Today’s freight landscape is anything but simple for shippers. As demand continues to outpace capacity in many industries, the ability to manage one’s supply chain has never been more needed — but at the same time, the ability to do so is becoming increasingly difficult.
Through the rough and tumble of it all, one FreightTech provider is flipping the script.
Centerboard, a leading neutral transportation management provider, is rolling out application programming interface solutions geared specifically for shippers to integrate with technology providers.
The company announced its latest offering, Centerboard Microservices, in December, presenting its cloud-based technology as a breakthrough solution for shippers needing greater supply chain access.
Centerboard’s Microservices is structured as building blocks, building a back-end architecture in a modular way. This provides shippers with a la carte supply chain functionality, allowing users to pick and plug API offerings according to their specific needs.
Centerboard’s APIs allow software providers to embed supply chain access into their clients’ existing systems, regardless of the transportation management system or enterprise resource planning platform.
“This is the combination of everything that we’ve learned from years of working directly with shippers and technology partners,” said Centerboard Chief Commercial Officer Lindsey Shellman.
Shellman and Chief Technology Officer Xavier Amella have worked together for years as technology partners and were excited to come together on this in 2018. “We’ve known that if supply chain continued its technological evolution, this new data model and technology stack would revolutionize the industry,” said Shellman.
The company has grown tremendously since then. Shellman noted that Centerboard has directly integrated with more than 200 shippers’ ERP systems, providing the Centerboard team with both real-time data and an IT road map for its Microservices model.
“Centerboard has targeted every vertical and every type of shipper from retail and chemicals, food and beverage, to medical and industrial supplies, you name it,” Shellman said. “We have a really diverse IT road map that includes feedback from shippers of all sizes, shippers of all types, doing all different types of things and leveraging all different types of technologies.”
Shellman described Centerboard’s Microservices as a must-have for shippers still using legacy systems or ERPs that lack transportation management functionality but looking for an affordable solution that does so.
Centerboard’s commitment to shippers is what Amella says allows them to easily partner with other FreightTech providers.
“Our target audience isn’t those with traditional TMS, but rather those that don’t have transportation management solutions,” Amella said. “Because of the way that our APIs are built into our Microservices, traditional TMS can utilize our APIs to enhance their offerings as well.”
Because Centerboard’s APIs are easily integrated with digital freight platforms like Uber Freight, Convoy, Loadsmart and Transfix, Amella explained how easy it is for technology providers to give their customers access to transportation management and a single integration point to a variety of digital freight providers through Microservices.
Shellman added that market feedback has been incredible, with customers expressing how long they have been looking for this type of solution. Each expressed excitement that someone had finally built a neutral, carrier-agnostic, shipper-focused product.
“The flexibility and modularity of the APIs through Centerboard is a solution that no one in the industry is offering,” Shellman said. “We are thrilled to address the complexity of supply chain and let users access shipping functionality from within their existing applications. For the first time, shippers will have affordable access to technology that provides true visibility and control of their supply chain operations, while eliminating the need to juggle multiple tech stacks.”
One of the first companies to utilize Centerboard Microservices is BluePallet, the first end-to-end commerce platform for the chemical industry.
“Our partnership with Centerboard strengthens the TMS functionality within the existing framework of our marketplace, helping our users spend less time managing multiple supply chain services outside of our platform,” said Pat Salomé, chief product officer at BluePallet. “We are looking forward to our continued partnership with Centerboard to support our network of manufacturers and distributors.”
Amella said, “This is a huge innovation for the supply chain industry. Without Centerboard, it would be a significant tech spend for companies, carriers, TMSs and ERPs to actually invest in building this type of freight technology themselves, so we’re excited that our APIs can bridge that gap.”
Shellman said supply chains have only really started to embrace technology in the last four to five years and that supply chain challenges have never been as prevalent as now.
“We know that this is disruptive in a very good way and will open up a lot of opportunities for additional technologies to enter the supply chain industry,” she said.
More from Centerboard: