When information is fractured in its reliability or structure, it opens up the potential for communication breakdowns. Collaboration happens best when communication is consistent, terms are defined and applied equally, and the message stays uniform in its conveyance to all stakeholders. After years of watching the delicate nature of supply chains during the pandemic, shippers have learned that new ways of optimizing collaboration benefit their supply chain resilience.
Opportunities for enhanced collaboration are lost when information and communication channels are fragmented—a lack of real-time visibility and data sharing among parties results in delayed and inefficient decision-making.
These communication and collaboration issues often appear at intermodal exchange points as a vessel transitions from one mode to another. For effective intermodal collaboration, rail container tracking is integrated into an end-to-end visibility strategy allowing shippers to provide all stakeholders with the assurances they need from the process’s beginning to end.
To Optimize Collaboration, Smart Shippers Start with End-to-End Intermodal Container Tracking
Stakeholder collaboration is enhanced when integrated rail tracking ensures visibility throughout all transportation modes. Using an API with integrated rail tacking makes data integration seamless, and sharing uniform information becomes possible through real-time push notifications. All stakeholders gain access to real-time visibility without needing calls to get updates.
When all stakeholders have access to uniform real-time information, communication becomes streamlined. If a decision needs to be made, all parties go into the process equally informed. The right reactions result faster.
Integrated Rail Tracking Offers Shippers Key Benefits for Dynamic Supply Chains
Shippers wanting to realize the cost, security, and sustainability benefits of intermodal shipping were often hindered by the lack of visibility once freight reached the railyard. It wasn’t enough to have real-time visibility while their cargo was on the truck only to have it enter a void when moving to rail.
The only way to truly see the benefits of intermodal transport was to extend visibility to the tracks and track rail.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Shippers cannot make correct decisions to maximize efficiency when real-time tracking ends at the railyard. “Eyes on” for only part of the journey is only marginally impactful if the most extended leg of the trip is dark.
When all stakeholders can access unified real-time information, they can adapt their operational expectations to balance changes. Because they receive data without the need for time-consuming and often inaccurate calling, they focus on operational performance instead of trying to figure out what is happening.
Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility and Transparency
The supply chain isn’t truly visible and transparent if visibility and transparency only extend across specific modes of transport. Only once the entire supply chain is visible can shippers and stakeholders understand the interplay between modes, discover areas for improvement, and appropriately adapt their strategies to grow supply chain resiliency.
Adding real-time rail visibility opens up total supply chain visibility and transparency required for effective collaboration.
Reduction in Exceptions and Fees
Supply chains are inherently complex. With the addition of every mode, partner, or milestone, complexity grows exponentially. If not caught in time, an exception at one leg of the journey can quickly become a cascade of adverse events. If the exception is known in real-time, shippers can react quickly and become proactive to prevent other cascading impacts.
Also, railyard fees can add up, often faster than port container fees. Knowing when a container is sitting in a yard is crucial to keeping shipping costs low.
Without rail tracker visibility, if an exception occurred after the freight entered the rail yard, knowledge of that event might come hours late, leaving shippers unable to react in real time and start planning to ensure extended delays and costs are mitigated.
Knowing what is happening with their rail freight now allows shippers to work to reduce other future exceptions and fees immediately.
Collaboration Can’t Be Partial–Visibility Must Be Total
Complex supply chains aren’t managed with partial information; collaboration doesn’t happen if only half the information is presented. Shippers wishing to benefit from intermodal transportation's savings, sustainability, and safety must have integrated railcar tracking to receive and share information across their freight’s entire journey.
Once all stakeholders have a complete and unified view of the supply chain, they achieve optimum collaboration, which allows them to reduce fees, plan for and prevent exceptions, and open up time for operational efficiency gains. True end-to-end intermodal container tracking offers new ways to see, analyze, and improve supply chains, fostering more effective collaboration and resiliency.
VIZION API easily integrates rail tracking with shippers’ existing tech stacks to give them total supply chain visibility. Shippers can realize intermodal freight transport's savings, sustainability, and safety benefits without a void leaving them in the dark. Intermodal collaboration becomes effective, with all stakeholders brought into the loop about the status of the container.
Book a demo with VIZION API today to see total supply chain visibility and effective collaboration in action.