Written by
David Koke
Senior Marketing Manager

Beacon’s supply chain visibility and collaboration platform empowers organizations to achieve more efficient, reliable and sustainable supply chains.

In this article

February 15, 2024

Market Guide: Choosing the best supply chain visibility software for your business

No matter what your supply chain is moving and where it’s moving to, knowing what’s going on at every stage is critical. 

Don’t believe us? Just look at the data. Supply chain disruption spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting 57% of businesses thanks to everything from trade disputes and commodity price fluctuations to the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters and changes in consumer buying behavior. 

While global supply chains have stabilized over the last couple of years, the experience of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of two key aspects of supply chain management. 

  1. Real-time visibility - seeing all your supply chain data in one place and being able to understand what is happening, as it’s happening. This gives you the ability to react to issues as soon as they happen, and deal with them swiftly, minimizing the impact.
  1. Improved data-led planning - full supply chain visibility enables you to look at what’s gone wrong in the past, and make a plan to ensure the same issues don’t happen again in the future using data-led insights personal to you and your supply chain.

Research from The Economist shows those disruptions can incur heavy financial costs – between 6-10% of annual revenue on average. That’s a significant sum, and while supply chain management software isn’t a golden ticket to completely eliminate risk, investing in the right tools is one of the strongest ways to minimize the impact. 

What is supply chain visibility and how does supply chain visibility software work?

Supply chain visibility is about understanding the real-time movement of goods within a supply chain, and being able to share that information with everybody who needs it. 

Providing both ‘in the moment’ data about where goods are in the supply chain as well as the historic data - distinctive of your business’ supply chain - needed to proactively drive better, more informed decisions in the future.

With that information, businesses can take action to boost supply chain reliability through improved planning, limit the impact of issues, and hold carriers and forwarders accountable. Plus, better visibility helps to reduce freight costs, streamline collaboration, increase customer satisfaction, and improve supply chain sustainability

At the core of all of these benefits sit new, technologically advanced supply chain visibility software platforms. These can pull together vast amounts of data from shipping companies, ports, and even the weather and temperature – all relating to your supply chain and making it possible to see where your inventory is in real time.

How to choose the best supply chain visibility software

All pretty simple so far. The challenge comes from knowing which supply chain software solutions are best suited to you and your business. 

There are all sorts of different options. So finding the right fit is a matter of knowing what you need, and then making sure you pick something that ticks all those boxes. 

A few of the most vital things to look for are: 

  • Multimodal support: There is great power in a single source of truth. If your supply chain depends on multiple transportation methods to move inventory by ocean, air, and road, then you’ll want multimodal tracking software rather than a single-mode solution (for example, ocean-only).
  • User experience: Getting value from technology investments depends on user adoption and it’s important to remember we’re not all data scientists. If your supply chain software isn’t user-friendly enough for everyone in your teams to work with, then that will limit its adoption and effectiveness. 
  • Feature set: Some software specializes in tracking only. But when other platforms include planning, sustainability, and detailed reporting functionality, you may not be getting your money’s worth.
  • Scalability and price: Supply chain visibility shouldn’t come at the expense of financial stability, so a pricing structure that makes sense now - and will keep making sense as you grow - is essential.

Looking for those points is all well and good in theory. But when you’re browsing through the options, it isn’t always easy to get a quick summary of what sets each tool apart. So we’ve broken down some key points about the most popular platforms.

2023 Market Guide: Supply chain visibility software



☆ Automated multimodal ocean, air, and road tracking

☆ Reporting, analytics and planning tools

☆ Carbon reporting and carbon offsetting tools

☆ Advanced sharing and collaboration features

☆ Full carrier integration across pricing tiers

☆ Fast set-up

☆ Document storage and sharing


X Advanced features (historical reporting) only available at Pro tier

Let’s start with ourselves. Beacon’s supply chain visibility software offers comprehensive ocean, air, and road tracking, effective planning and reporting tools, and industry-leading carbon reporting and carbon offsetting tools. And best of all, collaboration and sharing is integrated into the entire platform, so you can share live information for all your shipments seamlessly across all your stakeholders in the supply chain.

That’s a lot of information, but not everyone’s a data scientist, so all of Beacon’s insights are wrapped up in simple, easy-to-understand dashboards that mean you and your stakeholders will always be able to see the most relevant information at a glance - and act on it faster than ever before. 

In terms of cost, Beacon’s pricing model works on a tier system, so you can decide which plan makes the most sense for your business, and seamlessly upgrade as you continue to grow. 

Set-up is one of the easiest in the market. While ERP integration is supported, it’s not a requirement, so with Beacon you can get up and running to start seeing all your shipments clearly within minutes.



