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New NYSHEX Data Tool Promises Greater Visibility Into Container Slot Availability

Ira Breskin
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August 22, 2022

By Ira Breskin,

The New York Shipping Exchange now offers performance-monitoring software. 

NYSHEX’s first commercial software product, introduced earlier month, allows shippers to ascertain whether ocean carriers likely will provide container slots booked or reserved with them as far back as one year.

The software matches a carrier’s confirmed booking against a reservation, or pending booking, pointing out any shortfall or misalignment. Essentially, it gives shippers better visibility into short to medium-term container slot availability. 

NYSHEX Allocation Management software directly addresses a critical, long-standing challenge for shippers of container cargo and their carriers: reliance on imperfect capacity allocation. 

Moreover, Covid-19 supply chain snafus have further challenged capacity allocation efforts. 

NYSHEX software essentially helps shippers gauge the likelihood of the contracted service being provided; it does not address capacity allocation planning methodology, Matthew Marshall, NYSHEX’s senior vice president, commercial, said during a recent interview. 

The Saas (Software as a Service) tool, that NYSHEX developed internally, is the first of series of capacity allocation management modules that it plans to introduce later this month, Marshall said. 

It is also NYSHEX’s first commercial software offering. 

To date, seven-year-old NYSHEX has run a neutral booking exchange for containership capacity. Its contracts promote reliability through enforcement of strict contract terms that include fixed penalties for failure of either shippers or carriers to meet performance guarantees. 

Additional NYSHEX software modules will help other supply chain partners — carriers and third-parties such as freight forwarders and NVOCCs (NonVessel Operating Common Carriers) — improve capacity allocation, Marshall said. 

NYSHEX’s shipper-centric software reconciles a shipper’s pending booking request with a carrier’s confirmed booking. The confirmation offers reasonable assurance that the carrier will provide the contracted service. 

“This is a designed solution for shippers,” Marshall said.      

Typically, shippers seek booking confirmation about six to eight weeks before a scheduled sailing, Marshall said. That is the timeframe when accurate supply chain visibility becomes imperative to shippers and consignees and gives each adequate time to adjust bookings to correct any misalignment, Marshall said. 

NYSHEX charges an undisclosed annual fee to lease the software, Marshall said. There also is one-time installation fee to format contracts, as well as a discounted, volume-based usage charge, starting at less than $10 per TEU, he said. 

Shippers can upload their capacity allocations, often generated by ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, into NYSHEX’s confirmation tool. 

NYSHEX allocation management software is among the first such non-proprietary products offered. However, some Transportation Management Software packages include a similar module.  

Also, at least one major international freight forwarder uses allocation management software, Marshall said. 

Ira Breskin is a senior lecturer at State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx, NY and author of The Business of Shipping (9th edition, 2018), a primer that explains shipping economics, operations and regulations.

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