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With the past couple of years seeing the worst of every industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an overall increase in demand for goods in the face of supply shortages. This excessive pressure from the growing demand made freight forwarders who had been walking on a tightrope behind the screen – negotiating, documenting, consolidating, and tracking – come to the spotlight.

Freight forwarders are now trying to provide the most efficient services to survive this highly competitive industry. But the sudden spike in delivery in the supply chain has derailed their productivity. With the cargo mounting up every day, it has become more complex to track the transportation processes, and this often results in delays and losses.

That’s not all, volatile market conditions and escalating expectations for swifter and thriving services have also forced the supply chain to face complexities.

The supply chain industry has been trying to gather accurate, descriptive, and real-time data on the transportation processes. However, there has been an inadequate amount of data to identify the blind spots within the process, suggesting that something more should be needed.

What is transportation visibility and why does it matter?

In a short time, transportation visibility has become a driving factor of the supply chain industry.
Transportation visibility refers to the process of tracking the real-time location, transit points, arrivals and departures, including the condition of the cargo shipments. Being one of the key aspects of the supply chain industry, transportation visibility is now a strategy to provide effective shipping services.

Freight Forwarders are often overwhelmed with questions regarding cargo shipments:

  • condition
  • hour of departure
  • destination
  • location
  • estimated arrival

Real-time transportation visibility answers these questions by:

  • solving the delays
  • reducing mishandling and arrival anticipation
  • providing freight forwarders with accurate and reliable data of their shipments

And in choosing the right transportation visibility platform, freight forwarders can now reduce costs, navigate supplies, and offer a better service experience to their clients.

How does transportation visibility help freight forwarders?

Transportation visibility, through seamless utilization of the real-time data, attempts to increase the productivity of the supply chain processes, demand forecasting, and business planning.

Listed below are some ways through which freight visibility could help you.

1. Provides real-time data of the shipments and avoids delays and anticipation

Not knowing the exact departure, arrival hours, and dates can not only make you go through an ordeal but also make you pay additional charges. Through real-time tracking, you can gain the exact location information of the shipment. Learning the precise location of the shipment can reduce additional dock charges in case of delay. Real-time shipment tracking is the core of any freight visibility offering solution.

Additionally, real-time data will provide you visibility into each process of the supply chain wherever your shipment is located. This will allow you to streamline operations accordingly and prepare for any unexpected risk. One of the main advantages of having transportation visibility is the ability to manage inventory increasing efficiency.

Many solutions in the market are hassle-free, safe, and swift applications that enable freight forwarders to track cargo shipments and allow you to access real-time data regarding shipments. There are third party logistic services that provide you with applications that permit you to view shipment tracking on map view, providing accurate geographical locations across all regions and modes.

2. Monitoring delays

  • Country border wait time

With the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic, border crossing and entry have been challenging as strict health and security measures are provoking delays. Freight visibility helps you to track such situations and choose the most efficient routes for shipment. It can help to reduce interruptions in the steady flow of the supply chain.

Platforms available in the market will also allow direct communication with ground staff in different ports, allowing freight forwarders to anticipate challenges and also be constantly updated. Transportation visibility application solutions are now capable of sending direct notifications and updates of the locations and the status of your cargo real-time so that you know where your shipment stops and where it begins.

  • Mitigating additional charges

Delays can often cost freight forwarders a lot. The entire supply chain ecosystem can be disrupted by a minor delay in the process. These delays work like a domino effect, affecting every stakeholder associated with the supply chain. This can affect production, distribution, and businesses operating all around the world. The Suez canal obstruction in 2021 is one such example of how one incident impacted the supply chain around the world.

Transportation visibility allows access to accurate data making it possible for you to inform your customers and also stakeholders involved, of the due dates and maintain real-time communication. Having transportation visibility allows freight forwarders to have a competitive advantage in a fast-growing industry by allowing them to communicate delays, additional charges or any other anticipated risk that may occur. This will allow freight forwarders to strengthen the relationship and loyalty with their customers while dodging any additional shipping rates.

  • Weather forecast

Delays can occur due to extreme weather conditions. They not just cause delays but also threaten the condition of the shipments. Ensuring the quality of the products is essential, so freight forwarders face a challenge when their freights get stuck in dire weather conditions across the sea.

Transportation visibility shows the current and wind speeds, plus trans-shipments, stopovers, and route shifts so that freight forwarders can always be assured that their clients’ shipments haven’t been lost or damaged on the way.

3. Real-time communication

Real-time communication is mandatory for freight forwarders in this fast-paced world. Freight forwarders must be allowed to view the details of their shipments at any time, anywhere. With transportation visibility offered by solutions, freight forwarders can always be updated on emergency deadlines or issues that may appear at any point in the global supply chain.

These solutions allow freight forwarders to be in communication with all the stakeholders involved and upload and download documents and details related to the shipment. With the ability to communicate in real-time, freight forwarders can convey messages to stakeholders on time and keep the ties connected with the ground staff as well.

It enables agility, efficiency, reliability, and functionality of your business and ensures the capacity to meet customer demands at any hour.

4. Easy allocation of human resources

Shipment and delivery involve a steady string of laborers that ensure the safety and arrival of the goods. Oftentimes, seasonal changes face a higher demand in delivery and not being able to provide goods on time might result in a business loss. As experienced during the pandemic, there may be many instances where there is a shortage of labor.

With the information provided by transportation visibility, freight forwarders can assign workers to transit points and handle the packages and ensure efficiency. With real-time visibility and communication, freight forwarders can assign human resources effectively to prepare for any incident which may occur.

5. Business Expansion Opportunities

Not being able to provide your clients with accurate shipment details can lead to unpredictable business losses. More than once, freight forwarders have experienced a loss of customers and their good name having not been able to provide the shipment related data on time.

Using transportation visibility can help freight forwarders to mitigate the loss of business, trust, and loyalty, and strengthen your clientele. By combining transportation visibility with your services, freight forwarders can increase delivery rates and customer loyalty all the while nourishing new business opportunities.


In the ever-evolving world, the rapid growth in the demand of the supply chain industry makes freight visibility a priority. With the right solution, all the accurate and real-time data will enable freight forwarders to control their cargo shipments in a snap’s second.

How can SFL Insights help?

Soft Freight Logic provides SFL Insights, a web/mobile application for freight forwarders around the world to provide the fastest shipment updates securely through any device to their clients. The app is available to download on the Google play store, Apple app store, and available on the desktop. Try out our free demo to transform your supply chain today.

SFL Insights not just provides you with analytics, notifications, and shipment visibility, but also allows you to request quotes, and pay online with API connectivity while providing security rights protecting your information and data.

This modern and advanced tech trend will cut through your delays, losses, and anticipation. Become a digital freight forwarder today.

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