The tools, which were announced Tuesday morning, provide 14-day pricing forecasts, compare industrywide rates from thousands of sources to achieve accurate historical rate reviews and streamline recommendations into existing workflows to make managing multiple shipment variables easier.
“We knew there had to be a better way to build resilient and sustainable pricing strategies,” said Greg Price, Shipwell’s co-founder and CEO. “Too many people are fighting uphill battles with limited tools and data. We want to make it easy to price with confidence as your business grows.”
Between November 2020 and March 2021, the cost of shipping a container of goods increased 80%, the company, said, adding pressure on supply chain managers to find pricing advantages. Shipwell said traditional methods of pricing rely on spreadsheets and auctions. The shortcomings of spreadsheets, which are prone to errors, and auctions, which don’t offer transparency into the competitiveness of rates, make effective pricing more difficult.
The new Shipwell tools provide more accurate price forecasts, tailored market benchmarks and other data embedded into existing workflows, the company said.
In an interview with FreightWaves, Price noted the goal of Shipwell is to make data available and useful for customers.
“In supply chain it’s been very opaque and elusive for folks,” Price said. “Because supply chains are speeding up and they are becoming fast … how do we put data in front of frontline workers?”
The new pricing tools are an answer. Collecting data from multiple sources, the tools utilize machine learning to “predict a forecast” and incorporate that forecast into workflows of existing transportation systems. Price said the customer is able to benchmark the Shipwell forecast with their own data sources – including those included within Shipwell’s enterprise platform – to validate the forecast.
“We bring in trusted data sources and put that in front of our customers unfiltered. We have proprietary information that is on the Shipwell platform … that we put in front of our customers,” he said.
The accuracy of the tool is important because it ultimately drives trust with the customer.
“If you don’t have trust with your end customer, you really don’t have anything,” Price said. “Our goal is to put it in front of them with our platform and [then] they have the resources to check that.”
He also noted that within Shipwell’s platform is a confidence score that ranks the confidence in the data. It is part of eliminating mistrust that permeates supply chains.
The 14-day pricing forecast is updated regularly, so it would capture potential shocks to the supply chain. The end goal, Price said, is to help shippers “make smarter decisions today as well as 14 days out.”
The tool has been in beta testing with select customers. Price said those customers have been able to reduce procurement spend by as much as 10% and identify new opportunities in the market.
A potential offering for carriers could follow, but the initial tool is targeted toward enterprise shippers, Price said.