Logistics Technology

Logistics Technology

Technology is now embedded in the very fabric of the way that freight moves across oceans and land. A major dynamic driving technology in logistics is the rise of e-commerce, which has heightened customer expectations in both consumer and industrial markets, and raised demands placed on logistics teams.
Another major factor is the flood of venture capital funding, underpinning hundreds of logistics technology startups, while serving to accelerate the overall pace of innovation.
The dizzying pace of new start-ups, new buzzwords and new information makes it extremely challenging to chart an intelligent, risk-averse path. For shippers, it can be confusing to decide which areas of their business make the most sense to invest in, which specific solutions to use to track their supply chain data and to evaluate their current systems and processes.
The logistics technology choices that ocean carriers make will have a significant impact on the overall direction of the logistics technology sector in the future, because much of the data that shippers need in order to optimize their supply chains originates within the data networks of those carriers. To maximize the benefits of such initiatives, the critical data must be accurate, and must flow through such channels as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in a timely fashion.
In an effort to improve the quality of this data, some ocean carriers are taking steps to collectively harmonize their data standards.

Commentary

Their up-front costs may be more, but the economies of scale for collapsible containers are even greater.

News & Analysis

BluJay, project44 team up in latest TMS-visibility partnership
23 Jan 2020
The trend of TMS vendors partnering with ancillary visibility and capacity providers continues apace, this time with BluJay Solutions creating an integration with Chicago-based visibility provider project44.
09 Jan 2020
A secret shopper study of top forwarders by an equipment marketplace provider finds that most are uninterested in providing shipper-owned container options to small or unknown shipper customers.
06 Jan 2020
The electronic logging device (ELD) eventually will help shippers find trucks more quickly, help trucking companies better manage drivers, and help drivers better manage hours. But more integration of ELD data with other systems and more development are needed to deliver bigger benefits.
03 Jan 2020
It took decades to break up shipping conferences’ control and fixing of shipping rates, but now freight forwarders face a new threat from the carrier-backed TradeLens, a group that has already taken control of much of the world's container cargo data.
26 Dec 2019
Shippers and non-vessel-operating carriers are now seeing electronic quotes on par with those offered through long-term contracts, a clear signal that certain container lines see instant quoting as a key part of their future strategies.
23 Dec 2019
Third-party logistics providers increasingly view technology as a way to make their services "stickier" and more valuable to their customers, rather than as a competitive threat.
19 Dec 2019
The Cass Freight Index suggests the bottom of the trucking market has passed, although the data doesn’t provide a clear picture of when pricing power will flip toward carriers again.
18 Dec 2019
Seattle-based Convoy is challenging freight brokerage incumbents by saying it has developed capability to automate freight matching and pricing in widely-used US truckload lanes.
ODFL looks for added value in ELDs as final deadline looms
11 Dec 2019
The second-largest US LTL carrier has completed its AOBRD to ELD conversion, and now looks to expand the integration of its ELDs with other technologies, including geofencing.
11 Dec 2019
Chicago-based startup Transship is teaming with TradeLens and other tech companies to create an automated shipping and forwarding platform for containerized perishables shipments.
10 Dec 2019
DB Schenker will use a Dutch startup to provide container line schedules to enable the German 3PL’s digital quoting and booking tools, pressing home the need for digital procurement platforms to have good underlying schedule data.
03 Dec 2019
Cass Information Systems is partnering with the University of Tennessee to enhance its benchmark truckload and intermodal pricing indexes, and explore new data opportunities.
26 Nov 2019
An array of ocean freight portals, mostly developed by tech startups, have entered the Indian freight landscape in recent years, trumpeting pricing transparency and shipment visibility. But they have much ground to gain to seriously challenge traditional players.
25 Nov 2019
JOC LogTech19 panel recap on technology investment disconnects as well as possibilities for smoothing the freight interchange between international and domestic modes.
14 Nov 2019
"There's a growing appetite to re-evaluate the buying-selling relationship," in freight contracting, says
Freight procurement is going to have a new look
