The success of an export consignment depends on a lot of factors. Firstly, there should be a strong internal management system that brings all employees of an export business on the same platform. Secondly, there should be infallible means and mediums to reach each and every party participating in the supply chain. Thirdly, there should be a centralized control over every critical export activity and process governing the transition of the consignment.
What’s common in each of these things is communication. Without an efficient communication system in place, the journey of your consignment can be a bumpy ride. On the other hand, you can expect everything to go as per your expectation from start to the end. Find out what can be the consequences in the absence of communication and how to avoid them.
The Example of PRA
One of the most common situations in which there are chances of miscommunication is that of submitting pre-receival advice (PRA) to the stevedores. Any delay in PRA clearance for cargo acceptance can be extremely damaging. Here are some of the possible scenarios:
- You take a lot of time to prepare PRA and then, more time gets wasted in sending it to the cargo terminal operators.
- The submitted PRA has some errors and the operator wants you to fix them. However, a delay in tracking the whole process can deprive you of a much-needed terminal slot.
- There are multiple containers and sending PRA for one container at a time consumes a lot of valuable time.
- Your consignment contains perishable commodities that are prone to damage, in case there is any delay in loading them to the vessel.
So, what are the consequences? Because of delays due to any of the above reasons, you may have to face penalties, businesses losses and loss of reputation as well. Due to the lack of proper communication, the incidents may become repetitive.
Now, what are the possible reasons? Among the top reasons that you are not able to communicate well with the stevedores is the use of outdated channels. If you still rely on telephones, faxes and manual communications means, the aforementioned outcomes are inevitable.
Another Example of Freight Booking
In addition to PRA clearance, freight booking is another export-related activity where communication plays a vital role. Here are some of the situations your business might be facing at present:
- You use the traditional channels to know the vessel schedules and transit times and take a lot of time to compare them.
- Your employees manually call the freight forwarders to receive quotes and spend a lot of time comparing them.
- You send booking requests to various service providers manually and experience delays in receiving confirmations.
Again, the main culprit here is too much reliance on conventional communication methods. And, the consequences include missing out on the best rates and paying high shipping prices.
Other Communication Issues
Needless to say, an export documentation team needs to communicate with dozens of departments and authorities to obtain important documents and certificates. For example, they contact:
- The Department of Agriculture Water and Environment for export permits
- The Customs for export declaration number
- The Chambers of Commerce for a certificate of origin and so on
The processes involve filling and submitting forms, tracking statuses and responding to any queries. Without establishing a concrete interface with each of these bodies, it is just not possible to bring in efficiency. So, what could be the solution?
One of the top solutions is to switch to the cloud for faster communication. How does it help?
- It helps eliminate the traditional communication channels and establish the modern ones
- You can expect everything happening in real-time, from confirmations to status tracking
- With the flexibility to contact any party from anywhere and during any hour of the day, you can expect the advantages like remote form filling
- In addition, you can contact several parties simultaneously to save a lot of time
- Finally, it allows faster document sharing which indeed improves the whole export supply chain performance
Moreover, a good cloud-based communication system binds together various employees and encourages them to work as a team. So, there are reduced chances of miscommunication and information sharing issues.
export documentation | certificate of origin