Why is visualizing data on maps a must-have for transport companies?

Although mainly associated with GPS navigation and websites for individuals users, visualizing data on maps is also a key business solution for many companies – especially those in the transport and logistics sector.

A thriving transport company can’t expect to grow without modern digital solutions that improve internal communication. According to PwC rapport from 2019, 54% global transport companies expect their revenue to increase as a result of digitization. 16% expect an increase in profit as a result and 11% expect increase in customer satisfaction. 

Immediate information exchange, data transmission or digital control over workflow and fleet management helps transport companies to build a competitive advantage while focusing on cutting costs at the same time. Efficiently visualizing data on maps can also help to acquire new contractors and partners, as well as expand the market reach of the transport company.

Traditional Map - not as efficient as visualizing data on maps
Moving towards data visualization on digital maps offers new possibilities for transport companies


Vanson Boure’s report shows that visualizing data on maps has a huge impact on transport and logistics companies. 67% of companies that have implemented such solutions have experienced greater customer engagement, 43% showed increased productivity and efficiency, while 46% reduced the cost of doing business.

Thanks to our experience of cooperation with big transport companies, we have gathered the most common benefits of using modern digital maps technology – let’s jump right into it and see what are the key benefits of the implementation of data visualization on maps in the transport and logistics sector:


Efficient monitoring of the workforce and fleet

Based on our experience, we know that the drivers and operators often ignore the recommendation on travel routes. Instead, they choose those that are more convenient for them, but not necessarily financially the most effective from the company’s perspective. To overcome this problem, visualizing data on maps can help to provide an efficient monitoring system, showing the fleet’s position on the map. 

Visualizing data on maps - benefits


Reduction of CO2 emissions thanks to visualizing data on maps

Environmental protection is becoming increasingly important for the entire transport industry and digital solutions can be crucial to facilitate real change. New emission standards and new traffic bans for diesel vehicles create a need to invest in a new fleet. New rules passed by the European Parliament require CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and lorries to be reduced by 30%, by 2030, with an intermediate reduction target of 15%, by 2025.

But how can data visualization on maps help to reduce CO2 emissions? They effectively support the optimization of the supply chain that leads to lower numbers of partially or fully empty mileage. These changes greatly contribute to the reduction of a quantity of generated exhaust fumes while also positively affecting the cost-effectiveness of transport services.


Customization of data visualization on maps

All transport companies have their specific, distinct needs when it comes to monitoring their fleet and its crew. Therefore, visualizing data on maps is a great solution as it can be highly customized to answer the needs and problems of a particular company.

As we all know, generic “one-fit-all” digital solutions are a thing of the past. The most successful companies know that only systems that are truly adapted to their needs, can bring them positive results.

Through customized data visualization on maps, the operator can use any filter or layer configuration needed, allowing quick and efficient detection of incidents and supervision of the correct flow of order processing. Different map layers allow dealing with different types of problems, incidents and situations.

Thanks to almost limitless possibilities of customization, transport companies can build a digital solution that truly suits their needs and answer all of their problems.


Visualizing data on maps - case study
At Setapp we’ve worked on visualizing data on maps for some of the biggest maritime transport companies



Increased credibility and better relationship with clients

In an increasingly competitive market, transport companies have to stand out among others by constantly improving the quality of their services and maintaining great relationships with their clients.

According to TRANS.INFO research, as much as 68% of clients who decide to change the transport company they’r working with, decide to do so because of poor service quality and insufficient information provided by the company! 

One of the things that becomes a standard expected by the customers is the information about the stage and location of the order. This is where digital solutions are essential to succeed. Data visualization on maps gives the customer the opportunity to oversee and control the flow of the order. 

95% transport companies say that the key benefit of visualizing data on maps is the increased credibility in the eyes of their clients, as well as improved communication between the two sides. Digital maps make the relationship between a transport company and its clients much more efficient.

Not only clients are able to check the progress of their order, but they can also check its route, temperature in which the shipment is stored or even get a computer-generated estimation of when the shipment will get to its destination.


Visualizing data on maps - example
For one of our transport clients we have created Data Visualization System for Inland Shipping


Integration of the map with company’s entire digital ecosystem

Most transport companies already have their own digital systems for different areas of their operation. API integration that is created together with the construction of the data visualization on maps helps to integrate all of the data from those different systems.

Integration is therefore possible on all levels of operation. It applies to systems such as: CRM, production systems, systems for handling orders, as well as billing and invoicing systems. In such cases, visualizing data on maps provides the user with integrated information presented via an online service accessible from a smartphone, desktop or tablet. 

Visualization on maps can also be a source of data necessary to create advanced analyzes for Business Intelligence systems. The key benefit of such an integration of all elements of the company’s digital ecosystem is acceleration of processes which leads to more efficient decision-making procedures.

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Getting new customers

According to Marek Loos, editor-in-chief of Transport Manager magazine: 

“Small and poorly managed companies will disappear from the market. Larger and better managed will win the competition. This process is already ongoing. Consolidation of companies is not the only potential outcome. Technological change is a trend that cannot be overlooked or ignored. Automation, implementation of innovative solutions and modernization of already offered services are not an option – they are a necessity.” 

Thanks to data visualization on maps, the potential clients can simultaneously submit many requests for shipment and then choose the ones best suited for their needs. This way, transport companies have a chance to increase profits by making themselves more open to client’s needs.

It’s worth mentioning that this approach saves time and money, facilitates signing new contracts with a minimum time spent on communication, as well as offers prices in real time and possibility to compare different offers.

By creating this digital platform of cooperation, the transport company can increase efficiency, while also improving the relationships with clients. Both carrier and customer have access to one digital tool to handle the entire process, which gives them a complete set of information about the route and other details.

Everyone, including a new client, has a real impact on the key stages of delivery: planning, loading, transport, delivery time, and financial details. This approach creates additional value to customers and significantly affects the acquisition of new ones.

Is a customized data visualization on maps right for my transport business?

There are plenty of reasons to visualize data on maps. It is an efficient monitoring tool, effectively supporting the optimization of the supply chain. Every transport company wants to reduce the number of partially or fully empty mileage and digital maps are necessary to do that. And thanks to limitless possibilities of their customization, you can build a product that fits your particular needs.

Visualizing data on maps can also make the relationship between a transport company and its clients much more efficient. It can also create additional value to customers and significantly affect the acquisition of new ones. And as we mentioned before, API integration allows to integrate the data from all the different systems the company is already using – making digital maps an incredibly powerful tool.

Transparent dashboard integrated with data visualization makes it easier for customers to make right business decisions. Key information on their shipments is consolidated and accessible at a glance. Time and resources are saved and potential risks are significantly lowered.

We know from experience of creating data visualization systems with some of the biggest transport companies in the world that this solution can truly deliver business value and it’s becoming an absolute must-have for a well-managed transport company. 

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