Within the freight industry at-large, there has been a noticeable push by stakeholders towards solutions that provide them visibility into shipping operations. Though the technology in itself is not of any specific concern, developing a track-and-trace solution involves explicit collaboration between all the parties within the supply chain, which is essential to maintain real-time visibility. This also requires the solution to dig into multiple data sources, clean the noise out of data streams and ensure nothing of relevance slips through.
Haven, a logistics workflow automation startup, introduced a fully autonomous multi-source tracking platform on May 15. It was developed on the back of several million data points to materialize as a solution that is both affordable and seamless to integrate within shipping workflows. The real-time tracking solution can now handle more than 500 metric tonnes an hour in containerized volume alone.
Matthew Tillman, the CEO and co-founder of Haven, began the company after two decades of working on machine learning development within the finance and advertising segments. Jeff Wehner, the COO and co-founder of Haven, came into the company after running supply chain and manufacturing procurement for Apple iPhones and Nest/Google.
“We created Track and Trace so that our customers would no longer have to search multiple websites or license complex software platforms to see all their shipments in one place. Now they have an affordable solution that lets them focus on growing their business, not scanning carrier websites,” said Tillman.
Tillman spoke about Haven’s search for market validation within the track and trace vertical, where the team met shippers of all sizes to hear their pain points with other vendors in the space. “Shippers would spend months evaluating a solution only to realize that it didn’t work with their providers because it missed forwarders and trucking companies. This meant that they were locked into a solution that worked for 80 percent of their business while having to maintain staff to do the remaining 20 percent of the work,” he said.
“Worse still, the customer would often find that the tech vendor needed the customer’s help to bring onboard additional providers. The customer ended up doing the heavy lifting for the software vendor. Instead, Haven works with all of its customers’ providers from day one and new providers require no additional setup by the customer or provider,” Tillman continued.
There also is the issue of time delay in data streams. Many of the track-and-trace solutions in the market receive data from third parties, and it takes time for them to relay it through to their users. “Delayed information often means slower decisions at critical times. Haven was built for real-time tracking and uses a combination of carrier direct messages (EDI, API), site level data, and AIS,” said Tillman.
Haven also cuts down the costs associated with tracking, and offers a pricing system that is more flexible than the incumbents in the space, which Tillman termed both cumbersome and overpriced. He explained that the idea was to make the solution easy to adopt and structured to revolve around customer experience. “Our customers can turn Track and Trace off when they don’t need it. Users are charged a low monthly fee, but you’re never charged for adding new viewers to your account. With this model, we’ve already received excellent customer feedback,” he said.
Currently, Haven offers its Track and Trace solution for ocean container visibility and has mentioned that its air, rail and intermodal tracking services would be offered soon.