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.