The State of the Supply Chain Visibility Industry Today

February 2021

A glimpse into the global battle for positioning in the end-to-end supply chain visibility space

Transportation Visibility — Overview and Current State

Visibility is the application of real-time data connectivity and enablement throughout the supply chain lifecycle. The importance of visibility has grown from consumer demand, increasing need for just-in-time inventory, and access to measurable data. In a nutshell, modern visibility platforms have been brought about by the “Amazon Effect” which in logistics and supply chain refers to the forever changed consumer expectation that Amazon has brought about with its delightful customer experience and philosophy on removing obstacles between itself and its clients’ happiness. Visibility platforms have become the connective tissue that binds shippers, carriers, intermediaries, and all others involved in the value chain of logistics. Providing the technology layer that enables much-needed interoperability, a freight visibility platform becomes the single integration point for the various technology applications that are used to plan, dispatch, track and convey delivery and billing information for enterprise shippers. Through advanced visibility solutions, businesses are able to provide high-value insights and data to their stakeholders in the form of real-time tracking, seamless data integrations, and actionable insights through data. Creating transparency into the product life cycle ultimately enhances the customer experience, increases customer retention, and builds the platform for process improvement and process automation. Real-time visibility in the supply chain and logistics has become a required offering for new and established players in the market. Visibility adoption is driving a new wave of efficiency throughout the shipment lifecycle, serving as a launchpad for future growth and innovation among transportation capabilities.

My overly simplistic infographic of how a Freight Visibility Platform works

Current Industry Competitors:

Company Overview: Macropoint

MacroPoint (acquired by Descartes)

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 78%

FourKites

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 51% (E)

project44

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 74% (E)

Sixfold

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: N/A

Shippeo

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin(reported by company): ±80+%

TruckerTools

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 51% (E)

Newer Entrant Industry Competitors:

Company Overview: Vizion

Vizion

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: N/A

RPA Labs

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: N/A

  • Employees reclaim hours to work on other high-level tasks
  • Improves customer experience
  • Automated Data Entry from disparate data sources
  • Enhanced cost Visibility
  • Proactive Demurrage Management alerts to customers and operations when the last free day is approaching
OpenTrack

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: N/A

Terminal49

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 70%+

Key KPI’s

Gross Margin: 90%+

Summary of the industry today:

Macropoint had the lead position when cell phone triangulation was the dominant technology method in freight visibility but that was back in 2016. With technology advancements and venture capital flowing into LogTech, the game has changed and it seems like MacroPoint stopped innovating after they were acquired. According to McKinsey, nearly 29 billion has been invested into LogTech since 2014 with the majority of the investment dollars coming in since 2016. This trend suggests the earliest leaders in visibility are likely not the best suited to dominate the space into the future, see 10–4 Systems and Macropoint as examples.

  1. Singular aspects of the larger platforms in visibility that can be unbundled and provided to companies with more narrow visibility needs

Charley Dehoney is a growth-focused executive, advisor, & investor, with nearly 20 years of experience at the intersection of transportation technology

Charley Dehoney is a growth-focused executive, advisor, & investor, with nearly 20 years of experience at the intersection of transportation technology