In this growing age of trade and transportation, many shipping businesses are emerging as the vast opportunities in this realm cannot be easily overlooked by any young entrepreneur. Shipping businesses have immense value not only because of their large scale and vastness contribute considerably to a country’s economy, but the requirement of a large human force paves the way for larger job opportunities. However, just like any other industry, shipping businesses are also susceptible to many risks and threats, which can cause great loss to the company as well as the customers if appropriate safety measures are not planned.
Evaluation and elimination of risks are important aspects of a thriving shipping business. These can be done via risk mapping and building safety programs, respectively.
What is Risk Mapping?
A “Risk Map” is a data visualization tool widely used by various industries, different levels of an organization, various businesses, and projects that are created through the process of “risk mapping.” It helps businesses and organizations identify, prioritize, classify, and communicate any associated risks.
Risk mapping can help facilitate the exploration of ingenuity in a company, prepare for emergencies, and lay the foundations for any further planning.
How to Map Out Risks
Since a risk map is only a data visualization tool, it can be created in any way that is deemed best by you. A risk map should be meaningful, comprehensible, and clearly defined. A common type of risk map is the “impact versus likelihood” representation.
By listing out and analyzing the various potential risks of your business, you can classify them based on their impact and probability of occurrence. This will help you get started in the creation of a risk map.
It is important to heed that a risk map is different from a risk profile since the two can sometimes, mistakenly, be used interchangeably. Risk mapping is a qualitative analysis that is made using assumptions and brainstorming, unlike risk profile, which is a quantitative analysis created using adequate data.
What Risks Could My Business Face?
Different businesses are gullible to different threats. Even if there are common threats, their impact and likelihood will probably not be the same for every organization. However, certain risks are preemptive.
- Trucking accidents
- Loss of merchandise
- Cyber theft
- Technology change
- Delay due to unfavorable weather
- Human error
1. Trucking Accidents
Trucks are relatively large vehicles that possess great inertia due to their mass. These traits of trucks, especially those with cargo, make them harder to handle and more susceptible to accidents. If your business is largely reliant on trucks, then you should certainly not disregard this aspect.
The usage of advanced dash camera in such vehicles can help to minimize accidents through advanced computation and data analysis.
2. Loss of Merchandise
Improper management and scale of the shipping business can lead to a loss of merchandise. This does not have any immediate effect on the company, but the loss usually belongs to the customers. However, it can cost the business its reputation in the long run.
Frequent loss of merchandise by a shipping company can lead to lawsuits that take a toll on the company. This can potentially harm the public relations of the company and sometimes eventually lead to its demise.
3. Cyber Theft
We live in a digital world. Most of the advanced and repetitive tasks are automated and digitized. This digitization widens the digital vulnerability of the company making it prone to attacks by hackers and cyber thieves, thus causing great losses to the company, which are often not realized until it is too late.
4. Technology Change
Many businesses resort to technology for effective operation. Failure to adapt to rapidly changing and advancing technology to meet consumer demands could be a setback in progress and prove advantageous to the competitors.
Hijacking is of particular concern to shipping businesses that employ sea routes via international waters. The looming crisis of terrorist organizations and pirates that are not easily spotted in the vastness of the oceans is a constant threat. Large container ships may be pirated and cost the company millions of dollars.
Using a device to track your assets can help you retrieve your shipment or asset if it is subjected to any form of theft or piracy.
6. Delay Due to Unfavorable Weather
The Earth’s weather is dynamic, more in some regions than others. Unfavorable weather can cause ships to remain at port and aircraft to remain in the hangar causing unexpected delays and loss of time and money to the company.
7. Human Error
The incorporation of even the world’s most sophisticated technology into the business can prove to be meritless if the human resource is not skilled or qualified enough to function as intended. Hence, it is crucial to employ the right personnel for the right tasks.
Customized Safety Program
Through a thorough analysis of risks and unmitigated brainstorming of ideas, you can create a customized safety program for your unique shipping business and curate them effectively.
Some prevailing safety programs to mitigate risks that can be tweaked according to your requirements are:
- Effective communication
- Technological redundancy
- Clear contracts
1. Effective Communication
Effective communication is essential for risk mitigation and management. Improper communication can lead to inaccurate deliveries, loss of cargo, and failure to observe potential threats. The entire workforce should be alert and ready to communicate clearly, quickly, and effectively all information by the means at their disposal.
Documenting all events and communication is vital to the company. It helps to make changes to the existing plans, create new plans, and also execute quantitative analyses of various aspects of the business.
3. Technological Redundancy
Technology is dynamic and also susceptible to human errors. A sudden downfall of one program can bring the company to a standstill. Hence, redundancy is an aspect of consideration.
4. Clear Contracts
Contracts with the customers or clients should be well defined and clear to uphold reputation, value, and relations. Loopholes in contracts may be exploited by consumers. It is of the essence that every party involved in the deal clearly understands all terms and conditions to avoid disputes.
The risks and the safety programs associated with a business are discrete to each business. Nevertheless, the risks and safety programs mentioned in this article are rather generic and can be tweaked to fit your own organization in addition to developing your own analysis and strategies or seeking the aid of a company like Samsara.