Metro move quickly to maintain visibility of freight movements after the Suez episode

One of the first casualties of the Ever Given’s grounding in the Suez Canal was vessel visibility and shipping line schedule integrity. With so many vessels delayed, out of position or diverted, visibility of their cargo’s location was critical for shippers but, with most shipping lines unable to update schedules due to the unknown length of the situation and making decisions to re-route ships on different lengthier paths. Predictive tools to forecast their vessel’s presumed location, their vessel’s true location and status were unavailable as carriers were powerless to provide accurate details. In response and to ensure our clients continue to receive ‘real-time’ decision necessary data, Metro’s technical solutions team have designed and created a bespoke tool, within days, to provide customers with accurate GPS vessel locations, cross referencing to specific container and consignment movements and location.

MVT users have a new clickable global view

MVT is Metro’s cloud-based, hyper secure platform that connects shippers to their entire supply chain – from suppliers and manufacturers, to carriers, distribution networks and customers – harnessing participant, process and inventory data to provide complete real-time visibility, control and intelligence.

Integrated directly with carriers operations systems and autonomous vessel GPS tracking platforms, MVT receives continuous location updates, at ship movement level, from container shipping lines, which automatically update customer views of their consignment locations.

But systems, including MVT, are only as good as the data input, which means that as soon as the carriers’ data was inaccurate, our customers’ were not seeing the true location or status of their products.

Metro’s technical solutions team reacted swiftly to recover critical visibility, by accessing the maritime satellite AIS (Automatic Identification System) to locate and track all vessels carrying Metro managed cargo, updating their position every hour.

Users see the actual last known position and history of the vessel as opposed to a point to point

An emergency global task team, assembled to input this data from the new source, worked closely with internal MVT developers to ensure data integrity and assist the development of the bespoke MVT tile (in just days) that disseminates data to container/consignment/order/SKU level, so that all Metro operations colleagues – and through them their customers – have access to the current location of every shipment.

From today this tool will be rolled out directly to clients for online transparency and location management and will be added to our MVT application. Reports can be generated and as carriers begin to make announcements on changes within schedules and the actual position of their vessels this information will be uploaded during this turbulent time and the resulting aftermath of the Suez closure. There is, and remains, confusion in the rescheduling of the already unreliable container freight which continues to rebalance and work on recovering processes and announcements which we will continue to monitor, manage and share on a daily, if not more regular basis.

Users can zoom in and click the location icon to see the jobs in that area

With the Ever Given now recovered the shipping line location data feeds will become more reliable, but owing to the Suez Canal blockage Metro has enhanced its tracking capability with the development and addition of MVT AIS 4.0. which customers will shortly receive as a new module automatically.

Metro recognise the severity of the current new challenging situation and will swiftly develop solutions to ensure that you maintain transparency in your supply chains. With so many events and developments evolving each week that have an impact on global logistics we aim to remain at the forefront of the market with our innovation and planning. We also advocate and recommend speaking with us as needed as we cannot replace our virtue and integrity in ensuring that our customers expect. Proactive, reliable and consistent service is the very least that we can deliver in these challenging times. For further information please contact Ian Barnes or Grant Liddell to organise a review and market update and we will be delighted to share our recommendations and suggestions, along with all options and alternative services available to you.