Navigating the Murky Waters of Freight Forwarding: The Costly Consequences of Limited Real-Time Visibility

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The Costly Consequences of Limited Real-Time Visibility

Did you know according to Statista in 2022, global container throughput reached approximately 866 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)? Unbelievably, this staggering figure sheds light on how even the tiniest glitch can trigger a domino effect, causing shipments to be held up for hours, days, or even weeks.

Figures and statistics alone don’t justify the complexities of the lack of real-time visibility in freight forwarding. Let’s explore a real-life scenario that highlights the urgency of real-time visibility.

Imagine a shipper who was awarded a contract to deliver awards for a global sports event to the Ministry with a tight schedule, starting from the cargo-ready date to delivery. The fastest mode of transportation was airfreight, but uncertainty due to the COVID-19 situation and sporadic lockdowns caused production delays that kept pushing back the delivery readiness. The lack of real-time visibility transformed the once-clear timeline into a labyrinth of doubts. Transit times? Unknown. Potential delays? Unforeseeable.

In the high-stakes world of freight forwarding, customer inquiries about delayed deliveries are not just common; they are a given. When unforeseen circumstances disrupt the expected timeline, customers seek answers and reassurance.

  • Why is there a delay in my delivery?
  • When can I expect my order to arrive?
  • Is my shipment secure?
  • Can I track my shipment in real-time to stay updated on its progress?

The importance of real-time visibility is underscored when customers inquire about tracking options. These questions represent the legitimate concerns customers have when their deliveries are delayed. This highlights the critical role of transparency, communication, and real-time tracking systems in assuaging customer anxieties and maintaining their trust in the face of unforeseen challenges.

The Challenges of limited visibility in global trade:


  • Inventory Mismanagement: The limited real-time visibility poses significant challenges in maintaining accurate inventory records. This situation can lead to both overstocking, which ties up unnecessary capital, and understocking, resulting in missed sales opportunities. Additionally, it also leads to the accumulation of dead stock.
  • Regulatory Compliance Challenges: Various countries and regions have stringent regulations pertaining to cargo tracking and reporting. When visibility is limited, it can lead to compliance issues and potential legal complications.
  • Inefficient operations: The absence of real-time visibility hampers the optimization of day-to-day operations. Companies are unable to make informed decisions regarding inventory levels, transportation routes, and resource allocation, hindering their ability to capitalize on cost-saving opportunities.
    • Planning and execution: Without real-time visibility into transportation routes, companies may face challenges in planning and executing their logistics operations. They may not have access to real-time information leading to delays, missed deadlines, and increased transportation costs.
    • Resource allocation: Effective utilization of assets and human resources becomes a struggle when companies lack real-time information on the availability and utilization of vehicles, warehouses, and staff. This inefficiency often results in increased costs.
  • Poor customer service: The absence of real-time visibility harms customer service, causing dissatisfaction and eroding trust. Customers demand timely updates on shipments and expect accurate information on delivery status and potential delays. Without real-time data, companies struggle to communicate effectively and maintain transparency, worsening customer satisfaction.


In today’s fast-paced business environment, real-time visibility is not just a luxury but an absolute necessity. Because of its importance, freight visibility has continued to be one of the top priorities for investment. Although the demand for enhanced and more accurate freight visibility has been around for quite some time, what had been missing was a technological breakthrough that could potentially transform the freight forwarding industry. Technology-driven tools and platforms have emerged as powerful assets for businesses seeking to gain a competitive edge. These solutions are designed to provide continuous, accurate, and real-time insights into various aspects of operations, supply chains, and logistics. They empower businesses to track inventory, monitor shipments, and make data-driven decisions in real time. The need for real-time visibility in the supply chain is not confined to a specific industry or company size. It is a universal requirement that spans across various sectors. Companies, regardless of their field of operation, are seeking ways to gain a competitive edge by optimizing their supply chain management.

FSL’s Frescon steps in as a comprehensive data management platform, delivering users the utmost visibility throughout their supply chain. It caters to both freight forwarding and warehousing clients, offering a comprehensive online dashboard where users can effortlessly monitor shipping milestones, obtain quick quotes, make bookings, check inventory status, place delivery orders, and much more. Get in touch with us today and experience the power of real-time visibility with Frescon!

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