Digitization Driving Synergies to Shipping Lines & Forwarders Amid COVID-19 Spread

Digitization Driving Synergies to Shipping Lines & Forwarders Amid COVID-19 Spread

Over the past 4 months, the world is engulfed with COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, logistics industry and more specifically maritime trade is the first casualty of this domino effect that started in China. Import Export of essentials and medical supplies are still on across the borders. Yet, maritime trade in all nations are haunted by staff shortage due to disease spreading risks exists.

Also, it is complimented with general lockdown restrictions and social distancing cues. Yet, savings human lives are of topmost priority at this point of time. Even then, the mounting losses is hinting a fragile business scenario in the coming days where survival is quite grim. Meanwhile, shipping lines, customs authorities and forwarders are massively investing on digitization to ensure business continuity. Here are some of the top digitization drives happening in the maritime logistics industry currently.

Online Slot Booking

Shipping Lines in the European and Mediterranean markets were widely investing on trade facilitation software modules. While this process continued to be a part of a long term plan, the uncertainties fast-tracked these operations. Yes, these shipping lines were fast enough to facilitate online slot booking, forwarders were readily available to do so. A huge number of online slot bookings are reportedly done. Could these lead to lower risks of the impending recession scenario? Well, we can predict the outcomes as time moves on.

Digitized Single Window Customs Clearance

Single Window System facilitation has been the hot topic in the logistics industry over the past few years. The customs authorities were more than proactive since the lockdown restrictions were imposed. In all major ports across the globe, customs authorities are setting up an agile process for document approvals and clearance. Apparently, this exercise is leading to rapid operations in the maritime ecosystem. Also, the ports with Port Community System saw a spike on interaction among the authorities and stakeholders.

Documentation Goes Digital

Before the spread of COVID-19, manual intervention in documentation was considerably high. Obviously, this not only consumed time but also discrepancies in data entry. In certain cases, document misplacement too took place. While, a part of maritime stakeholders chose to be agile by embracing digitization, a major part did resort to manual processing. But, COVID-19 flipped the whole scenario and drove large part of freight forwarders and shipping lines to embrace digital documentation. Now, transmitting information from one entity to the other and physical data touch points are now contained. This is not only leading to digital documentation but also rapid cargo movement within the maritime ecosystem.

In the coming days, digitization drive across the maritime trade seems to continue on an upper scale. Reportedly, shipping lines are constantly pursuing logistics management software for trade facilitation during these tumult times. The trend is more prevalent across Europe, North America and Middle Eastern regions. Reportedly, due to these rapid transformations, pharmaceutical companies continue to strengthen their allegiance with the maritime trade. While this trend continues to grow, do read the perks of e-services in air cargo.

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