A new patent, U.S. Patent No. 11,461,731, was awarded to FourKites, for its unique ocean shipment innovations, which provide international shippers and their partners with complete visibility into all of the complex documentation requirements at every leg of every ocean shipment.
These capabilities give shippers the actionable intelligence and automation they need to quickly and easily identify and address any potentially missing, incorrect or incomplete supporting documentation, according to the company.
The need for this type of visibility is due to port congestion, vessel delays and incorrect or incomplete documentation are common challenges for ocean shippers, who routinely pay millions of dollars annually in demurrage and detention (D&D) fees. By integrating international documentation requirements with ocean freight visibility, this system automates the matching of specific documents with shipments, ensuring that time-sensitive ocean freight makes it through customs with correct and complete documentation at every stage of the journey.
"With this patented technology, international shippers can enjoy the benefits of easy access to the critical supply chain data they need to drive faster resolutions, proactively manage exceptions, and provide better reporting to their supply chain partners. This latest patent brings us one step closer to providing visibility into everything, everywhere,” said FourKites’ founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal.
Increased Demand for Visibility
Over the past few years, ocean shippers have faced unprecedented challenges. The first half of 2022 alone saw disruptions including COVID-19-related port shutdowns, container shortages, labor negotiations and new legislation — all of which resulted in persistent delays and congestion. According to FourKites’ Global Ocean Report for the first half of the year, average global ocean transit time peaked at nearly 50 days and, compared to the first half of 2021, transit times were 19% higher than last year.
In response, shippers have adopted solutions capable of providing end-to-end visibility and advanced functionality for managing global freight. Over the last 12 months, FourKites’ Dynamic Ocean — one of the most sophisticated ocean freight visibility solutions on the market — saw an 80% increase in customer growth, including adoption by major global brands such as Cardinal Health, Arizona Tile, LyondellBasell, McCain Foods, Roehm, Rove Concepts and Yamaha Motors. Over the same time period, FourKites’ ocean tracking volume has grown 240%. Through FourKites’ “Live in 5” program, new customers can expect to be operational on Dynamic Ocean in less than five days.
In addition to helping shippers reduce escalating D&D fees, FourKites’ advanced ocean analytics allow users to lower transportation costs by prioritizing containers that are about to accumulate fees, and analyze historical performance and bottlenecks to optimize ocean shipments. End-to-end exception management capabilities enable easy troubleshooting into container delays, as well as measurement of key metrics such as on-time delivery and detention costs.