This article is the sixth part of the Youredi Best Practices Series, intended to help all logistics industry actors increase their operational efficiency and grow their business.
In this part, we discuss the benefits freight forwarders can expect from combining real time flight tracking data with flight status updates, as well as outline a solution allowing freight forwarders to enable complete visibility on all their air freight hassle-free.
In the modern business world, to succeed in logistics operations, freight forwarders need to ensure the movement of goods responsible from source to destination is executed efficiently. With air freight leg, flight status update messages delivered by the airlines are the most common way to keep an eye on air freight movements.
The flight status update messages provide information on the status of the consignment once the event has occurred. One challenge here is the late reception of the status update information at the freight forwarders’ end, possibly due to technical delays. Here, the freight forwarders will fail to make informed, timely decisions on the operational level, affecting the efficiency of their operations and often their customer service. This is where the real time flight tracker data becomes a vital source of information for the companies handling the consignments.
Problem statement: Flight status updates are not enough for complete visibility of air consignments. It needs to be complemented with real-time flight tracker data
To better understand why having only flight status updates on your hand is not enough, we need to compare it against the data you can get from the flight tracker.
Real time Flight Tracker data vs. Flight Status Updates
Flight tracker data is updated every minute, whereas flight status information is updated approximately every thirty minutes. Flight tracking gives more accurate information on the location and status of the flight, whether there is any delay or it is on time. Though the status is updated every thirty minutes, we are unsure when the requester will receive this information. But, the flight tracker information is received immediately upon request to the flight tracker API, with no delay. The faster and more accurately the information is received, the more effectively it can be used. By using flight tracking information, you will know the exact arrival time of the shipments. You can anticipate the delay in receiving the shipments or even identify soon enough if the shipment is lost.
Freight forwarding companies have started to acknowledge the advancements in technology like real time air tracking, as they would not like to miss out on the opportunities to serve their customer better.
Real-time tracking is already becoming the new norm. However, today, most of the transportation management systems and software freight forwarders rely on to manage their operations and cannot provide these data. Hence, the companies need to develop solutions in-house or partner with data connectivity providers like Youredi to get a turn-key solution ensuring complete visibility of air freight.
In-house development always implies investments and is quite unpredictable in terms of time horizon and results. So if you feel resource allocation might be challenging, or your business cannot afford this unpredictability, it is better to use the other option – leverage the turn-key solutions.
Youredi is offering a fully managed data connectivity solution that allows freight forwarder customers to enrich and complement the flight status data and updates received from the airlines with the flight tracking information. This way, a freight forwarder can ensure the visibility of freight at any given moment.
The whole process of receiving and transferring flight tracking information can be outlined:
- Youredi receives the air waybill number from the freight forwarder.
- Fetch flight tracking information from the flight tracker API.
- Data filtering and conversion of the information received.
- Send flight tracker information in the requested format to the freight forwarder.
Benefits and key takeaways
By having real-time flight tracking data enabled, freight forwarders can ensure these benefits:
- Better Customer Service:
Customer service is vital for thriving in the freight forwarder business. Technology is constantly evolving, and shippers’ expectations from their freight forwarders are also changing. They also expect to get updates in real time about their shipments. With real-time information about the flight, freight forwarders can inform their customers of the status of the shipments, when to expect the delivery of the shipment, and also notify any delays expected in the shipment delivery more precisely.
- Effective response to problems:
When tracking the shipments in real time, the problems can be identified with little delay, and necessary action can be taken. These effective responses will help save money and avoid any delays. Identifying and resolving issues can lead to developing new strategies to handle things better.
- Cost Reduction:
Real time tracking and analysis of that data will help in better decision making. It helps to identify the current bottlenecks and issues and helps cut freight costs. This analysis can be used to plan future shipment movements more efficiently and at reduced costs.
- Increase Revenue:
One benefit of analyzing the real time flight tracker data of various shipments is that freight forwarders can provide better customer service. The better the service, the more opportunities for upselling or cross selling the services provided to the customers. This helps customers make better decisions, hence increasing the company’s revenue and retaining the customer.
- Increase the Efficiency of the Supply chain:
The ability to track shipments in real time helps freight forwarders improve their logistics planning and processes, coordinate with different departments, and improve customer services. All the factors discussed above finally converge to real time tracking of the shipments helping to fill the gaps that affect the efficiency of the logistical process in the supply chain world.
Read other articles from the Youredi best practice series:
- How to Automate EDI-204S, Truckload Tender Process
- Why and How to Keep Track of Your Ocean Container Shipments
- Best Practices for Ocean Shipment Tracking
- How to Exchange Binary Documents With Your Trading Partners via Application Programming Interface (API)
- How to Cope if Your Business Partner’s API Does Not Support Webhooks