Supply chain managers are ready to embrace innovative transportation tools and the smart technology that has emerged in recent years. The ultimate goal of innovating and implementing automation in the global supply chain network is to reduce the number of wasted work hours. These are countless spent on mundane tasks like tracking and sending shipment status updates. By automating the ocean container tracking process, team members can spend their time on high-value work that requires human intelligence. But it’s equally important to recognize that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics process automation (RPA) are helping to solve the problems with limited tracking and the steps shippers need to take to derive a stronger ROI from their technology stacks.

The Problem with Limited Ocean Container Tracking and How Outdated Systems Fail to Keep Up With Market Demands

Ocean freight has the most significant volume as far as individual shipments and overall cargo weight of any shipment mode within the global economy. Despite the continual demands and dramatic growth during recent disruptions and market upheaval, there are still some problems with traditional ocean container tracking methods. 

An outdated system makes it nearly impossible for freight forwarders, shippers and carriers to keep up with market demands effectively. Many issues can arise within the network, including poor communications, unexpected disruptions, weak collaborations, reduced capacity, misinformed tracking, missed deliveries, billing issues, and more, according to Supply Chain Digital. RPA and machine learning technology can help address these issues and allow for network-wide improvements in tracking and monitoring, including the use of email response bots to aggregate shipping data and apply it accordingly.

How Combining RPA and Chatbots With Ocean Freight Visibility Improves Tracking and Customer Services

As the global market recovers, the demand for low-cost shipping continues to bring ocean freight shipping into focus. The potential benefits of improving ocean container tracking and monitoring services are numerous. 

Better RPA deployment across all activities means augmented effectiveness, faster monitoring updates, lower detention and demurrage costs, improved communications, enhanced data collection and analysis, better throughput, improved delivery performance, and increased customer satisfaction. Coupled with advanced supply chain and market visibility, this new approach to tracking and monitoring also cultivates greater flexibility, adaptability, and scalability within the network. Combining RPA and network visibility allows for many significant upgrades in terms of tracking and monitoring of shipments, including:

  • Enhanced data access and sharing by collecting data from thousands of possible resources.
  • Faster disruption response times by letting analytics compile and analyze data to recognize possible delays before they occur. 
  • On-demand customer service, creating a simulated, engaging experience that will help boost transparency across the board. 

Using automated tools and prebuilt chatbot systems, it becomes possible to increase the level of communication and traceability for all ocean containers. But still, it helps to know where to begin.

Tips to Automate Ocean Container Tracking and Tap Into the Power of Chatbots and RPA Systems

Some of the greatest needs for ocean tracking innovations have occurred within the past few years. According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, as more logistics technology companies start to embrace concepts, such as AI-driven customer service chatbots, machine learning, digitization, and logistics automation, they are beginning to fill the gaps that have become painfully obvious in the current market, like real-time container status updates when carriers only provide them at varying intervals. 

However, the market is far from reaching the full potential of these innovations. A growing need for innovative ocean container tracking will remain for the foreseeable future. Taking those first steps toward automation can be a challenge for forwarders, carriers, and shippers alike. Helpful tips that can make the entire process more accessible include:

  • Focus collaborations on streamlining shipping processes by connecting your systems where possible. 
  • Network effectively to maximize access to real-time data, aggregating data within an analytics engine and connecting insight and predictive information, such as a predicted ETA, to your customer-facing systems. 
  • Automate systems to offer up-to-the-minute status monitoring and send push notifications that lead customers to chatbots if they have other concerns.
  • Follow proper onboarding practices and training procedures, working with software vendors to ensure proper deployment. 
  • Upgrade outdated systems with prebuilt and pre-trained chatbots that understand the terminology and common challenges inherent in ocean container tracking.

Take the Next Step Toward Future Growth and Innovation by Using RPA Technology to Improve Ocean Container Tracking and Shipping

RPA and software bots can help steer shippers and carriers toward greater growth and success with innovative tools and platforms. Advancements in automation and machine learning can help reduce disruptions, alleviate common bottlenecks, and improve end-to-end visibility, including managing emails concerning late arrivals or address changes by connecting the full supply chain tech stack into one overarching platform. Regardless, leveraging advanced chatbots, machine learning systems, advanced software, and automation makes it easier to connect various transportation providers effectively and innovatively. Taking the next step toward embracing automation and RPA technology is essential for continued growth within the competitive market of ocean freight supply chain management and operation. Request a demo with RPA Labs today to learn more about the value of chatbots in the supply chain.