14 Nov 2019
Carolyn Glynn, director, imports, Sealink International provides a recap of the JOC LogTech19 Conference panel on automation of freight procurement, the question of contracts that don't hold carriers to their allocation commitment, and how this movement will change the very meaning of procurement.
12 Nov 2019
Through a partnership with the software provider BlueX Trade, the Taiwan-based container carrier will allow shippers and non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) to book space digitally “within minutes,” the companies said Tuesday.
CargoSmart links shipment data, trade finance blockchains
06 Nov 2019
Shipment management software provider CargoSmart has tested a connection between a Hong Kong banking platform and shipment data provided by terminals and container lines to speed approval of trade finance processes and expand the range of shippers who can receive financing services.
El Dorado, a new tech experience at TPM20
17 Oct 2019
The two-day "El Dorado" tech experience will address the growing need among beneficial cargo owners, third-party logistics providers, container lines, ports, and other freight transportation interests to understand the true value of technology and navigate an increasingly complex landscape of vendors and emerging technologies.
16 Oct 2019
Emergence of platforms across modes will help breakbulk market implement new tech. JOC Senior Editor Eric Johnson on challenges, steps forward for project cargo shippers that want to leverage tech for improved visibility, data.
14 Oct 2019
DP World will invite 10 Indian startup businesses to participate in an interactive technology program as it seeks to leverage the benefits of blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, simulators, and the internet of things (IoT) for the development of smart trade solutions.
Flexport adds visibility capabilities with Crux buy
10 Oct 2019
With the acquisition of the software maker Crux Systems, Flexport is becoming a provider of third-party visibility data while also eschewing concerns about M&A expressed in the wake of its $1 billion round of funding in February.
10 Oct 2019
The pace of technological growth is exceeding the logistics sector’s ability to come up with ways to use it, leaving the market with “solutions” that do not align with actual shipper needs.
10 Oct 2019
The Reston, Virginia-based software supplier’s new “Book it Now” feature adds an execution element to its existing load-matching capabilities.
10 Oct 2019
Venture capital firms are pouring an unprecedented amount of funding into logistics-focused startups, but a focus on rapid revenue growth over sustainable profitability may not be leading these companies away from products that would provide the most value to shippers.
01 Oct 2019
The India Ports Association is looking to link its digital platform to a network operated by Abu Dhabi Ports, sources said, as India seeks more international integration in logistics.
30 Sep 2019
The convergence of contract and spot rates for ocean freight and the increased availability of instant digital quoting tools is pushing more cargo to the spot market and changing shipper negotiation strategies for long-term contracts.
24 Sep 2019
The partnership with JDA is the latest sign of how Maersk is seeking to become an integrator, deepening its reach into landside transport, customs brokerage, and distribution.
16 Sep 2019
Chicago-based Forager last week became the latest logistics technology startup to take aim at the increasingly complex US cross-border trucking market.
Technology smoothing logistics sourcing shifts
12 Sep 2019
Older logistics outsourcing models are being replaced by collaboration among multiple partners on specific, high-priority projects as technology advances.
Blockchain platform TradeLens seeks ‘organizational identity’
12 Sep 2019
The adoption of blockchain-based container shipping software may depend on the efficacy of associated identity management and data security components.
12 Sep 2019
DHL Supply Chain will connect with the truckload freight network of Seattle-based broker Convoy and San Francisco-based collaborative software provider Turvo, startups that have raised more than $355 million in combined funding.
11 Sep 2019
Despite being incredibly complex and heavily reliant on personal relationships, certain elements of project cargo logistics can be streamlined through digitization.
09 Sep 2019
“We don’t think about our supply chain as a collection of technologies, but as processes,” Abir Thakurta, vice president of global supply chain for the Atlanta-based furniture retailer, said in a keynote address to the conference. “For us, it’s about supply chain performance. I’m interested in outcomes. If you’re a technology provider, think outcomes, not solutions.”
09 Sep 2019
So much of the discussion around international logistics technology is focused on so-called disruptors and the vast amounts of money behind them, but the reality is that disruption isn’t where the action is taking place.