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How Advanced BI Tools can add value to the Shipping and Liner Industry

Posted by Mangalika Ghosh (View Profile | View All Posts) | May 10, 2017 6:42 AM


With the world wide growing demand of faster business decisions, the Liner and Logistics companies should definitely start trying advanced reporting tools like Tableau or Qlikview etc as a powerful weapon in container forecasting, demand driven supply chain and other trend analysis.

Some shipping giants are still using traditional BI or manual query executions or sometimes manual graph preparation in excel to understand trend and improve business KPIs. These methods are not only time consuming but also effort intensive. Who does not agree that viewing a whole lot of data in terms of instant pictorial presentations is way better than browsing monotonous excels and comparing the numbers or sums.

Take below examples, where you can quickly get a comparative trend of payment against shipment delay per Shippers.

[Samples from Tableau site]

Hovering mouse on a specific dot gives you other details like Shipper/Shipment numbers/Delay in hrs/route etc in a pop-up window.

Clicking on a specific dot, the dashboard will show further details including average delay etc by that shipper.

Generic Shipping LOBs where advanced reporting tools can definitely benefit the users:

  1. Better Asset utilization and optimization by single dashboard with pixel perfect visualization

  1. Container utilization by regions/by months
  2. Vessel allocation efficiency by regions/ by terminals


  1. Better Cost Management by sharable and easily customizable Dashboard:

  1. Revenue per TEU by routes/ ports etc.
  2. Vessel Operation Budget vs Actuals by locations/by months etc.
  3. Balance Outstanding per shippers


  1. Better Productivity by single dashboard with heat-maps, scatter plots etc:

  1. Productivity by booking offices etc.
  2. Work Order target vs completions by repair vendors
  3. Number of Load Discharge activities per Terminals
  4. EDI rejection analysis by Partners, by regions.


  1. Better Demand Forecast by single dashboard with predictive analysis:

  1. Booked commodities Vs Actual Shipments by container types/ by locations etc
  2. Booked empty containers Vs dispatched Containers by months/ by regions etc


  1. Mobility :

    Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on iOS/Android Mobile.

These high level reports can be customized with few clicks on tools like tableau/qlikview with further search parameters or can be drilled down to more detailed levels within seconds. Also deployment is faster than traditional BI reports.

You can refer to the comparative studies on different advanced tools and choose your own as per the suitability of your organization.

But finally, all shipping companies, using static reports, may experience a complete revolution once they start using advanced tools. It helps to improve operational efficiency, profitability and inventory utilizations by quickly providing trend in most understandable manner. These are also user friendly; simple drag and drop options for customization purpose give more power to users without having dependency on developers all the time. Users can easily transform from an ordinary biz analyst to a data champion and the enterprises can remain way ahead than other competitors.


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