BY applying information technology better, container shipping lines can generate savings of five to 10 per cent through managing vendor contracts, monitoring volumes, controlling expenses, handling invoices and processing accounts, says a Chennai IT executive.
Monitoring bunker costs and usage could save two per cent, solving empty repositioning could save two per cent while container stowage auto-planning could cut costs five per cent, said Solverminds Solutions & Technologies vice president Gaurav Sharma.
Mr Sharma said shipping lines are increasingly focusing on costs through information technology as the flood of tonnage in the market turns attention away from revenues because rates beyond their control, reported Lloyd's List.
"Shipping lines can't do much about revenue," Mr Sharma said. "It is the cost factor you need to focus in on to maximise the value addition."
That new focus means finding ways to monitor supplier costs; port fees, terminal charges, feeder operator and trucking expenses.
"We are saying by having a better IT system you will know how many containers you have loaded and how many you have discharged," Mr Sharma said.
"So once you have those volumes, you check against what the ports have charged you and if there are any differences you can raise a dispute," he said.
Having better visibility when it comes to charges can improve the way carriers manage their cashflow.
"Because of the economic situation over the last four years, these are the factors driving costs. They are saying we need to manage our costs better, we need to magnify and examine our cost control and ask if the way we are doing it is it the best way," he said.
Source : HKSG.