The Holidays are Upon Us: How to Guarantee Timely Cargo Delivery?

15 sept. 2023 Sophia Shkuro Sophia Shkuro

To keep your customers engaged, it's no longer enough to entice them with the "best price on the market." You have to guarantee on-time and reliable delivery; these are the new indicators of a quality standard for freight transportation that characterize you as a reliable carrier.

Circumstances such as peaks in traffic and a lack of space for containers or equipment affect customer loyalty. That's why you need to put a strategy for on-time and reliable shipping at the heart of your supply chain.

What is the delivery management strategy?

A successful delivery management strategy is based on the OTD (On-Time Delivery) indicator, which is used to monitor the number of successful (on-time) shipments. In this way, the efficiency of the supply chain is measured. With a high OTD score, you get a higher indicator of satisfied customers’ returns.

An essential factor in delivery management is transparent and direct communication between the parties to the logistics process. What kind of communication should it be?

It's not sufficient just to indicate the approximate date of arrival. Carriers and freight forwarders should provide detailed statistics (such as information on the shipment’s stages, the current location of the vessel, and all significant logistics events) with the ability to update the data to obtain the most accurate information.

Supplementing any of your TMS, ERP, and CRM systems with the advanced Tracking System API will qualitatively expand your logistics services. Your customers will be able to track their shipments by container, bill of lading, and booking number directly through your platform. Provide comprehensive shipping data and minimize the likelihood of your leads contacting competitors for additional information.

An example:

Your shipment is being delivered from Houston, USA, to Guangzhou, China. The carrier provides you with an ETA or predictive ETA to assist in planning warehouse operations and cargo pickup. For the port authority, this indicator is necessary for planning customs procedures, ship unloading, and container handling. During the delivery, each party requires updating the data, as it can change due to unforeseen circumstances, and receiving more information. When users visit your website with the integrated SeaRates Tracking System tool, they can get the current location of containers in real-time on the world map, information about POL (port of loading) / POD (port of discharge), shipment route, and all logistics events. It is only necessary to enter the container, booking, or bill of lading number. The comprehensive visibility of the supply chain is therefore fully automated.

What is the impact of late delivery?

Above all, the customer will always turn to the freight forwarder, who ensures timely and safe delivery of the cargo. Otherwise, the carrier may suffer significant reputational losses due to negative feedback about late arrivals.

Moreover, you should not "play it safe" and provide your customers with too long transit times. Probably not many people will agree to the sea transportation of low-weight cargo, the deadline for which is set in 2 months. It would be rational to start preparations with air shipping or LCL ocean freight when the carrier demonstrates deadlines close to reality and confirms them with data from shipping lines. Additionally, in our comprehensive shipping guides on the SeaRates Blog, you can find out the average delivery times for different modes of transportation to many destinations and much more.

Strategies to ensure supplies are delivered on time

Making clear your goals

As we mentioned before, transparent communication with your logistics provider is the key to successful shipments. All parties need to realize each other's goals. What is this figurative "goal" in logistics? This word means a common vision in planning delivery deadlines, modes of transport, freight rates, additional services, cargo specifics, personal shipper's wishes, and many other things that need to be agreed upon.

By trusting the qualifications of experienced logistics experts, such as those who make up the SeaRates team, you should specify your essential requirements for delivery. Such open cooperation from all parties ensures that all your expectations are met.

Optimize container tracking: real-time data and process automation

How can you eliminate the paperwork and manual search for shipping data? Advanced logistics data analysis is already available for integration into your platforms. The faster you and your clients receive shipping data, the smoother all logistics operations will run and the higher your on-time delivery rates will be.

So, how can I control and get important statistics about my shipments at any time? By entering the container, bill of lading, or booking number in the Tracking System API, you will receive the following advanced data to track your shipment:

  • current location of the container
  • information about the route
  • port UN/LOCODE
  • all logistics events
  • and more

You can also make a separate request for Route information. For a Route query, you are provided with shipment events, POL (Port of Loading), POD (Port of Departure), routing for rail transport, data on transport type for multimodal shipment, and more.

Information based on the SeaRates database and databases of 160+ global shipping companies.

Simplify your transportation process

Use the arsenal of IT tools for logistics to strategically plan your deliveries. One of the ways is to become a DFA Member, which allows you to advertise your rates on the web version of the SeaRates Logistics Explorer tool to receive more bookings.

To customize the geography of your transportation services, you can also use the interactive map of the Logistics Map tool. In this tool, you will be able to find more requests for shipping from shippers around the world. Find the right requests for you by route or deadline in our advanced tool.


Each party involved in logistics processes requires periodic updating of a large amount of data to plan future deliveries, port, customs, warehouse, and other operations. At SeaRates, we assist you in gaining full visibility into the supply chain processes to achieve well-timed deliveries. Explore how the integration of SeaRates IT logistics tools into your business processes makes you an independent and reliable service provider.

Contact our team at to find out more about integrating IT solutions into your transportation operations.

Sophia Shkuro is a content manager from Dnipro, Ukraine. Believes that the more complex a thing is, the easier it should be to write about it. Dreams of a future vacation by the sea.