FourKites, Ocean Insights tie logistics software closer

FourKites, Ocean Insights tie logistics software closer

Shippers often bemoan the need to manage visibility in different legs via different systems, a key reason why visibility providers in different freight modes see value in partnering. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

Partnerships between logistics software providers continue to proliferate, evidenced by freight visibility providers FourKites and Ocean Insights saying Tuesday they’re linking the former’s surface transportation capabilities with the latter’s data into ocean freight visibility.

The agreement is meant to provide joint customers with a cohesive view into delays and predictive estimated times of arrival (ETAs) where the ocean freight leg can be more directly connected to the inland legs. It’s emblematic of both the need for startups to partner to amplify one another’s customer channels, but also of the chronic difficulty for one provider alone to provide visibility across multiple freight modes and geographies.

Whereas partnerships between visibility providers — or between a visibility provider and another system provider — once tended to reside in the background, those partnerships are now more front and center.

Complementary data value

Ocean Insights chief commercial officer Robin Jaacks alluded to such partnerships during a presentation at the JOC LogTech Conference in Las Vegas in early September, where he said the data his company aggregates has powerful value when fed into complementary systems. It’s the first such partnership FourKites has cemented with a fellow visibility provider, although the company has many integrations with transportation management systems (TMS) providers.

FourKites said in a statement it has 260 shippers using its predictive visibility products, including 18 of the top 20 US food and beverage companies and nine of the top 10 consumer products goods companies, and tracks more than 600,000 shipments daily. Ocean Insights sells directly to forwarders and shippers using liner schedules, vessel location data, and other information to pinpoint the location of containers. It provides carrier-neutral information of shipments across all major international and regional ocean carriers, as well as container status updates and predicted ETAs.

“Supply chain professionals can better manage their operations and unlock value through a single, consistent visibility platform, regardless of international and domestic responsibilities,” said FourKites CEO Mathew Elenjickal said in a statement.

Contact Eric Johnson at eric.johnson@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.