Just as world commerce was transformed by containerization, so is technology transforming information sharing among supply chain partners.
The evolution of the intermodal shipping industry can be clearly traced back to its infancy through Malcom McLean; pioneer of the intermodal cargo transport business. As outlined in an article by Inbound Logistics, McLean restructured the shipping industry with the 'Ideal X' in 1955. This converted WWII T-2 oil tanker, conceptualized by McLean, marked the beginning of the first modern intermodal freight operation, the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company. McLean purchased this company from Waterman Steamship, and created the first shipping company of its kind. What was unique about Pan-Atlantic was the exclusive transporting of containerized cargo, rather than the traditional breakbulk transportation method. With such a dynamic change, many were slow to adapt this new method of containerized shipping, but were quick to see the financial benefits.
A close comparison can be made between the efficiencies that containerization has brought to intermodal transportation, and the benefits that technology has brought to daily communications. Just as increased profits were realized in part by the decreased shipping costs that containerization allowed, the shipping industry is once again realizing a new level of profits through the adoption of technology that is now available. Many IMC's and steamship lines are increasingly requiring carriers to use EDI technology. Traditional EDI required the carrier to involve a third-party VAN, which imposed a cost burden to the individual carriers. While VAN based EDI provided clarity for load tenders, status updates, and invoices, the benefits often did not outweigh the cost.
Profit Tools can help!
Profit Tools has the solution for your technology needs. With Profit Tools, you can find a reliable, more cost effective way to do business. Just like many shippers were slow to transition from longshoreman, to cranes and containerized shipping, the adoption of EDI technology has also been a slow conversion. To meet the ever increasing need for EDI communication, Profit Tools pioneered EDI Direct™ technology. Through EDI Direct™, shipment information is exchanged directly with the customer (shippers, IMC's, steamship lines), eliminating the need for costly, third-party vendor charges. The cost savings is estimated at 50-90% when compared to standard EDI. By embracing this cost effective communication method, intermodal carriers are once again realizing cost savings, much like containerization brought to the shipping industry 60 years ago.
Not only can Profit Tools cut costs for EDI compliance, we can give you a competitive edge with visibility. Turn the burden of information sharing into a value added service with ActiveT.R.A.C. This data sharing solution is an on-demand information portal for your customers. Many companies are already requiring online access to shipping details, and ActiveT.R.A.C. will enable any size logistics company to meet this demand, and stay competitive.
Embrace the changes that technology is bringing to the supply chain, and partner with Profit Tools to guide the way.