Shippers traversing multiple carrier sites to submit SOLAS VGM declarations may be vulnerable to security risks, data errors and unnecessary delays

Many Arrows of Opportunity
Trade Tech recommends shippers to use centralized cloud-based portals, like its Syrinx™ e-Shipping Portal (Syrinx), to submit SOLAS VGM declarations to carriers. Syrinx, which is connected to virtually all carriers, is significantly more efficient than using multiple carrier portals and has the added benefits of increased security and reduced risk of data entry errors. Experience how simple it is here.

 

Since the SOLAS VGM regulation went into effect, many shippers are resorting to carrier portals to submit their VGM declarations. As a result of using this VGM submission method, shippers that work with multiple carriers are required to create multiple logins and manually enter information into multiple carrier websites for each shipment.  In order to check the status of VGM declaration submissions, shippers must login to each carrier website. This time-consuming process continues to reduce productivity as shippers typically use a number of carriers. In addition to the tedious task of entering data into multiple sites, the shipper is more vulnerable to data entry errors as well as their sensitive information being hacked.
Trade Tech co-founder and CEO Bryn Heimbeck says, “It has been shippers’ initial response to use carrier portals to submit their VGM declarations because they’re free. However, there is a real inconvenience of doing business this way. For example, if a shipper does business with 15 carriers, they’re going to suffer from the extensive amount of time and effort it takes to manually enter those declarations for each shipment in 15 different carrier portals. While the carrier portals may not cost money per se, this process costs shippers’ time, which in the end is money. This is why we strongly recommend the use of one centralized, secure cloud-based portal for VGM submissions.”

By using a single, centralized, cloud-based portal that is connected to multiple carriers, such as Syrinx, shippers benefit from the following:

  • One secure login to submit the VGM for all their shipments, regardless of carrier.
  • Ability to check the status of each VGM submission in real-time by only logging into one platform.
  • Increased efficiency and reduced risk of data entry errors by only keying data once.
  • Reduced security risks by having one secure portal and login.
Unique benefits specific to the Trade Tech solution include the system’s robust validation process which, as an example, provides an auto-populate process for trading partner information, ensuring data consistency throughout the supply chain. In addition to VGM submissions, Syrinx has the capability for shippers to submit various security filings, including Automated Manifest System (AMS) filings, Importer Security Filings (ISF), Japan Customs Advance Filing Rules (AFR), Canada Advance Commercial Information (ACI) and Canada eManifest simultaneously, plus Automated Export System (AES) filings. These filings are naturally integrated into a single interface.

Japan, China, U.S. Ports Seen at Highest Catastrophe Risk

Photo: Port of New Orleans.Maersk New OrleansInsurers have studied the high risk from natural disasters occurring at the world’s ports. Similarly they are assessing the higher risk of mis-declared cargo weights on container ships; a potential man-made disaster.

We note that presently

  1. All around the globe, SOLAS VGMs data is being collected incorrectly and non-compliant, if at all.
  2. As the insurance think tanks are doing studies of weight declarations pre-VGM and post-VGM implementation, they will undoubtedly find discrepancies between declared and actual weights.
  3. The Bloomberg article, below,  states that the risk per port is $2 billion, yet the cost of one manmade disaster alone, in Tianjin, exceeded $3 billion and the tragic loss of more than 170 lives.

By Agnel Philip

(Bloomberg) — Ports in Japan, China and the U.S. face the greatest financial risk from natural disasters because of their vulnerable locations and increasing cargo volumes, a risk-management firm said.

Nagoya, Japan, leads all ports with a potential $2.3 billion cost to insurers from a one-in-500-year event because of the threat from earthquakes and windstorms, RMS Inc., a risk-modeling firm, said Monday in a statement. Guangzhou, China, is second at $2 billion, the company said, citing the possibility of wind-related losses and the dangers involving petroleum products and autos. RMS said satellite images and analysis of cargo types and storage methods helped modernize risk assessments.

“Outdated techniques and incomplete data have obscured many high-risk locations,” Chris Folkman, director of product management at RMS, said in the statement. “The industry needs to cease its guessing game when determining catastrophe risk and port accumulations.”

Tianjin Disaster

The report was released a year after the Tianjin port explosion in China, a man-made disaster that led to more than $3 billion in claims after damaging property, disrupting supply chains and killing more than 170 people. RMS’s analysis, which also considers the amount of time cargo stays in port, found that the increased use of standardized shipping containers increased the amount of goods exposed to damage. Ships and ports have grown bigger to accommodate the containers.

Takahiro Ono, risk management supervisor at Nagoya Port Authority, said planning for possible catastrophes is a priority.

‘Safe and Secure’

“We’ve been preparing for emergencies and disaster on a daily basis to ensure a safe and secure port,” he said.

U.S. ports at the Gulf of Mexico held six of the top 10 spots, led by Plaquemines and New Orleans in Louisiana, because of their exposure to hurricanes. The country’s other locations on the list are Pascagoula, Mississippi; Beaumont, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Houston.

Catastrophe costs tied to wildfires in the oil-producing region of Canada and storms in the U.S. cut profits at insurers including Chubb Ltd. and XL Group Ltd. this year. Travelers Cos. said second-quarter net income fell to its lowest since 2012 in part because of the fires.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P