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Power of the Platform: Solutions for the $10 Billion Demurrage Problem

Transport bottlenecks are far too common at a time when supply chains are beset with massive congestion. When cargo moves slow and delays result, that also burdens both shippers and carriers with the very real problem of rising penalty fees and demurrage costs.

Higher e-commerce related shipping tied to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a wrath of higher fees…now estimated to be a $10 billion/yr problem for the transport industry. As containers sit and wait to be moved, trucking companies are incurring large demurrage fees that will ultimately be passed on to their shipper clients, and ultimately…the customers buying goods in stores.

Envase TMS platforms like ProfitTools and Compcare manage almost 30% of all port and intermodal container movements in the US so we see the problem firsthand.  Most importantly, we’ve been making big strides in updating our software to help our customers reduce the fees they have to pass on to their customers.

In 2020 we started simply by improving our ability to locate cargo via direct Track/Trace integrations with ports, terminals and railroads.  This helps automate the manually intensive checking of websites that overwhelm the dispatchers and logistics coordinators moving freight every day. Right now, dispatchers are also under pressure to make appointments so available containers can be delivered and unloaded with as little delay as possible. With trucking companies scrambling for a limited offering of time slots from the marine terminals, it’s inevitable that many end up missing the available windows and experiencing delays – thus paying demurrage fees as a result.

Envase TMS platforms are starting to solve that problem by using the direct API connections with major terminals, providing not only track-trace information but also enabling our TMS solutions to automatically schedule appointments to match available time windows – without requiring manual actions by dispatchers.

Our goal is to help eliminate up to 15-minutes per container that dispatchers and coordinators spend manually searching for cargo status, making appointments and the like.  The more efficient we can be, the faster cargo can move…and the fewer delays and demurrage fees get passed on.

Don’t get stuck dealing with demurrage fees. Talk to Envase today about taking advantage of leading-edge tools, and get ahead of these challenges.

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