Surviving Hurricane Harvey

This blog is part of a series of posts on the Top 5 Fears that Keep Logistics Executives up at Night

Part 1 – Promises Kept, Assets Protected – Ocean Track & Trace Averts Hurricane Harvey Crisis

Trillions of dollars worth of goods traverse the world overseas annually.  And most days, we really don’t give it a second thought. From the standardization of containerized shipping to massive tanker vessels, transformative innovations that are merely decades old, have opened tremendous economic opportunities worldwide.  Consumers have greater access to a wider array of products, while businesses have more options available to them for sourcing as well as delivering materials, components and products.

This standardization empowered the logistics industry to further diversify its service offerings, where companies can choose to own their own transportation equipment (1PL), hire a dedicated transportation provider (2PL), or to outsource their entire logistics operation to one or more logistics providers (3PL/4PL/5PL).

So why hasn’t there been more innovation when it comes to the operations and communications of the logistics industry?

This series will examine The Top 5 Fears that keep logistics executives and their customers up at night.

And along the way, we will explore real world examples of manufacturers, wholesale traders, and logistics providers, who are making tremendous strides in transformation they way global trade is managed.

Let’s explore Fear #5 together right now.

Imagine being responsible for some portion of those trillions of dollars worth of goods fading out of view, over the horizon.

What dangers lie over that horizon?

Fortunately, most days offer calm seas!

But that’s not always the case.  In fact, many of the world’s largest ports lie in high risk zones for natural disasters.

And the most fearsome enemy of logistics on the high seas is of course, a high powered hurricane.

Imagine having millions of dollars worth of goods and equipment out of view, in the path of potential disaster…

If you think that’s unsettling for logistics providers, just imagine the concern and fear of the customers that own those goods on board?!?

Companies in Houston, TX faced this dooms day scenario head on this year as Hurricane Harvey barreled into town…and stuck around for 5 days!

But while most companies generally lack visibility into the actual location and progress of their ocean shipments, one Houston, TX Importer was thoroughly prepared.

Houston Cement Company, an importer of bulk Cement material, recently implemented the Neurored Global Trade App, a secure, the leading cloud based Supply Chain and Transportation Management on the Force.com Appexchange.

“The Global Track and Trace feature of Neurored stood out to us right from the start.  Optimizing our shipping lanes, loading and unloading schedules helps us operate efficiently and deliver exactly when our customers need us to.”

“Usually when a hurricane like Harvey comes bearing down on us, we get tons of phone calls and emails from our customers, our sales team and even management, all wanting the most up to date shipment statuses we can possibly offer.  With Neurored’s Ocean Track & Trace, we can now eliminate most of those communications, by providing self serve track & trace on demand.”

Averting the disaster and ensuring timely communication status with partners and customers is key, but that’s not the end of disaster avoidance.

“Neurored’s Shipment CPQ (Configure Price Quote) engine allows my team to anticipate additional Laycan fees we will incur, and adjust our forecasts and discharge schedules proactively, minimizing impact to our customers, as well as to our bottom line”.

Visibility is the key to optimizing any business’s operations, internally.  

But providing visibility externally to partners and customers provides an entirely new level of positive impact.  Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will define Fear #4, and what you can do to prevent it from impact you!