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Chain Reaction: Brett Parker on EDRAY’s Collaborative Port Logistics Platform

Chain Reaction is Sourcing Journal’s discussion series with industry executives to get their take on today’s logistics challenges and learn about ways their company is working to keep the flow of goods moving. Here, Brett Parker, chief commercial officer at EDRAY, discusses how its technology provides current container logistics data, giving brands a boost over their competition.

Brett Parker, chief commercial officer, EDRAY Courtesy

Name: Brett Parker

Title: Chief Commercial Officer

Company: EDRAY  

What is EDRAY? What industries do you primarily serve?

EDRAY, the collaborative port logistics platform (CPL), offers a unique service and destination management to ensure containers move from the port to their final location in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. This reduces delays and excess costs such as demurrage. EDRAY layers in a drayage marketplace to provide capacity when and where it is needed, including a full suite of innovation, which is where EDRAY was originally founded (street turns, peel piles, demurrage and detention reduction).

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Additionally, EDRAY services beneficial cargo owners (BCO) and exporters who have the most complex supply chains—the more ports of entry, the more distribution centers, the quicker the return on investment (ROI) and the more value EDRAY adds. Some of the high-volume U.S. importers EDRAY serves are: Tesla, Samsung, Crate & Barrel, Moen, Burlington, Office Depot, BarkBox, Peloton and HanesBrands.

When it comes to creating efficiencies, there are quick wins and longer plays. What are a few things your company is doing to help its partners succeed on both fronts?  

EDRAY’s drayage marketplace is a quick win since it’s always available, providing year-round drayage capacity for importers or serving as a backup when shippers’ drayage providers need help.

The EDRAY CPL platform provides real-time container logistics data that allows shippers to access item and SKU level information for every container. Over time, shippers improve supply chain planning, inventory management and distribution centers are better able to plan for labor and management of inbound shipments.

Which industry do you think has the most to teach fashion about improving their supply chain logistics?

[All] brands that are growing fast and need help managing growth are a great sector to learn from. Scaling up supply chain organizations is difficult and takes a lot of expertise that many of these companies don’t have at the get-go. The fashion industry can learn from these native online brands because they understand the need to leverage outside tech and expertise to grow cost effectively.  

What are the main things brands and retailers could do (or stop doing) right now that would immediately improve logistics?

Visibility is great, but without clean and actionable data, it’s useless. Ensuring data is available and correct in real-time gives brands a leg up over their struggling competition.

Becoming a best-in-class shipper requires breaking down bad or antiquated practices of the past. Providing advanced, timely communication and forecasting ensure that organizations get actionable data and service when it matters most.

Additionally, a proactive approach to managing inbound containers and consistently communicating with all supply chain partners significantly improves performance. If organizations are not set up for this—as most are not—partnering with a company that can bolster a logistics organization will return immediate ROI.   

What areas do you think have continued to impact the smooth flow of cargo?

One area that has continued to impact the smooth flow of cargo is data quality. Container shipment data is notorious for lacking standards, being incomplete and inaccurate. That’s why EDRAY validates container data to address unintentional mistakes or missing information that can delay shipments and add costs. 

Scrubbing shipment and transport data such as the standard carrier alpha code (SCAC), estimated time of arrival, terminal listings, arrival dates, gate out dates and more, helps confirm compliance, reduce unnecessary costs and foster good communication with all stakeholders.

What is your company doing to make the movement of goods more sustainable?  

EDRAY’s collaborative approach with cargo owners, drayage companies, steamship lines and ports improves velocity in and out of ports, increases industry capacity and reduces unnecessary carbon emissions, which occur when drayage trucks idle at marine terminals.

Are you optimistic about the state of supply chains in the next few years?  

Shippers have learned to better manage supply chain risk by building greater resiliency in their supply chain and diversifying sourcing locations. Additionally, through more collaborative, integrated supply chain systems, shippers are achieving access to key data points that enable time and cost savings and improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

I believe global supply chains will continue to evolve and improve by taking advantage of digital solutions and the global interconnectedness of trade.