Q&A: Blume Global on Global Rail and Maritime Intermodal Logistics
Pervinder Johar, CEO of Blume Global, gives his take on the challenges facing the intermodal industry; prepare for future logistical disruptions; the role of advanced technology; visibility and sustainability of the supply chain; seamless transition of data from sea carrier to rail in transit; and growth opportunities with Marine Log magazine.
Marine Log (ML): Can you tell us more about how your solutions have been integrated by ocean carriers and what results have they seen?
Pervinder Johar (PJ): With Blume Global, ocean carriers are able to automate manual processes, enabling them to improve their agility and manage their transportation networks more efficiently. Shipping carriers are also connected to our extensive intermodal network, which facilitates and speeds up the integration process.
Here’s an example of how we’re helping ocean carriers: A leading ocean carrier needed a solution that would integrate seamlessly and support the rapid growth of their carrier network, as well as automate the processing hundreds of millions of dollars in annual dump invoices, including validation of work performed. They wanted to eliminate blind spots in their container supply chain, manage their haulier suppliers, improve their customer service responsiveness, and replace manual billing and work order processes. Due to their complex network, they also needed a cloud-based solution that had established connections with the rail and automotive base.
They partnered with Blume to embark 1,500 road carriers, while consolidating their global operations. Blume provided automated and consistent distribution of transport orders to its supplier network and real-time visibility with proof of delivery as well as electronic invoicing for approved orders.
Another carrier came to us to eliminate blind spots in their inland container supply chain in the United States and to automate their work ordering process. They needed a way to manage their haulier suppliers, improve their customer service responsiveness, and replace manual billing and work order processes. Blume’s solution provided automatic electronic documentation and proof of delivery, generation of work orders, resolution of assessments and invoicing, and turn optimization. Blume’s turn optimization and home reloading programs are becoming popular with ocean carriers as these solutions optimize asset movements while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain.
ML: Does your solution transparently transfer its data from sea carrier to rail for companies that use both in the same transit?
PJ: Ocean carriers typically offer IPI Cargo service to and from within the United States and Canada, and IPI Cargo transportation is typically contracted out and performed by one of the Class 1 rail carriers. problem? Intermodal rail timetables, especially those requiring connections between several rail carriers, are not easily accessible. Blume leverages our data source to provide ocean carriers with visibility into intermodal schedules, which they can then pass along to their customers. This allows all freight players to better manage the supply and transport of their goods with clear expectations of arrivals and departures. This kind of clarity certainly adds tremendous value to businesses as they plan the logistics movement throughout their supply chain.
ML: Are you working on additional solutions for the operation of ships?
PJ: We are currently engaged with a large marine terminal operator in the Southern California port complex to provide a platform on which freight interests can procure VIP terminal services. These VIP terminal services are separated into different levels of expedited cargo delivery and can be purchased by the beneficial owner of the cargo, the freight forwarder or NVOCC, or the road carrier.
These customers then have access to a streamlined process for expedited delivery of their shipments, which often includes seamless automation of gate appointments. With the current global surge in demand for consumer goods and the resulting congestion in a number of port complexes around the world, there is certainly an increasing market demand for any means to facilitate the expedited delivery of ‘hot’ cargo. from the marine terminal.
This service also has an element of supply chain sustainability. By reducing congestion at the terminal complex and the waiting time that motor carriers spend idling outside the terminal gates, we give our customers better control of their greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the terminal solution is just one of the ways we are helping our customers promote a more sustainable supply chain. On the ocean side, our national reloading schedule matches outbound and inbound movements, minimizing the need for empty repositioning. Cargo-less repositioning is literally shipping air and expelling significant amounts of greenhouse gases in the process.
To learn more about the global rail and maritime intermodal logistics scene, listen to Marine Log’s Listen ! podcast with Bill Shea, CEO of Direct Chassis Link Inc., and Johar.