contract visibility

The details of a shipping contract are its governing principles. From rates and terms to agreements regarding invoicing and claims, contracts are your source for all the pertinent information. But when you accumulate enough of them – and work with a wide variety of freight partners – the details of an individual contract can get muddled. It’s essential to have contract visibility – easy access to the details of a specific contract for a specific company. Visibility, and its accompanying insight, save shippers time, money, and frustration.

What is Contract Visibility?

“Visibility” has a lot of meanings in the freight industry, but few are as critical as those applied to freight contracts. Contract visibility is the ability of a shipper to quickly identify the best carrier for any given freight shipment based on the terms of their contract — even when it’s not right in front of them.

It’s also about knowing the types of contracts you have in place: broker-carrier agreements, load tenders, rate confirmations, accessorial contracts, etc. Effective contract visibility involves having this information ready for your reference at any given time.

Freight demands occur in real time. Contract visibility allows shippers to act quickly, tactfully, and from the correct set of assumptions — whatever the load or shipping circumstances.

How does Contract Visibility Help Shippers?

With visibility across freight contracts, shippers are also in a position to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Consider, for example, rate and term identification for different load types, such as a Class 85 LTL freight. With this type of load, you’re already looking at a significant cost. Contract visibility helps mitigate high costs by showing your complete pool of qualified carriers, information related to accessorial services, and other cost-specific information. It can be the determining factor on which of your contracted carriers to use — or whether you go to the spot market for a bid.

Contract visibility also enables shippers to leverage one contract against another for more favorable terms. If Carrier A and Carrier B are nearly identical in terms of rates and capabilities, but Carrier A offers a slightly lower rate, and Carrier B offers quicker delivery, it’s possible to leverage them against each other to find the ideal solution.

Put simply, contract visibility gives shippers the power to control costs, optimize freight, strengthen carrier relationships, and expedite business — all with data-driven agility.

Tools You Need for Contract Visibility

As more companies identify the need for contract visibility in their shipping operations, they’re also noting a need for systems to enable and facilitate such visibility. For many, the answer resides in their transportation management system (TMS). Digital contracts, de-siloed contract information, and synergies between contract and freight load management are all readily available with a smart TMS.

In a post-pandemic environment, visibility across all facets of freight operations is imperative. For cost control and agile decision-making, contract visibility is a must. Rather than falling victim to a rising rate environment and ongoing supply chain disruptions, shippers can use real-time, verifiable information to mitigate costs and risk, improve carrier selection and negotiations, and retool shipping and freight decisions around strategic data.

There’s no substitute for contract visibility for strategic insight and peace of mind. Get more from your partnerships with better contract visibility. Let nVision Global help make your contracts more accessible. Visit our website at