We know that an electronic data interchange can work wonders for many businesses around the world, but we are also learning that if you look into the benefits of EDI shipping companies are some of those who can benefit most. In fact shipping and transportation companies can find even higher levels of success through the use of EDI systems and that is why we are seeing more and more of these businesses looking to upgrade their operations in this way. Let’s take a look at exactly what electronic data interchange is doing for the shipping and the transport industry.
Breaking It Down
EDI is the exchange of data electronically between tow points and this is actually not something which is new for the transport industry. As early as 1965 we saw electronic messages sent in this fashion by the Holland-America steam ship line, at the time it wasn’t even known as EDI. The technology has of course moved and advanced over the years and it is now faster and more accurate than ever before.
The area within transportation and logistics where we have seen the most use of EDI is in the haulage area, with transportation businesses looking to utilize this technology for document exchange. The benefits are crystal clear here, no more paper means less environmental impacts, not to mention the speed and the accuracy of sending such documentation. Owing to the importance of records within this industry the electronic data ensures that no documentation is lost, and it can be recalled if there is an issue with a certain load or product. On top of this we see massive volumes of documentation within this sector and that is another benefit of using EDI in this setting.
The coded language which is used in the transportation and shipping industry is how they are able to ensure that messages and communications are correctly received and understood, and it helps to streamline the EDI operation. For example a 990 is a ‘Response to the Load Tender’ which is used by motor carriers to indicate if it will collect a particular shipment which had been previously offered by the shipper. This transaction is generated in response to a 204 transaction, which is a Motor Carried Load Tender. These are known as transactional sets and they ensure high quality and speedy communication.
We know that there are benefits in terms of volume and speed but companies using EDI are also able to come good on their environmental promises, they can save vast sums of money with this system and they can also ensure that relationships between themselves and other clients remains positive thanks to the accuracy of the process.
Back in 1965 there was no such term as electronic data interchange, today it is used by almost 80% of the companies within the logistics, shipping and transportation sector, and this system only looks set to continue and advance as the years progress.
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