What smugglers, spaghetti, and the Sahara can teach us about reducing empty container movements

on August 15, 2019

What do penne and ParceLive have in common?

Well, not too much at first blush, but when you consider how pirates of the high sea optimize their ocean-going freight, albeit, full of illicit goods on the way out, well, then you soon discover that they know a thing or two about only bringing back containers that are maxed-out and cubed-out so as to optimize their seedy supply chains, grow their network capacity, and boost their bottom line margins.

So, what do they fill their return cargo holds with after delivering shipments of high-margin, illegal goods?

Well, why not pasta?

It’s heavy. It’s dense. And it’s in demand in developing nations that are hungry (no pun intended) to show their elevated status in the world.

This is not to say that Hanhaa, the software and hardware development company behind ParceLive, condones the initial distribution and redistribution of nefarious products so much as intends to point out that these savvy shippers have developed a simply systems-based solution to the industry-wide problem of increasing container downtime due to overcapacity in the network.

Consider that some estimates, dating back to 2005, estimate that international container movements have increased nearly 5 percent annually due to ecommerce and global population growth.

What’s more, ocean-going vessel manufacturers have only continued to build larger and larger ships with many brokers having to send some 65 percent of a return container shipment back to its port of origin empty.

As any supply chain manager knows, this makes for bad business as rates collapse, margins shrink, and taxes on carbon emission only further likely year-over-year losses.

That said, Hanhaa believes such problems can be remedied through scrappy (read:  legal) solutions and why ParceLive, though steeped in technology, is meant to improve partnerships first and foremost toward a more long-term solution to the overcapacity problem plaguing container companies around the world.

Partnering sans pirates:

ParceLive relies on a combination of hardware and software to track containers, both large and small, across borders and industries with use cases having proofed out this belief time and time again.

That said, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is only as good as the communication behind it and that means connecting companies by enabling legacy systems to ‘speak’ with one another real time.

Hanhaa offers this feature with each SaaS package it helps deploy, but also encourages shipping companies to grow into true supply chain leaders by bridging internal apps, SAP systems, customer-service portals, and any other existing online platform within geographically disparate manufacturers so as to ensure every party has an optimal view into container movements.

What’s more, and by becoming a channel partner with the ability to share real-time data, supply chain personnel can further diversify their service offerings, create another revenue stream, and, yes, help pasta producers in one location more efficiently (and legally) move their excess supply to places seeking a little more penne for their penny.

ParceLive protects the bottom-line:

The insight afforded to the above-board (get it?) shipper by using ParceLive for its real-time data capabilities extends well-beyond simply looking to optimize return voyage communication around supply meeting demand.

The software and data tracker, which works for loads as small as a single, hand-delivered item as well as one that could contain hundreds, if not millions, of high-value goods, is equally useful for monitoring how long an asset sits on a dock or is stuck at a border-crossing.

This combination of software and hardware is great for tracking the use and migration of empty containers, especially since these assets are just that, or an accountable line item on a balance sheet with some costing as much as two- to three-thousand dollars.

From package to post (without the penne):

With getting too cheeky about all of the features afforded to the adopter of ParceLive, the solution really can save a shipper pennies on the dollar in an industry that is increasing over capacity.

Literally.

What’s truly important when considering both the bottom-line and triple bottom-line, too, is reducing taxes and tariffs charged to shippers crossing borders, especially when containers go empty all the way to China or beyond.

The supply chain leader owes it to his or her firm, then, to make as many smart and environmentally-friendly decisions as possible, which all begins with the ParceLive tracker and its ability to be recycled time and time again.

While a small feature in comparison to the problem of some 20 million empty containers (by some estimates) floating around the globe, container companies must start somewhere and this is certainly a good news story toward that end.

Although it’s been stated and restated throughout the above piece, Hanhaa in no way condones illegal container shipments of pasta or otherwise.

What ParceLive can do, however, is help optimize performance, drive revenue growth, and improve triple-bottom line strategies that solve the overcapacity issue plaguing container shipment companies.

This is done simply by improving communication, reducing downtime, and, yes, recycling the RFID tracker as a means toward greater, greener sustainability initiatives.

Now, if only the pirates took the same penne-pinching approach.

CallumWhat smugglers, spaghetti, and the Sahara can teach us about reducing empty container movements

Join the conversation