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Chain Reaction: NYSHEX’s Matt Marshall on the Importance of the Digitization of Logistics

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, Matt Marshall, SVP, commercial at NYSHEX, discusses how its technology unites shippers, carriers and NVOCCs through a digital platform that improves contract performance, strengthens relationships and reduces manual workload.  

Matt Marshall, SVP, commercial, NYSHEX  Courtesy

Name: Matt Marshall

Title: SVP, Commercial

Company: NYSHEX 

What is NYSHEX? What industries do you primarily serve?

NYSHEX is the digital infrastructure for global shipping. Its platform unites shippers, carriers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC) with a reliable, efficient and trusted system for global commerce.

NYSHEX provides shippers, carriers and NVOCCs with a shared system of records for contract performance and proactive allocation management, accurate performance tracking abilities and visibility into how shipper performance matches up against carrier contracts. 

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

Currently, many brands use different systems and definitions of contract performance than carriers, resulting in wasted time managing performance in spreadsheets and emails with old data. 

I believe modernizing supply chain processes will help retailers streamline their data to improve logistics operations overall. Additionally, shippers should use technology to save on freight costs, optimize contract performance and eliminate manual work. 

What is NYSHEX’s latest initiative?

Recently, we introduced the NYSHEX for carriers solution which brings together multiple data systems to provide a consolidated and accurate view of contract performance. This enables near real-time visibility and daily monitoring for carriers and shippers and is essential to accurately report on two-way enforceable contracts.

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?

NYSHEX’s platform gives partners quick wins to create efficiencies by updating data daily. We also provide standardized performance reporting for all types of commercial agreements, enabling partners to drill down into lane and booking-level detail to drive actionable insights. 

For longer plays, NYSHEX partners develop deeper transparency with their supply chain, protecting relationships with a shared system of record to avoid potential disagreements based on misaligned data from different sources.

What areas of logistics aren’t receiving the industry attention it deserves?

The digitization of logistics is not as high of a priority as it should be in the larger supply chain management conversation. Taking a step back from focusing on increasing capacity at overwhelmed points of a supply chain and adopting a long-term view to improve efficiency and forecasting is highly effective. Modernizing systems and data management practices are what provide the increased visibility and forecasting ability urgently needed in today’s competitive supply chain environment.

When it comes to supply chain logistics challenges, there are things companies can fix, and things that are beyond their control. How can the former help the latter?

Shippers have experienced the pain of unreliability in the global shipping market. Most allocation issues result from reactive allocation management strategies, leaving little time to develop an overall logistics strategy and making it challenging for companies to coordinate their supply chain. 

By proactively managing their ocean freight, contract companies can optimize contract performance and eliminate manual work. Integrating shippers’ data with data from carriers and NVOCCs improves both contract performance and proactive allocation management.

What about the all-important holiday season? What is your forecast for getting the right amount of goods to the right places on time?

Collaboration between carriers and shippers is key to ensuring the right amount of equipment and space is available at each port to keep cargo moving to their destinations as planned. This collaboration will enable shippers to have the visibility to proactively manage inventory.

This year, I expect shipping related to the holiday season will start earlier, and we have already seen indicators of that. Shippers are concerned about having enough inventory to meet demand and are adjusting their planning to account for the current state of their supply chains. Meanwhile, some carriers have already started adding peak surcharges to keep demand under control. 

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

Companies are starting to see supply chain efficiency as a competitive advantage. Shippers and carriers are taking steps to improve visibility and supply chain resiliency. While there are macroeconomic and labor-related headwinds in the near term, supply chains will overcome them, partially due to rising technology usage and the world gradually returning to normal in the post-pandemic era.

As the industry continues to modernize, I am optimistic that the state of supply chains will improve.