• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,341.010
    -36.040
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.770
    -0.020
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,341.030
    -34.640
    -0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
    -0.027
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
    -0.165
    -7.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
    -0.086
    -8.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
    2.1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
    0.056
    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.597
    -0.064
    -3.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.444
    -0.031
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.181
    -0.068
    -5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
    0.038
    2.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,341.010
    -36.040
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.770
    -0.020
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,341.030
    -34.640
    -0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American Shipper

The difference between visibility and global TMS

Although visibility is often used synonymously with global transportation management systems, it’s actually a layer atop true global TMS platforms, according to Kewill VP of multimodal transportation solutions Walt Heil.

   There’s a sneaky good piece of information locked deep inside American Shipper’s May cover story on the evolution of the global TMS market.
   Walt Heil, vice president of multimodal transportation solutions with the transportation management and global trade management software provider Kewill, notes that visibility is actually a layer atop true global transportation platforms.
   The implication is that visibility is often used synonymously with global TMS — that “where’s my freight?” is good enough when it comes to global TMS.
   But the reality is that visibility is not execution.
   Visibility is useful – some might say it’s a requisite for global supply chains these days – but it doesn’t put transportation plans into motion. And that’s a key distinction.
   There are a handful of interesting pure global visibility providers that have emerged in recent years (many of them have been chronicled by American Shipper) but those providers should be not conflated with true global TMS providers. Global TMS providers offer visibility, but also planning and execution tools that the pure visibility providers don’t.
   It’s all a matter of individual need as to which one a certain global shipper needs.
   If there’s already a TMS in place, and a shipper wants better air traffic control for its in-transit goods, then a pure play visibility tool might be a good fit. Similarly, the visibility-only tools help companies manage risk and reduce vulnerability. Visibility platforms are also interesting in that they can sit atop transportation activities as well as other functions, like trade compliance, sourcing, and trade finance.
   But it’s important to understand that visibility doesn’t equal global TMS. Global TMS systems incorporate visibility into the whole execution process, and that integration is a key distinction. While visibility-only tools provide a layer of “where’s my freight,” visibility is typically embedded in global TMS. That can make the integration of information (both on a real-time shipment management basis and to inform future strategies) simpler.
   There’s no right or wrong here, but just knowing what visibility is and what it isn’t can go a long way in deciphering the complex landscape of supply chain software providers.

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