What is the Value of Freight Visibility for Freight Forwarders?
March 31, 2021
4 minutes read
Providing real-time freight visibility is no longer a weapon to gain a competitive edge for forwarders, rather it is a must. Because of its importance, freight visibility has continued to be one of freight forwarders’ top-priorities for investment. More and more shippers now take freight visibility for granted as it has become a norm in the B2C sector. As shippers have increasingly valued safe and secure transit for their shipments, freight visibility is becoming more critical than ever. The freight industry has been trying to create an information flow on the real-time location of transported goods for a long time now. Most forwarders rely on carriers’ websites that offer outdated and incomplete data generated only when the cargo reaches certain milestones, which can create logistics blindspots. In between the checkpoints that are not specific enough, freight forwarders lack the ability to track their shipments in real-time, whether carriers are providing the right service levels, and if there exist any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Without seeing the complete overview of the cargo status, forwarders will only become puzzled, limiting their ability to optimize forwarding operations. Gaining real-time, precise, and complete data on the location and status of the cargo enables forwarders to manage exceptions proactively.
Real-Time Freight Visibility: It’s All About The Transparency
While the need for better and more precise freight visibility has always been around for a long time, the technological invention that could help revolutionize the freight forwarding industry was missing. Thankfully, with the increasing availability of IoT technologies and big data analysis, high shipment transparency can be achieved today. Real-Time Transparency in The Following Aspects:
Is the container on a particular vessel?
Has the vessel left the port of departure?
What is the estimated arrival time of the vessel at the port of destination?
Has the vessel arrived at the port of destination?
With real-time transparency, forwarders can make seamless use of tracking information to help improve forwarding processes, forecasting, and business planning. Furthermore, it allows forwarders to improve on-time deliveries and respond more quickly to customer’s demands and potential issues.
Benefits of Enhancing or Gaining Freight Visibility
In freight forwarding, a lack of visibility can create inefficiencies that impact the whole forwarding operation process. This, for instance, results in preventable costs in the form of detention and demurrage fees. Freight forwarders lose large amounts of money due to operational inefficiencies and manual planning processes. The inefficient planning and practices can lead to an escalation of hidden costs. End-to-end freight visibility allows everything from the early planning stage through final delivery to be tracked and traced with precision. Forwarders can locate and check on the status of shipments, and predict the ETA of the shipment’s journey. Freight visibility helps handle disruptions, allowing managers to make faster decisions, measure impacts, and increase efficiency in the forwarding processes. Other benefits include fewer freight claim issues and improved customer satisfaction levels. Differentiate yourself from your competitors with freight visibility to gain a competitive edge and boost your revenue. “With time, forwarders are increasingly realizing that real-time freight visibility and revenue level rise side by side.”
Real-Time Freight Visibility Solution
Reading this far, you may be wondering if there are any solutions that offer complete freight visibility. GoFreight is one of the few that offers competitive real-time tracking solutions for forwarders. Milestones are well defined to standardize the container operations, digitizing and facilitating the shipment management. All the important and necessary information tracking points are simplified and contained inside the milestones. Container information is updated automatically via the integration of EDI & API. Thus, forwarders will not need to repetitively check on carrier sites manually. Different from the delayed and inaccurate tracking data given by carrier websites, with GoFreight you will be notified with every change of your shipment in time, reducing the risk of detention & demurrage fees.
Customer expectation and demands are changing at a faster pace
Due to the growing competition in the forwarding industry, customers have more choices of forwarding services. New opportunities have given shippers the freedom to demand better and faster service. Clients are now intolerant of late deliveries or unnoticed delays, which can have a detrimental effect on the productivity of a supply chain. For instance, a factory might have to stay idle in order to compensate; clients may face inventory shortages when needed. With end-to-end freight visibility, shippers will be able to make plans beforehand and be more prepared to face the impacts of late shipments. If forwarders can provide complete transparent freight visibility, the customer satisfaction level will increase as customers appreciate the service of freight visibility.
Freight Visibility a Growth Opportunity on Both Sides: Forwarders and Shippers
In a business that is dynamic, complex, and still involved a lot of manual processes, technology is essential in automating operations to increase efficiency, productivity, and flexibility. Utilizing real-time tracking with full freight visibility allows forwarders and shippers to make shipment forecasts, allowing them to plan accordingly and understand which operations of their business should be prioritized. Freight visibility empowers forwarders and shippers to know if their containers or cargos are exposed to any risks, and track shipments as they move through every point. Transparency in the forwarding process is the foundation that will allow both parties to leverage resources to the maximum production capabilities and efficiency. At the end of the day, a complete view of shipment status within the supply chain network will lead to increased opportunities in cost-saving and business growth.