Shark Week and Your Supply Chain

Shark Week and Supply Chain Logistics – so much in common

It’s an exciting time of year, due largely to Shark Week. Here at the BLS Train Station HQ, we’re talking about sharks all week long. Let’s face it, sharks are cool. Thanks to the Discovery Channel, people the world over watch sharks of all varieties, in numerous locations as they are admired, feared, studied and followed all week long. Who would imagine we could see a competition between Michael Phelps and a great white shark in a swimming race?  Well, we saw it this week and due to a burst of speed, just as it uses when hunting seals, the shark beat Phelps.  By 2 seconds… Thank you, Shark Week!

Shark Tracking

Did you know that you can follow the movement of dozens of sharks around the world?  OCEARCH is a non-profit organization that is currently performing global research on great white sharks and other large apex predators.  Their goal is to protect the future of these animals and to enhance public safety and provide education. Dozens of sharks are tagged and outfitted with radio transmitters.  These transmitters are helping researchers learn volumes of information about these animals and their movements. Like the fact that they can beat Michael Phelps in a race… OCEARCH shares this real-time data through their Global Shark Tracker which is free to view online or through their mobile apps.  Check it out, it is astounding! HOW on earth does this relate to supply chain logistics??

Freight Tracking

Well, tracking shipments 20 years ago meant someone wrote down the date and time a truck left point A, and someone else wrote down the same information when the truck arrived at point B.  With any luck, they shared this information (usually through a month end report) and sometimes discussed how to better move from origin to destination. But that’s no way to optimize the supply chain.  Today, freight tracking is far more sophisticated, because the market demands visibility.  Real time tracking is one of the most valuable tools in the carrier arsenal to aid shippers.  Current tracking methods enable a customer to determine exactly where their goods are at any given moment.  This allows for more efficient scheduling and staffing of docks, warehouses and final destination operations.  Variables, such as temperature, can be monitored to ensure that freight is being properly and safely handled. For the carrier, real time tracking aids drivers by finding alternate routes during peak travel times, or helping them avoid unexpected traffic delays.  It also allows for specific detailed information to be shared when making deliveries or pickups, therefore saving time and money. Superior freight movement will help keep operating costs down.  The better companies are at freight movement, the healthier their bottom line.    Tracking allows both shippers and carriers to function proactively by using the data gathered to work toward more efficient practices.  Just like data gathered by the shark tracker, freight tracking provides data to analyze and create a better shipping environment for all parties. The best part is, it won’t take a bite out of you. Enjoy Shark Week! And remember, it’s safer on shore…