With frequent delays across the supply chain combined with recurring container shortages, shippers are scrambling to take control of their shipments. As unexpected shocks spur knock-on effects for the rest of the industry, many logistics professionals are investing resources into accessing information as early as possible.
As the freight forwarding landscape undergoes constant disruptions, real-time shipment visibility is quickly gaining ground. In providing shippers with benefits like reduced costs and quicker delivery times, online visibility has established itself as a top priority in the freight forwarder selection process.
Why do shippers need real-time shipment visibility?
Despite the convenience of working with a freight forwarder, many shippers can feel under informed throughout the process– especially when they’re not receiving constant updates. By giving your customers access to live shipment tracking, you’ll help them save time, take control of the process, and make informed decisions.
Save time requesting updates
As a freight forwarder, you’re likely all too familiar with the question, “Where’s my stuff?” Odds are, your customers are also tired of asking.
Most shippers don’t want to pick up the phone or send out an email every time they need a status update on their cargo. However, without a sufficient visibility solution, they may feel the need to reach out directly whenever they have a question.
By providing your customers with a platform to access the most up-to-date information on their shipment, you can empower them to find what they need on their own time. In addition to allowing them peace of mind, this can also encourage them to spend 1:1 time working through more complex problems with your support team.
Communicate promptly with their own customers
Remember that your shippers have their own customers to keep informed. Just as your support team may be constantly fielding calls and emails from panicked customers whenever there’s an unexpected delay, they’re likely facing that on their side as well.
When a shipper needs to call a customer service representative to ask a question for a customer, relaying back the answer can feel like a game of telephone. However, granting them online visibility can remove one link in the chain, in turn speeding up their customer support process.
Fix unexpected issues that arise
No matter how airtight your initial plan, delivery exceptions are sometimes unavoidable. However, once they come up, you can still adjust the rest of your plan to prevent the problem from compounding– as long as you find out in time.
Once you give your shippers online visibility, they’ll be able to track their shipment in real-time to make sure that each step is proceeding as planned. For instance, let’s say they have a shipment that arrives at the port five days earlier than expected. If they don’t have any idea where it is, they’ll likely schedule pickup at the same time as planned, resulting in extra charges from the shipping line. However, if they’re able to track their shipment in real-time, they can find a way to set up an earlier retrieval, avoiding additional fees and achieving quicker delivery.
With real-time shipment visibility offering countless benefits throughout the transit process, many shippers are prioritizing forwarders who can provide software solutions like advanced tracking. In fact, a survey conducted by FreightWaves and Logixboard found that 46% of shippers have stopped working with a freight forwarder to partner with another one that offered better technology.