☆ Multimodal ocean, air, and road tracking

☆ Reporting, analytics and planning tools

☆ Free trials available

☆ Also offer complementary products for RFQ management, dispatch planning and freight invoice reconciliation


X Difficult to easily share data and collaborate

X Some carriers only supported at gated behind higher pricing tiers

X Advanced features gated behind price tiers

X Not focused solely on supply chain visibility 

Like Beacon, GoComet has planning, multimodal tracking, and auditing features that give businesses a thorough overview of their global supply chains. You’ll also see GoComet offering free trials, which is a useful way to get a feel for the software. 

Where GoComet doesn’t quite measure up to some of the other platforms on this list is in collaboration features and overall user experience. While it does offer a collaboration solution, it’s much more focused on project and task management, rather than the sharing of visibility and real time data with partners.

That’s because visibility isn’t the company’s sole focus. GoComet offers a variety of modular solutions like procurement management as part of a range of business tools – but that does come at the expense of a precise focus on supply chain visibility. 

Another factor worth noting is that GoComet gates some of its carrier support behind pricing tiers. If you’re on a lower tier, you’re only getting partial visibility and may be left exposed if you’re using a carrier that your tier doesn’t support. 



☆Multimodal ocean, air, and road tracking

☆ Reporting, analytics and planning tools

☆ Live dashboard to house all supply chain data

☆ White-labeled portals for collaboration 


X Can be difficult to onboard smaller forwarders and carriers 

X Customers report inconsistent road tracking reliability 

Shippeo is similar to GoComet, offering planning and multi-modal tracking features that give businesses more visibility into their supply chains through integration with hundreds of different carrier systems.

Like Beacon, Shippeo brings that information together in a single portal, with a streamlined user experience. Along with white-labeled portals for collaboration and a cost structure that’s based on volume.

While Shippeo does offer a carrier integration and onboarding service, some customers report issues when working with smaller carriers with less developed technology infrastructures. The quality and reliability of road tracking has also been cited as a problem in a number of customer reviews. 

Project44 and FourKites


☆ Multimodal ocean, air, and road tracking

☆ Reporting and analytics tools

☆ Powerful data capabilities

☆ Specific focus on high-volume businesses


X Not as well suited to smaller businesses

X Implementation can be expensive and time-consuming

X Not as accessible for inexperienced users

X Doesn’t support certain freight forwarders and unknown carriers

We’ve bundled these two platforms together, because both Project44 and FourKites have a strong emphasis on high-volume enterprise customers. That means the financial cost and implementation time can be significantly greater than other options like Beacon which are targeted to a wider range of businesses with faster setup and competitive pricing. 

These two tools are also heavily focused on raw, technical data. That makes sense, as larger businesses will have dedicated teams with the skills to interpret complex information. But it does mean they lack the clean, streamlined user experiences that make other options easier for the average person. So that’s worth keeping in mind if a simpler, more intuitive experience is your priority. 

The enterprise focus also means that some smaller businesses may find that not all of their needs are covered. For example, Project44 doesn’t support tracking for certain freight forwarders or for unknown carriers, which can be a challenge if you’re working with smaller partners.



☆ Multimodal ocean, air, and road tracking

☆ Reporting and analytics tools

☆ Carbon reporting and carbon offsetting tools


X Difficult to easily share data and collaborate

X Still in the earlier stages of development

Wakeo is another emerging supply chain visibility solution, with multimodal tracking that integrates with hundreds of carriers – along with analytics capabilities, and carbon footprint features. 

It’s still in the earlier stages of its development though, recently receiving new funding to add more features. That process will take some time, which means there’s still a gap when it comes to high-quality collaboration and data-sharing functionality.

Ocean-only trackers 🌊


☆ Dedicated ocean tracking functionality

☆ Bespoke support for specific types of regulatory compliance

☆ Ocean-specific features like port congestion planning


X Not suitable for full supply chain visibility

X No support for road, air, or rail tracking

X Many platforms lack additional features such as carbon reporting or streamlined collaboration tools 

Last but not least, there’s the wide range of supply chain visibility software focusing exclusively on transportation by sea. 

This category includes the likes of Windward, Terminal49, MarineTraffic, SeaRates, and many more. While very good at what they do, they won’t help you solve your supply chain visibility problems if you transport anything by road, air or rail. 

They’re great options for specific types of regulatory compliance, especially in the US. But there are other platforms that do much more.

Why choose Beacon as your supply chain visibility solution

That leads us back to Beacon. A single source of truth for all your supply chain data, combining real-time visibility with powerful collaboration tools – so that you can share insights across your supply chain network. 

This accessibility and level of detail mean every partner can make accurate, informed decisions – planning more efficiently and reacting quickly to get ahead of supply chain issues before they become crises. All through intuitive, sleek dashboards and instant integration with existing systems for easy, streamlined set-up. 

Trusted by global businesses large and small, we believe that Beacon is the most comprehensive supply chain visibility solution on the market. And we’re adding new features all the time to keep it that way.

So if you haven’t already given Beacon a try, talk to us today to start unleashing the power of supply chain visibility.