6 Most Important Electronic Tools of Information Technology in International Business

3. Remote bill of lading (B/L) printing

4. Single data entry reporting

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5. Exception reporting

6. Online tendering, etc.

1. Electronic Receipt of Vessel Schedule Information:

Shippers can visit a logistics portal to check the schedule of different shipping lines and choose what suits their supply chains the best. This saves shippers time and effort. The shipping lines, too, benefit as they do not have to inform individual shippers about their voyage schedules.

At present, the only limitation to this system is that not every portal maintains information about every shipping line, nor does every shipping line provide updated information on their sites or related portals.

2. Tracking and Tracing of Cargo:

The biggest benefit shippers enjoy as far as e-logistics is concerned, is tracking and tracing the cargo. With e-connectivity they need to spend less time per enquiry with shipping lines about the status of their cargo and significantly improve their supply chain visibility. However, different portals offer different services.

3. Remote Bill of Lading Printing:

The main benefits of this facility are reduced production and distribution costs for the carriers. The shipper’s gain is fast and error-free receipt of documents. More and more shippers are using this facility and are demanding simplified transmission of transport documents. One of the reasons for this is error-free transmission of Bill of Lading. Shipping lines normally dispatch the Bill of Lading within 48 hours of vessel sailing.

4. Single Data Entry Reporting:

With the aligned system of documentation, the format of various shipping documents is now standardised. Information once keyed in any document will automatically appear in all aligned documents. This system saves repetitive data entries and also saves substantial time and cost.

5. Exception Reporting:

Shippers across the globe, who work tirelessly towards manufacture of quality products, also want reliable delivery schedules. Exception reporting by the shipping line helps the shipper to know if there are any deviations from the instructions, which he/she has given to the shipping line.

6. Online Tendering:

To locate the ocean freight rates from various shipping lines, the shipper has to send an enquiry separately to each shipper. Online tendering helps the shipper to send out rate enquiries to as many shipping lines as desired by merely pressing a button.

Today, in the era of rationalisation, mergers and acquisitions, the shipper’s global requirements are getting increasingly complex. Online tendering helps them get competitive quotations from shipping lines operating on various routes. These multinationals maintain databases of such quotations in order to choose the most competitive rates on various routes.

In brief, technology is changing at a very fast pace. Various aspects of electronic business such as e- procurement, e-marketing, e-logistics use a number of technology products. The life cycle of technology products is very short. We are living in a knowledge-driven economy, where everyone has access to information thanks to internet and a variety of other sources of information.

However, the market is dominated by those, who translate information into knowledge and use the knowledge to improve productivity and efficiency of their enterprises. India is enjoying an enviable position because of its leadership in the area of information technology. A number of business solutions are developed in India for world wide applications. However, such applications take a long time to be implemented in India itself.

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