Navigating the Unpredictable: The Essential Role of Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility

map of supply chain disruption across the world

December 22, 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of supply chains, one constant remains as we head into 2024: the prevalence of disruptive events. These situations are litmus tests for companies to showcase their agility and responsiveness. Amidst such chaos, the indispensability of real-time supply chain visibility stands out more prominently than ever before.

The Red Sea Upheaval

The recent Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have thrown the maritime logistics into turmoil. Companies needed to swiftly ascertain which of their shipments are in the affected zone or en route to it. With ocean carriers redirecting their courses, the urgency for clarity on diverted shipments and updated arrival dates is critical.

Observations From the Field

Looking across our global network flows with impacted routes we are seeing delays anywhere from 7 to 20 days with the biggest delays occurring between Asia and Eastern US Ports.

  • Asia to US East Coast ports: 30-50% of shipments experiencing 14-20 day delays.
  • Exports from China to Western Europe and The UK: 20%+ of shipments are experiencing 14 day delays on average.
  • Asia to Brazil: 20%+ of shipments experiencing delays of up to 17 days
  • North American West Coast ports do not appear to be affected.


middle east map of supply chain disruption


The Role of Supply Chain Visibility Amidst Disruption

Immediate visibility into the location of vessels and the status of affected shipments offers a crucial advantage. Knowing which orders are impacted and their revised expected arrival dates is vital for companies to make informed decisions swiftly.

“We're at the forefront of evolving capabilities for supply chain visibility” says Erick Rowe, VP Product Management Infor Nexus. “Sometimes timing is everything. This past weekend, we launched a new feature enabling customers to better manage delays and disruptions at key global maritime chokepoints. We've established geo-fenced zones around pivotal areas such as the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, Strait of Hormuz, and Bab el-Mandeb. These zones actively monitor and alert our users when shipments enter or leave, diminishing the need for manual tracking and enabling a focus on resolving issues. This feature also amasses valuable historical data to contrast typical movement patterns against those during disruptive periods”.

Not all visibility tools are equal. To comprehend the ramifications of disruptive events on orders and delivery dates—and to strategize accordingly—access to critical contextual information is a must.

Key Features to Steer Through Current Maritime Disruptions:

  • Real-Time Location Tracking: Pinpoint the current and next location of vessels to identify which shipments are delayed or rerouted.
  • Updated ETAs via Machine Learning: Predictive models recalibrate ETAs in response to changing vessel routes, keeping users informed of the latest arrival times.
  • Pre-Shipment Visibility: Collaborate proactively with suppliers and logistics providers to assess whether to reroute or alter the mode of shipments not yet in transit.
  • Order Impact Analysis: Insights into how supply chain disruptions affect orders, customers, and inventory empower enhanced decision-making.
  • Centralized Supply Chain Data: A unified data platform ensures that logistics, planning, and customer service teams can access necessary information and coordinate actions effectively.
  • Critical Zone Monitoring: Receive alerts as shipments transit through established chokepoints.
  • Process Monitoring: Alerts when processes are taking longer than expected such as transshipping from feeder to mother vessel, etc.

About Infor Nexus

Infor Nexus™ is the leading end-to-end global supply chain platform helping companies achieve unmatched visibility for over 20 years. Infor Nexus connects a network of over 85,000 brands, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, logistics providers and banks on a single-instance network platform to seamlessly orchestrate global supply chain processes from source through to delivery and payment. Companies streamline their operations, eliminating inefficiencies and waste while gaining data-driven insights and optimizing the flow of capital for improved agility, resilience, and sustainability. 

Want to learn more about how to sense and respond to supply chain disruptions? Visit our Control Center webpage today.  


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