Ocean shippers turn to e-invoicing to cut costs [survey]

February 26, 2013  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing, Research

What impressive machines they are: cargo ships. Massive and awe-inspiring. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world’s seas and oceans each year; they handle the bulk of international trade. Pollution? What’s that? A new band? Keeping such a giant afloat must be expensive business, especially in the last four years of economic volatility. Carriers and shippers are seeking new ways to reduce costs. INTTRA’s global study shows that they have now moored at the island of e-invoicing. Let the reduction of cost commence!

E-invoicing grows in popularity

INTTRA’s 2012 e-Invoicing survey participants included more than 30 high volume ocean shippers and freight forwarders, including 4 of the top 5 freight forwarders in TEU volume. The survey was conducted through the fall of 2012 via one-on-one interviews and electronic surveys with Director and above executives from Commercial, IT and Finance. The study found that:

  • 81% of respondents want to receive invoices electronically in 2013.
  • 77% rate “managing disputes” as their greatest invoicing challenge, with reducing the “time and cost to process invoices” as a close second at 68%.

Errors and disputes reduction

Reduction of errors and disputes as a cost-cutting method remains the top driver of increased demand for e-Invoicing in 2013. Survey respondents readily agreed: 93% want to manage disputes electronically. Today’s invoice error rates are estimated between 20-25% of all freight invoices. This results in delays and non-payment for carriers and drains time and resources for both parties who must work together to process and resolve these discrepancies.


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