More shippers and BCOs are recognizing the growing need for container tracking data and the need for an easy way to handle this data to work seamlessly with existing workflows. The demand is for an API to allow better access to container tracking, and to use the data, they need data mapping.
Data mapping helps shippers and BCOs receive and utilize various container-tracking data sources in a form that serves them. The good thing is the mapping process needs only to happen once for it to be used continuously while receiving data from outside sources. It sets a foundation for quality and accessible freight data.
The Role of Data Mapping Shipment Data via Container Tracking API
Data mapping is the process of aligning multiple sets of data. One or more sets come from an outside source, and the second internal set essentially defines each possible data point. These multiple data sets could have different types of information, terminology, or data structure. Data mapping is like describing a translation to use for a set of words — getting all data on the same page and in the same language. It aligns data sets as though they came from the same source and helps to ensure data is in a form that is cohesive, standardized, and usable.
Why is Data Mapping Important for Quality and Accessible Freight Data?
The mapping must be airtight, leaving no room for errors since all information that passes through the system depends on its reliability. If some data points get mapped to one term while equivalent data points from a different source are mapped to another, either of those final terms won’t represent the data accurately. If the terms were mistakenly mapped twice with another formatting, like an abbreviation for the same port name, each term would contain partial data. Users need the port name and formatting exactly correct to retrieve the data points for that port.
Data mapping aims to create a set of rules so the system can receive incoming data. With this approach, organizations can depend on outside companies providing the data and are not required to be experts in every field of data collection.
Shipment data is best delivered to shippers using an API. This technology allows users to easily work the API and new source of data insight into their existing workflows. They get an easy, time-saving method of accessing the data and the confidence of accurate and up-to-date information. The initial process of API implementation is simple and avoids other costly and time-intensive ways of communicating and mapping data.
The application is for shippers to have more and better shipment information that drives operational efficiency. With careful implementation, including data mappings, shippers collect accurate data and can come to the best decisions on how to move forward with the data given.
Use Cases of Data Mapping an API for Container Tracking in Logistics
Data mapping and shipment data provide ocean freight shippers with valuable information in the ideal delivery format through an API. With this solution, the API contributes to the following types of use cases.
- Replacing the need for manual, error-prone data collection.
- Increasing agility with standardized and enriched data.
- Providing visibility for various systems — ERP, TMS, WMS, etc.
- Supplying visibility to customers through web applications.
- Generating container status update reports.
- Informing analytics for better decision-making.
- Powering real-time alerts for any data changes, such as ETAs.
- Bringing clarity to detention and demurrage fees.
- Driving RPA (robotic process automation).
The digital transformation itself has a role of contributing to a shipper’s competitive advantage. The shipper gets access to more data than it ever had previously. Each dimension of data is an opportunity for insight and making operational improvements in ways not previously possible. Real-time, API-enabled container tracking not only provides benefits from the above list of use cases; it does so while being scalable, requiring fewer resources. It’s not simply an alternative tracking method; it’s a business advantage.
Unlike any other tool, an API injects real-time visibility directly into another supply chain solution. The user gets the benefit of container tracking embedded into the TMS or other systems, and with this easy access, the API adds value without creating friction in the workflow. At the same time, it can help enable automation, providing the quality data on which automation is entirely dependent.
The result is better resiliency that can increase confidence among stakeholders. With the best tracking data available and mapped to where it's needed for a simplified user experience, shippers can leverage this advantage to be more competitive in the market and deliver quality service to their customers.
Get the Benefits of Container Tracking in an API Made Simple
With an API informing you of exactly where your cargo is, your business gets in-depth visibility to allow you to make better decisions in response. You get the insight needed to reduce detention, demurrage, and other fees and gain a competitive advantage. VIZION API delivers reliability and quality, enriched data in an easy-to-implement solution. Book a demo with us today to learn more about how VIZION’s container tracking can power your business.