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Freight Visibility: Why It’s Important

Maintaining freight visibility is foundational for shippers seeking to run effective transportation programs and provide a high level of service to its customers. Freight visibility is the ability to track, monitor, and manage shipments in real-time. We talk about why freight visibility is not just a buzzword, but a critical component for shippers aiming to be competitive in a volatile freight market.

Understanding Freight Visibility:

Supply chains often involve multiple stakeholders, diverse transportation modes, and complex routes. Without the right tools, shippers face foundational challenges in tracking the status and location of their shipments. This lack of insight can lead to delays, disruptions, and increased costs, jeopardizing customer relationships and loyalty.

The Benefits of Freight Visibility for Shippers:

  1. Real-Time Tracking and Monitoring: This helps answer the question of, “Where is my freight?” Freight Visibility solutions empowers shippers with real-time insights into the whereabouts of their shipments, allowing for proactive decision-making and timely intervention when freight goes off the happy path.
  2. Proactive Problem-Solving: By identifying potential issues early on, shippers can take proactive measures to mitigate risks and minimize shipping delays
  3. Enhanced Decision-Making: With access to comprehensive data and analytics, shippers can make informed decisions regarding a plethora of areas that impact your program including transportation routes, carrier selection, and resource allocation, optimizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  4. Improved Brand Enhancement with Customers: Reliable Freight Visibility enables shippers to provide accurate delivery estimates, proactive updates, and superior service, fostering trust and loyalty among customers.


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What Tools Can Help Improve Visibility?

  1. Transportation Management Systems (TMS): TMS software enables shippers to plan, execute, and optimize the movement of freight across their supply chain. TMS features include load planning, carrier selection, rate management, shipment tracking, and analytics capabilities. A TMS provides the raw data necessary to enable real-time visibility into freight movements, allowing shippers to monitor shipments, track performance metrics, and identify areas for improvement. While it is not a stand alone solution, it does provide a step in the right direction to enhancing operational and financial visibility.
  1. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): EDI enables the electronic exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notifications, between trading partners.By automating data exchange processes, EDI reduces manual errors, improves efficiency, and enhances visibility into transactions and inventory levels.Shippers can leverage EDI to streamline communication with carriers, suppliers, and customers, leading to faster response times and improved supply chain visibility.
  1. Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics leverages historical data, machine learning algorithms, and statistical modeling to forecast future trends, risks, and outcomes. Shippers can use predictive analytics to anticipate demand fluctuations, identify potential supply chain disruptions, and optimize transportation routes and inventory levels.
  1. Blockchain Technology: Blockchain offers a decentralized and immutable ledger that records transactions and data exchanges in a secure and transparent manner. Shippers can use blockchain to track the movement of goods, verify authenticity, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Blockchain enhances visibility and traceability across the supply chain, reducing fraud, errors, and disputes while improving trust and accountability among trading partners.

Strategies for Enhancing Your Freight Visibility Solution:

  1. Utilize Advanced Tracking Technologies
  2. Harness Data Analytics: Leverage analytics tools to gain actionable insights from shipment data, enabling predictive modeling and proactive decision-making.
  3. Collaborate with Transportation Partners: The last component of unlocking enterprise-wide visibility is PEOPLE.

How Managed Transportation Providers Deliver Freight Visibility Solutions:

Managed transportation providers play a pivotal role in delivering freight visibility solutions tailored to the unique needs of shippers. By leveraging advanced technologies, data, and industry expertise, these providers offer centralized platforms, real-time tracking capabilities, and proactive monitoring to enhance visibility and control over freight movements.

As shippers navigate the complexities of modern supply chains, Freight Visibility emerges as a strategic imperative for optimizing efficiency, minimizing risks, and delivering exceptional service. By embracing advanced technologies, data-driven insights, and collaborative partnerships with managed transportation providers, shippers can unlock new levels of visibility and control, driving success in today’s dynamic logistics landscape.

Want to dive more into how you can make better informed decisions based on data? Read our Guide to Data Driven Logistics Decision Making Blog