The Spotlight on Visibility in Transportation

By Carly West | July 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

Supply ChainPower of the Profession

Everyone’s talking about it, everyone is impacted by it. There are major disruptions in the global supply chain. Cue action… we need to respond. When we can’t resolve the issue, we must find a way to manage and control what we can. This puts the spotlight on transportation visibility. If we cannot provide solutions to capacity shortages and delays, at least we can get better visibility to our shipments — the status, location, delays and estimated delivery dates.

Real-time transportation visibility platforms (RTTVPs) were on the rise prior to the pandemic. Today, major changes and disruptions in the global supply chain have placed these platforms in the spotlight of investment and implementation as a means to cope with and react to the chaos.

We’ve seen a lot of movement and investment in the RTTVP market recently because of this spotlight. There have been a number of new partnerships developed between RTTVP and other transportation technology vendors. This includes transportation management systems, telematics, and sensor and device providers. It also includes partnerships between RTTVP and other extended capability providers like yard, freight pay and others, and even between different RTTVPs themselves. We’ve also seen RTTVPs acquire several other more specialized or concentrated platforms in recent months. Finally, we’ve seen a great deal of RTTVP investment funding in the last year. With all of the uncontrollable circumstances happening in logistics and supply chain, business leaders can at least get reliable visibility to location, status and estimated delivery dates. This allows more control over making decisions to react in more real time. It also means having access to data to start to make alternate plans, if possible, to minimize the business impact.

Visibility has also become a core part of logistics technology. It plays a complementary function that supports order, transportation, warehouse, yard and fleet management. These solutions do not compete with solutions such as transportation management systems (TMS). Instead, they complement the planning and executional capabilities of the TMS with real-time visibility.

The drivers behind the push to implement a visibility platform expand beyond just being a means to a disrupted supply chain end. Many companies are implementing RTTVPs to drive improved customer satisfaction and retention, and improved on-time delivery performance. They are using these platforms to increase labor efficiency and productivity, and gain the ability to leverage real-time data to make active decisions in transit like rerouting and reduce costs. These and others are some of the numerous benefits that corporations will experience internally by implementing a visibility platform.

We don’t expect this to go away anytime soon. We still see more and more corporations investing in and expanding their use of RTTVPs to cope with challenges and manage their business more efficiently. So for now, the spotlight will continue to shine on RTTVPs and transportation visibility.

If you are a Gartner member, leverage the available tools to help you navigate the process (Magic Quadrant, ROI/RFP toolkits and the Gartner BuySmart program).

Carly West
Director Analyst
Gartner Supply Chain

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