Ocean container tracking sounds like a complex capability to implement. However, an API-first approach makes this visibility possible with minimal effort from the shipper, beneficial cargo owner (BCO), logistics service provider (LSP), or freight forwarder. APIs provide quality, accessible data through no-code implementation or the option to build into an app or integrate with supply chain partners. Prioritizing the API as the technical foundation makes an easy way to get up and running quickly and simply with container tracking capabilities.
The Power of an API-First Approach for Faster Onboarding
To understand the motivation for using an API-first approach, consider what API stands for—application programming interface. It is an interface between different types of applications and data. All functionalities must first be built into the API as a component that may be integrated with any system. An API designed this way gives flexibility for implementation and interactions with any web or mobile application. If the API were built as an afterthought, secondary to the coding of the application, it would only be a window to the application. It could have limitations in providing a complete picture of the app’s functionality. With an API-first approach, the API is established as the root of the functionality.
One advantage of this approach is a fast-onboarding process. The API is simple to use, even with no code-low code implementation. This is thanks to its compatibility with other systems and the fact that it has its own framework, not relying on another coding for its capabilities. Users can easily be set up in under 60 minutes.
Why Container Tracking Systems Should be Easy to Use and Provide ROI Quickly
APIs allow container tracking to be more accessible than ever. For some companies, it replaces the need for users to log onto carrier platforms and search for data, and it doesn’t add another system for companies to adopt to access this data. Instead, the API provides the data where the user needs it by integrating it into their system of choice or using a no-code platform that pushes updates to a spreadsheet.
For shippers and BCOs, the return on investment comes from better management of their cargo—knowing the real-time location and status to manage purchase orders and inventory and reduce risk, which lends itself to the support of customer relationships.
LSPs and freight forwarders can offer quality visibility to their customers and benefit from visibility internally, finding capacity that helps costs and customer satisfaction.
Logistic tech providers offering container tracking can stand out from the competition without the need to invest in a time-intensive and costly solution built in-house.
3 Ways to Use a Container Tracking API
No-code container tracking is as easy as it gets in terms of implementation. All that is needed is an API key and a Google spreadsheet that will receive the data. No-code automation needs a Zapier account to trigger events like emails, SMS messages, or pushing data to another solution.
Companies looking to build their own application and take an API-first approach must decide between building the API internally or using an off-the-shelf API. The latter gives significant time and cost savings, and they get maintenance and support from the API provider.
API technology can be integrated with supply chain partners to give all parties the value of container tracking visibility. Data entry occurs only once and is then available in real-time as a single source of truth.
Onboarding Should be Straightforward and Provide Value
Your introduction to container tracking should include value for your company within the onboarding process, where the visibility provider gets to know your needs and determines the best fit. The focus should be on your specific desired outcomes and the requirements to achieve this. VIZION is committed to providing proof of concept, support for more complex applications as our customers need, and evidence of data quality versus simple functionality. We value our customers and listen to their needs to support their ongoing success.
Use an API-First Approach for Easy Onboarding
An API-first approach gives the advantages of flexibility and adaptability to any need, whether using a no-code option, building an application, or connecting with logistics service providers. The implementation process is inherently simple with APIs, and by using a provider like VIZION, shippers, BCOs, freight forwarders, and tech providers get additional support with onboarding and beyond. For complete, real-time container tracking visibility, reach out to VIZION today to schedule a demo.