Article | March 22, 2022
Warehouse Management System
In Supply Chain, warehouse management acts as the bridge between the supplier and customer. The warehouse facility utilized to consolidate or accumulate products and reduce the transportation cost to achieve economy. Warehouse Management System (WMS) refers to the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse. WMS is part of the Supply Chain Management and concerned with the receipt, shipping and picking of materials.
To effectively monitor the flow of products, WMS utilizes technology devices such as Barcode scanners, Bio-Metrics, and RFID to name a few. A seamless link created between the warehouse facility, order processing and logistics management till shipment. Warehouse management just not limited to the warehouse; it can also a component of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and, when done well, provides a competitive advantage to the business or organization.Supply Chain Management is the management of flow of goods and services including raw materials, work-in-process inventory and finished goods. The markets these days are transcending borders and managing the demand-supply quotient is increasingly getting complex. Production centers are setup at locations where the raw materials and labour are cheaper. Raw materials sourcing and finish goods distribution are done globally.
Supply Chain Management
Thus Supply Chain Management refers to all business processes and activities involved from the procurement of raw materials to the manufacturing and distribution of finished products. SCM in short is the art of providing the right product at the right time, place and cost. As inferred, SCM gets much wider in scope than WMS. However, WMS is perhaps the last mile in the Supply Chain Management system and any hitch in the efficacy of WMS system hampers SCM too.
The primary aim of Supply Chain Management is to match supply with demand. For this to work, the supply chain should be free from bottlenecks such as errant supplies, difficulty in sourcing etc. There seemed significant confusion about the phrases SCM and WMS until recently, and both frequently used interchangeably. However, it been generally accepted that warehouse management refers to the logistics of warehouse, storing, stocking, and also movement of goods. The term Supply Chain has a much broader focus involving suppliers, manufacturers and retailers.By providing customer centric operations in warehousing, companies gain competitive advantage. SCM tools help manage the supplies effectively keeping inventory at optimum levels. The efficiency of SCM relies to a large extent upon the efficiency of WMS. The SCM’s primary concern is to find out the best storage levels, which the WMS attempts to address. Therefore, it is seen that the SCM & WMS are only complementary in nature and not competing. Warehouse Management system also complements the Sales Management System by shortening the sales cycle through quick data access and delivery of quality service, every time.
Article | March 21, 2022
Even though there are distinct differences between demurrage, detention and port charges, many are still oblivious to these differences and there have been several questions on this blog relating to these charges.
This article is about how demurrage, detention, and port charges work.
International Trade and CostsWhen it comes to international trade, majority of the buyers and sellers use Incoterms to decide what each other’s responsibilities and liabilities are in terms of the business, especially related to costs.
Generally, there is very little room to manoeuvre in terms of additional and unbudgeted costs incurred on the shipment and therefore in their own interest it is important that the buyers and sellers take necessary precautions to ensure that all known costs relating to the business are discussed and finalised before the shipment commences.
There are many entities involved in the process of shipping a container from Point A to Point B, each with their own cost component, all of which have to be covered either by the seller or the buyer.
Demurrage, detention and port charges are just some of these costs that may be applicable in a shipment.
While some of the port charges are valid and unavoidable, demurrage, detention and some of the port charges (like port storage, early arrival, late arrival, amendment, shifting etc) are entirely avoidable if everyone in the chain follows the process that they need to follow.
What are port charges?
Port charges, as the name suggests are a set of charges levied by the port or terminal which the container passes through.In terms of container shipments, port charges may include but not limited to below :
Terminal Handling Charge (THC)
Is quite simply the charge levied by the port for the loading and discharging of a container from the ship.. THC differs from port to port, terminal to terminal around the world and is charged both by the load port and discharge port.If the cargo is transhipped anywhere along the route, then the transhipment port also charges this THC but that is paid by the shipping line directly to the port and this quantum is usually included in the ocean freight charged by the line.
Early Arrival Charge
A charge levied by some of the ports/terminals for a container that arrives in the terminal BEFORE the stacks into which it is to be taken has been opened.. Early arrival can happen due to various reasons like a container missed the stacks for the previous vessel narrowly, but since the container is packed, it needs to be taken to the port, The acceptance of containers prior to the stacks/gate open is at the discretion of the Port/Terminal Operator and on the circumstances surrounding the operation of the vessels.
Late Arrival Charge
A late arrival charge is a charge levied by the port for a container that arrives in the terminal AFTER the stacks into which it is to be taken has been closed.. This could be due to delays in documentation, packing delays, inspection, trucking delays and many other situations.The acceptance of containers after the closing of stacks/gate is at the discretion of the Port/Terminal Operator and on the circumstances surrounding the operation of the vessels and if the containers can be accepted without disrupting the schedule of the vessel and ports.
Stuffing/Destuffing of Containers
Some ports/terminals allow the stuffing (packing)/de-stuffing (unpacking) of the containers within the port area and charge customers based on the port tariff.This activity may happen at ports that provide CFS services and allow containers to be packed or unpacked in the port or due to some mistakes when the cargo was originally packed – say incompatible hazardous cargoes packed together.Depending on the port/terminal/country, the port charges may be charged directly to the customer (importer or exporter) or to the shipping line, who in turn will charge this to the customer.
Of course, this is not the full list of port charges but these charges have been mentioned as it relates to the subject under discussion,Demurrage and DetentionWhile some of these port charges may be unavoidable, demurrage and detention charges on the other hand are avoidable charges, but in a lot of cases due to mishandling, miscommunication, misunderstandings and not following the proper protocols, these charges occur..When they do occur, these charges may create quite a financial impact on the whole business and sometimes these costs could be so prohibitive that some customers abandon their cargoes at the destination due to these costs.
Although the most common market practice is to combine demurrage and detention, there are several cases where these are charged separately, and therefore it is important to know the difference between demurrage and detention.
Article | February 11, 2020
Business Chief takes a look at three leading logistics companies and how they are digitalising their warehouses. With technology evolving at an exponential rate, and the logistics industry needing flexible solutions for its complex operation, we take a closer look at some of the successful deployments of digitalisation within the warehouses of leading logistic companies around the world.
Article | February 10, 2020
Did you know that the return of your supply chain process depends on how your software technology works as well as the efficiency of the people involved in the entire process? However, changes keep taking place, and you might feel clueless as to where your initiative is going. Supply chain testing is done in order to know and mark the various aspects where the supply chain is the weakest. Since data handling is a crucial aspect, managing it becomes even more necessary.