Ocean Freight Benefits of a Logistics Visibility Platform

An effective logistics visibility platform provides awareness of every ocean freight shipment.

Supply chain managers continue to grapple with a wave of volatility and disruptions. In this climate of uncertainty, a logistics visibility platform delivers significant value.

Several factors underscore the precarious nature of access to goods and their transit to the end user. Among them:
  • Geopolitical conflicts.
  • Inflationary pressures in a recessionary climate.
  • Weather events catalyzed by climate change.
  • Unforeseen supply chain obstacles.

These disruptions spur issues like port delays, container capacity fluctuations, and price surges, to name a few. New supply chain trends and solutions are emerging in this tumultuous landscape, offering organizations opportunities to adapt and strengthen their operations.

The significance of end-to-end visibility and agility in managing supply chain disruptions cannot be overstated. A digital “control tower” delivers real-time insights and the flexibility to navigate beyond your business’ boundaries. Real-time collaboration with supply chain partners through the platform improves performance across your entire network.

This article explores current challenges to ocean freight visibility and the value a shipment and order visibility platform provides in navigating market volatility. We’ll also help you understand how Smart Transportation solutions are revolutionizing logistics visibility to create more resilient and adaptable supply chains.

Current Ocean Freight Visibility Challenges

Navigating the ocean freight and supply chain landscape presents challenges. Each hurdle underlines the importance of visibility and adaptability in effective supply chain management. This section highlights four challenges the industry faces.

Geopolitical Shifts
Geopolitical tensions prompted nations to reconsider interdependence and lean towards self-sufficiency. Escalating activity threatens the availability of essential materials and jeopardizes trade routes. Domestic self-sufficiency and ‘friend-shoring’ with like-minded countries nearby become more viable strategies to secure supply chains.
Cybersecurity Threats
Cybercriminals continuously refine their craft, posing heightened threats to supply chains. The supply chain network offers potential infiltration points, from suppliers to warehouse equipment and IoT devices. Cyber risk increases as businesses consider friend-shoring or nearshoring and adopt new technologies. Visibility plays an important role in identifying and mitigating these risks.
Material Accessibility
As we sail into the future, organizations will likely grapple with limited access to critical manufacturing components, spare parts, and maintenance items. Simultaneously, fluctuations in commodity prices and availability pose additional challenges. Building a resilient supply that can adapt swiftly to change is crucial for navigating these choppy waters.
Data Management Challenges

We see a continued upward trend in digital transformation investment, with an accelerated focus on supply chain and operational capabilities. While this shift introduces benefits, it also presents unique logistics visibility challenges, including data sharing, data management, data quality, and partner communication. Enhanced investment to improve supply chain planning maturity, automation, and end-to-end analytics proves instrumental for increased visibility.

Importance of a Logistics Visibility Platform

A logistics visibility platform serves as the compass for modern supply chains, highlighting operational processes and offering critical insights into supply chain efficiency. It is the ultimate source of truth for shippers – collating, organizing, and analyzing data, ultimately presenting it in a clean, standardized, and actionable format.

Two primary types of visibility spring from this platform.

Process visibility offers an overarching view of logistics processes, similar to what a TMS or freight management system provides. It allows a deep dive into everyday operations, including workflows, automation, and decision-making processes.

Supply chain visibility encompasses a broader range of functionality, tracking everything from containers, transportation, and cargo conditions to rates, booking and container allocation, auditing, and carbon emissions. Together, these forms of visibility underpin resilient, agile supply chains.

4 Key Considerations When Choosing a Logistics Visibility Platform

When selecting a logistics visibility platform, several capabilities should be considered. These include the scope of visibility, an API-first approach, the quality and accessibility of data, and the ease of use. The platform should serve as a versatile and reliable tool to navigate the complexities of modern supply chain operations.

Look for these essential features in a logistics visibility platform:

  • Detailed Freight View – Provides information at the vessel, container, order, or item level, facilitating strategic planning and execution of supply chain operations.
  • Container Tracking – Allows tracking of all containers both on ocean and land, offering summarized vessel information, including ETAs and container counts.
  • Network Integrations – Integrates with existing logistics platforms and networks without dramatically changing workflows and processes.
  • Single Source of Truth – All supply chain parties can access shipment information and updates with customized push alerts or updates sent directly to ERPs via API.

The Impacts of a Robust Logistics Visibility Platform

A well-selected logistics visibility platform improves operational efficiency and significantly impacts the bottom line. For instance, it can lead to reduced costs, bolster customer service, and ultimately, propel profits upward.

Watch this video to learn 4 Benefits of Shipment Visibility.

As a centralized hub for all shipment and order inquiries, a logistics visibility platform can monitor status, set up automated alerts, and proactively manage exceptions across the multimodal network, driving cost savings across the transportation budget.
Further benefits include the ability to identify shipments at risk of accruing detention charges. You can anticipate distribution center workloads in advance, fostering process and scheduling improvements that reduce costs. These outcomes reiterate the indispensable role of a comprehensive logistics visibility platform in a modern setting.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Revolutionizing Visibility: The MercuryGate Solution

MercuryGate’s Shipment and Order Visibility product is a revolutionary solution for inbound freight orders and ocean shipments. This tool offers unmatched global visibility and fosters multi-enterprise collaboration across the shipment lifecycle at container, order, and item levels.

This superior visibility spans multiple modes, enhancing your understanding of inventory levels and shipment status at every stage. As a result, you can identify and proactively mitigate inventory risks, safeguarding against out-of-stock situations or missed fulfillment schedules.

To truly understand the transformative power of the MercuryGate Shipment and Order Visibility solution, we invite you to read our Shipment and Order Visibility Case Study. You’ll learn how an auto manufacturer applies this innovative solution. See how you can use it to revolutionize your supply chain operations.

See the MercuryGate TMS Logistics Visibility Platform in action.


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