With ongoing supply chain issues continuing to disrupt the logistics industry, it’s more vital than ever for shippers to understand precisely how and when their shipments arrive at their destination.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, shippers have seen the consequences of poor transportation visibility: as Forbes recounts, “Last October, over 100 ships, including 70 container ships, were waiting at anchor or in drift zones to unload at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.”
The Long Beach pileup, though an exceptional example, represents a common problem in today’s ocean shipping industry. Port congestion results from poor transportation visibility, a constant pain point in today’s ocean logistics industry. With real-time transportation visibility enabled by API-equipped real-time visibility providers, shippers can access the data they need to regain control of their logistics.
Where and Why Does Visibility Fall Short?
Conventional notions of real-time transportation visibility generally stop at the shipping vessel. However, once containers are off-loaded, they’re effectively invisible to the shipper. Without visibility that follows containers off their ships, it’s impossible to maintain full supply chain visibility.
By partnering with port operators through API technology, shippers can avoid common visibility pitfalls and maintain visibility throughout their logistics process.
Carriers Are Working to Increase Transportation Visibility
Some carriers are already taking steps to increase real-time transportation visibility using technology. Hapag-Lloyd, one of the largest ocean carriers, recently announced that they “will equip [their] entire container fleet with real-time tracking devices.” With over 3 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd’s decision to invest in real-time freight tracking represents the emergence of a major industry trend.
Though the largest industry player yet to invest in real-time freight tracking for its container fleet, Hapag-Lloyd is not alone in its desire for increased transportation visibility. In 2022, Talk Business, reporting on a carrier selection-criteria survey, wrote that among shippers, manufacturers, and retailers, “real-time visibility was ranked higher than factors such as customer service, safety record, and geographical coverage.”
By partnering with real-time visibility providers now, carriers can prepare their businesses for a rapidly transforming logistics landscape.
Shippers Need Ocean Freight Container Visibility to Plan Next Moves
Behind shippers’ demand for greater transportation visibility is the complex, interconnected nature of the logistics industry. By increasing real-time transportation visibility, shippers can avoid inefficiencies at the port and better prepare for drayage — the shorter journeys often taken by freight over land. Real-time freight tracking, integrated into an easy-to-use API, allows businesses to make real-time decisions to address real-world logistics challenges.
All Ocean Shipments Inherently Involve Other Modes
But even once a freight asset is well beyond the port — riding on a flatbed somewhere in middle America or stuck in a rail yard — it’s still vital that shippers have a complete, real-time understanding of its place within an internal logistics process.
With real-time transportation visibility, complex steps of the shipping process, such as LCL deconsolidation, can be easily tracked. Partnering with real-time visibility providers allows shippers the freedom and flexibility of complete transportation visibility.
Geofencing Data Is Starting to Make Waves in Container Visibility Too
With transportation visibility and container tracking solutions on much of the logistics industry's mind, it makes sense to take a moment to look at another game-changing technology in the real-time transportation visibility space: Geofencing.
Geofencing is a software solution that creates a virtual fence around a logistics hub, whether a port, trainyard, warehouse, or shipment center. When a tracker-equipped freight asset passes through the virtual border, a notification is sent to all parties within the logistics arrangement.
When integrated into an advanced tracking API, geofencing and other supply chain technology redefining the logistics industry are poised to be a vital component in improving real-time transportation visibility.
Container Level Visibility Helps Mitigate Delays Caused by Port Congestion
By partnering with an API-enabled real-time visibility provider, shippers can use real-time freight tracking to regain control of their logistics. Contact Vizion to schedule a demo today and discover how real-time transportation visibility can revolutionize your logistics.