdocs feature, for example. Flexdocs provides critical support by ensuring you’re always dealing with the most recent copy of a document and also allows for easy sharing and collaboration. 

It Needs Collaboration at Its Core

With cargo management being both complex and quick-paced, the more a cargo management system can facilitate collaboration, the more adept it will be at saving you time and money. When it comes to securing jobs and keeping abreast of the competition, the ability to quickly and easily share and see information is essential—and that’s where cargo management software can really come into its own. 

One key element for collaboration is to allow for easy integration with your existing software. Whether it’s software used for calculating routes or risk or producing bills of lading, cargo management software can’t exist in a bubble and operates best when combined with context. Related to this is the ability of your inbox to also work in tandem with your cargo management system. As with many complex businesses, emails are often an anchor weighing down operations and one of the core reasons that mistakes occur or jobs get missed. So when it comes to cargo management that provides you with a cutting edge advantage over the competition, ensure it can work with your email system to allow for fast transfer of data and full context.

Speed Is Essential 

We don’t need to tell you that timing is everything in the maritime industry, especially for chartering managers juggling rate changes or cargo availability in a climate where every second counts. It’s why being able to surface information fast is an essential part of cargo management. This need to find information quickly often leads to diving in and out of different platforms and slogging through a sluggish and bloated inbox—both of which waste valuable minutes that mean the difference between winning and losing a job. 

Cargo management is reliant on making decisions fast, which is why any software you use must give you a sizable advantage when it comes to saving time. From integrating with other software for fast access to data to an inbox that features boolean search, be sure to pick software that will bring speed and accuracy effortlessly. 

 

How SEDNA and Cargo Management Systems Make for Perfectly Streamlined Workflows

SEDNA smart email platform and cargo management system

So, where does SEDNA fit into your cargo management software? SEDNA is email reimagined—it takes the useful aspects of email and removes the features that don’t work at scale. This means you can wave goodbye to duplications, complicated threads, and information lost in bloated inboxes. SEDNA also provides complete context to emails, and with clever integrations, it means your entire shipping management workflow can become more streamlined, efficient, and productive. 

For shipping professionals, the added benefit with SEDNA is that it can integrate seamlessly with your other software, including cargo management software like Cargowise and SAP. One example of this is SEDNA’s integration with SAP’s Transportation Management System:

 

“Logistics operations have evolved significantly in recent years and the industry is now seeing more companies embracing digitalization to ensure efficiency in their businesses. The newly announced partnership between SAP and SEDNA solidifies the software giant’s position as a leading provider of the latest technologies for the logistics industry”

Inside SAP, 2021

 

With a combined intelligent communication system and a cargo management system, the accuracy and cost-cutting potential for transportation companies is limitless. By eliminating the potential for human error and leaning on key data, not only are there fewer mistakes but much more room for cargo managers to jump on new opportunities.

SEDNA Supports Every Kind of Shipping and Maritime Organization—Is Yours Next?