As the shipping industry begins using the new opportunities that technology presents, collecting data is key for smarter decision-making and increasing efficiency in operations. The collection, analysis and smart usage of big data have the ability to drive transparency across the industry and provide new ways of monetization for various service providers such as NVOCCs, Traders and Carriers amongst others.
What is big data?
Big data is data sets that are so big and complex that traditional data-processing application software is inadequate to deal with them. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, information privacy and data source. The concept of “Big data” gained momentum in the early 2000s when industry analyst Doug Laney defined big data as the three Vs:
Volume: Organizations collect data from a variety of sources, including business transactions, social media and information from sensor or machine-to-machine data.
Velocity: Data streams at an unprecedented speed and must be dealt with in a timely manner. RFID tags, sensors and smart metering are driving the need to deal with torrents of data in near-real time.
Variety: Data comes in all types of formats – from structured, numeric data in traditional databases to unstructured text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data and financial transactions.
Nowadays, the three Vs have been further expanded to more complementary aspects of big data:
Machine learning: big data often don’t ask why and simply detects patterns
Digital footprint: big data is often a cost-free byproduct of digital interaction
How does big data apply to shipping?
For ocean freight shipping, it’s more than just ‚look-back information‘ or say how many TEUs you shipped in May from Shanghai to Hamburg. The shipping industry generates roughly 100-120 million data points every day, from ports, couriers, social media feeds, vessel movements – the potential is huge!
What big data can do is help you identify quicker routes, better ports to deliver at, more efficient couriers. This means that a good use of big data could lead to an increase in revenue and performance of your company.