When motorway traffic jams bring trucks to a standstill, border controls take longer than normal and the scheduled connecting ferry is missed, planners, suppliers and customers start to worry.Transport chains are very complex, and any disruptions that occur can have a decisive impact on goods flows. When it comes to concrete planning and execution, the only way to achieve the necessary transparency for forward-looking process optimisation is through the use of differentiated monitoring, precise disruption forecasting and exact and comprehensive ETA (estimated time of arrival) calculation.
The problem confronting the industry lies in the increasing complexity of all relevant process factors even as it becomes more difficult to monitor these – a lack, in other words, of supply chain visibility. Supply chains often have multiple waypoints, and are notable for the many potential disruptions along the transport route, as well as the large number of parties involved. There are countless communication and organisational challenges that have to be coordinated professionally.
At present, ETA calculations only take into account a limited amount of information (generally live transport and weather data), and they work best for linear transport routes without any external disruptions. In most cases, however, a more differentiated approach is necessary.
Synfioo, a Potsdam-based firm that will also be exhibiting at Hypermotion this year, aims to solve this problem, and it is the first company to calculate comprehensive process ETA. For the first time, multimodal transports can be observed in detail.
To ensure that it is ready for the dynamic events that occur in the real world, Synfioo includes data from a wide range of sources in its calculations. These include not only freely available data such as information on the latest weather, transport times, traffic jams and waiting periods at borders, but also telematics data from partner companies and external providers, current ship positions and flight arrival times, and the transport data made available by the users themselves. By means of machine learning and the integration of historical data, this method ensures that the calculated results become ever more concrete and complete over time, making it possible to continually increase the precision of the predictions being made. Whenever there are relevant disruptions, Synfioo notifies all involved parties, allowing transport planners to direct their focus to the transports that are currently being impacted by delays. As a result, each logistics company is able to decide whether they should implement their connection to cloud services through their own transport management system (TMS), using a web application, or whether they should use a mobile app (Synfioo GPS). In the event of disruptions, notifications can then be easily accessed from the standard working environment – email, the Synfioo web app or directly on the mobile phone used for work. Everyone involved in the transport benefits from greater process transparency and more accurate arrival time forecasts.
The result: Improved monitoring of transport chains, more precise shipment tracking, and greater planning reliability. Process ETA from Synfioo and the comprehensive overview it provides of changing and increasingly complex supply chains point the way forward for the logistics industry of the future.