Before choosing an ocean freight visibility data provider, you need to look at all the ways a visibility data provider can impact your company’s workflow, customer value, and risk management. A careful analysis of these factors can help determine the best provider for your business needs.
What to look for in an ocean freight visibility data provider
Selecting an ocean freight visibility data provider is much easier once you’ve identified your company’s goals and objectives. Platforms should be chosen based on the value they offer to your business and end users. For some companies, having a new platform or user interface is ideal, while for others, having too many platforms can make workflow less efficient.
Another aspect to consider is whether you need a visibility data provider that can integrate with your company’s transportation management system (TMS). This can be a valuable source of workflow optimization for freight forwarders, as it allows visibility data to be accessed through APIs without disrupting current platforms and workflows. This way, data can be delivered where it’s needed without having to change the current process.
The benefits of using an ocean freight visibility data provider
As a freight forwarder, managing ocean freight visibility without using a data provider can be tedious and time-consuming, requiring visits to various carrier websites and manually recording information. With a data provider, a freight forwarder can get automatic access to standardized data from multiple carriers. This data is presented in the same format, which makes it much easier to manage.
Visibility data providers typically receive data from various sources such as APIs, EDI, and web interfaces. To obtain the highest level of quality data, it’s advised to opt for a provider that takes multiple information sources into account, including vessel identification and location data.
This provider must also present data in one platform and in the same format. By receiving data from various sources, visibility data providers ensure that users are always presented with complete, consistent, correct, and connected data (the 4 C’s of data quality).
Differences between visibility data providers
When selecting a visibility data provider, you need to consider the factors that are related to your operations and look for specialist products that can add value and distinguish the data provider from others. For instance, some data providers offer predictive support to help customers better anticipate and respond to disruptions, frequent updates on event milestones, and integration with port terminal systems for container statuses.
Start by researching potential data providers to find out if they can meet your needs if certain features or options are important to your business. Data providers can have different focus areas and offerings for their clients. Therefore, it’s important to select the right data provider that can align with your business needs and deliver information to you in a helpful and easy-to-integrate manner. The main goal should always be to cater to your specific business needs and help you solve any problems you might face.
Delivering real-time data you can rely on
Without a data provider, freight forwarders are bound to spend hours doing manual detective work looking for shipment data from carriers and public websites. The good news is that you can eliminate these manual tasks by using real-time high-quality data provided by GateHouse Maritime.
One of the biggest challenges freight forwarders deal with is determining accurate ETAs. This is where real-time ocean freight visibility data comes in. With real-time data, freight forwarders can better coordinate and improve efficiency, manage schedules and get the best rates by tracking vessel ETAs and predictions in real-time.