Thanks in no small part to the e-commerce industry and companies such as Amazon, customer expectations regarding the ability to track the location and status of shipments have never been higher. However, monitoring the step-by-step journey of ocean freight isn't quite as simple as tracking an individual package that is shipped domestically. Or at least it didn't use to be. With help from real-time container visibility and tracking solutions such as VIZION API, freight forwarders can proactively provide their customers with location and status updates, improving the customer experience and setting themselves apart from the competition.
How Real-Time Container Visibility Improves the Customer Experience
Let's start with the obvious; customers working with freight forwarders to ship large quantities of goods need to know when their cargo will arrive for a variety of important reasons. Knowing when a shipment will arrive is vital to managing logistic operations such as scheduling pickup and inland transport, maintaining an effective inventory management strategy, and nurturing partnerships with other organizations.
Traditionally, shippers and BCOs have had to rely on carrier ETAs to predict when their ocean freight will be ready for pickup. Unfortunately, carrier ETAs are notoriously unreliable, with most carriers tending to underestimate how long it will take them to deliver cargo. If carrier ETAs are the only information you can provide as a freight forwarder, the chances are that you are going to end up with a lot of unhappy customers.
Thanks to real-time container visibility and tracking solutions such as VIZION API, it is now possible for freight forwarders to provide their customers with accurate and timely ocean freight tracking updates. VIZION API pushes organized and standardized real-time container tracking data to any software system or spreadsheet. This allows freight forwarders to always have an accurate answer when a customer asks where their freight is and when it will arrive or to create customer-facing tracking portals where customers can track their own shipments anytime they want.
In an industry where competition is becoming increasingly fierce, it is essential for freight forwarders to distinguish their services from those of their competitors — and improving the customer experience via real-time container tracking is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.
Additional Benefits of Container Visibility
Along with improving customer satisfaction by allowing customers to always know where their cargo is and when it will arrive, real-time container visibility offers several other benefits to freight forwarders.
VIZION API enables freight forwarders to automatically receive tracking events such as:
- Ocean freight tracking
- Ocean exception alerts
- Enhanced locations
- Enhanced terminal visibility
- Vessel verification
- Vessel tracking and live ETAs
- Complete customs data
This wealth of information empowers freight forwarders to more easily find capacity on vessels, ensure high on-time arrival rates, decrease their trade finance costs, decrease their reliance on costly alternate modes, and much more.
The Challenges of Real-Time Container Visibility
In the past, the biggest challenge of real-time container visibility has been the lack of solutions available. If freight forwarders wanted to acquire a solution for real-time container tracking, they were required to build the solution themselves from the ground up — often spending years of time and a small fortune in the process.
With VIZION, however, freight forwarders can now receive turnkey API access to the most complete, standardized, and detailed container tracking events. It's a solution that takes a matter of days to implement instead of years and one that costs a fraction of the price tag associated with working with a development firm to build a custom solution. By dramatically reducing the time and expense it takes to build custom container tracking solutions, VIZION solves the biggest challenge that has long kept freight forwarders from enjoying the many benefits of real-time container visibility.
Achieve Real-Time Container Visibility with VIZION API
If you would like to start boosting customer satisfaction by ensuring that you have all answers to your customers' questions, our industry-leading real-time container tracking solution is the perfect choice for you. To learn more about the many benefits VIZION API provides to freight forwarders, contact us today!