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- Thorsten Diephaus
The act of buying ocean capacity seems ideally suited to technology. With thousands of suppliers in the market — vessel operators and NVOs that resell capacity — and thousands of port pair configurations to manage, procurement is the ideal puzzle to throw at optimization software. And yet most logistics teams still talk about spreadsheets and rate sheets, and PDFs and email strings when it comes to buying space. Additionally, procurement teams still view buying contracted ocean capacity as an annual process, to be managed periodically when rates spike or drop. Wild swings in rates during the pandemic may have changed the picture permanently, pricing some shippers out of the market and highlighting the differences between the procurement haves and have-nots. As ocean rates drop to something approaching their historic norm, three technology providers catering to shippers will discuss how technology can help manage what appears to be an era of turbocharged volatility.