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Global News Visibility product launches show cargo market open to new options

Registration dateJUL 26, 2023

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology EditorJul 11, 2023, 10:02 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor
Jul 11, 2023, 10:02 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

Visibility product launches show cargo market open to new options Tive, Shippabo and Terminal49 all unveiled new products over the past week designed to improve shippers' use of visibility data. Photo credit: DreamHomeStudio /
A trio of new visibility products introduced in recent days is showcasing the continued breadth of providers trying to tackle the thorny issue of providing shippers with better in-transit cargo information.

On Tuesday, freight visibility hardware provider Tive said it is enabling customers to better connect the tracking data its sensors generate with third-party location data from vessels and aircraft.

The new capability is to help shippers better understand when information about a shipment is in conflict, CEO Krenar Konomi told the Journal of Commerce. For instance, if a shipper gets a notice from a carrier or visibility provider that a container has departed a port of origin, but a Tive tracker is showing that it is still at a terminal, the shipper can respond to the situation faster than if it had presumed the container had made the sailing.

“Our number one source of trust is the tracker,” Konomi said.

More broadly, the ability to pull third-party data can also help customers where there is limited connectivity coverage to Wi-Fi, GPS or cellular networks. By aligning third-party data from vessels and aircraft, Tive customers can connect events where a shipment goes outside an allowable temperature or shock range with a specific time stamp.

“The use of live geolocation and temperature tracking is integral to complex healthcare supply chains, including cell and gene therapies, high-importance study medications, and direct-to/from-patient clinical trials,” James Smith, vice president of global operations at QuickSTAT, a healthcare logistics provider and Tive customer, said in a statement Tuesday. “These tools help to proactively mitigate the many challenges that may occur during transit, due to the ability to view live data, which protects product integrity—and ultimately improves the patient experience.” Build versus buy Also on Tuesday, forwarder Shippabo said it was introducing a new product, called Shippabo View, that lets its shipper customers use container visibility as a shipment management platform. The product can be used on a self-service basis, or shippers can have Shippabo run it on their behalf via a managed service.

Daniel Kraus, vice president of products at Shippabo, said the forwarder built the system from the ground up despite a surfeit of standalone tools on the market, including some designed specifically for forwarders to use on a white-labeled basis.

“We couldn’t get where we wanted to [by] building on someone else’s platform,” Kraus told the Journal of Commerce. “We wanted this to have the control and flexibility for people to run their business on, so we built it from the ground up.”

Kraus said the product is underpinned by direct relationships with some ocean carriers and container terminals along with publicly available container data application programming interfaces (APIs). It can also be used by shippers to track shipments booked through other forwarders or direct with container lines.

Scott Pearigen, director of global logistics at Los Angeles–based sport equipment manufacturer JR286, which supplies to Nike, said in a statement it uses the Shippabo visibility solution “to track and monitor a wide range of shipments from different forwarders, applying its prediction system and communications tools to develop and maintain a commercially reliable perspective on arrival times.”

Meanwhile, container visibility vendor Terminal49 last week released a new way to access its solution, called DataSync, that avoids APIs and is meant for nontechnical users.

“This syncs near real-time container tracking data directly to a database or data warehouse or spreadsheets without any development,” CEO Akshay Dodeja told the Journal of Commerce. “So customers can instantly create reports within their systems without having to integrate an API.”

One of the use cases for DataSync is for companies that have their own data visualization platforms or business intelligence tools and merely need to flow reliable data into a Google sheet or Excel spreadsheet to feed those tools.

That the three solutions come from different technology categories — one a visibility data provider, one a forwarder, and one a hardware-based tracking company — is further evidence that providers in the market see visibility gaps to be filled.

Providers offering visibility tools include Infor Nexus, E2open, Descartes, project44, FourKites, Overhaul, Vizion, Portcast, OpenTrack, Shippeo, Wakeo, MarineTraffic, Gnosis Freight and Gravity Supply Chain Solutions. Many of those providers buy data or partner with one another. A handful are also part of the Open Visibility Network, a cooperative agreement established in 2021 by Tive that now has 18 members.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, where goods traverse multiple modes of transportation and cross borders, the ability to monitor and manage the journey seamlessly through these exchanges becomes mandatory,” Konomi said in Tuesday’s statement.
· Contact Eric Johnson at and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.