Within the freight industry’s diverse and fragmented market, businesses tend to run workflows on inherently distinct systems, often making it challenging to integrate functionalities with a different solution in the market – even if it is evident that they are better suited to optimize their workflows.
Leaders at Austin, Texas-based freight logistics startup Shipwell realized this predicament. They are offering the company’s entire API to shippers, allowing them to integrate any part of its suite of solutions – from order entry of a shipment’s lifecycle all the way to reconciliation and payment.
“Shipwell’s mission has always been about connecting, optimizing and automating supply chains. We want to take our cloud-based connected shipping platform a step further than transportation management systems (TMS). We foster communication with customers, connect deeply to ELDs to track trucks better, and bring vendors and 3PLs [third-party logistics providers] together,” said Jason Traff, president and co-founder of Shipwell.
Shipwell’s go-to market revolves around mid-market shippers that generate between $50 million to $700 million a year in revenue. Based on conversations with its clients, the startup understood that while several businesses found Shipwell’s application to be intuitive and beneficial, they were at a loss to find a way to integrate these functionalities into workflows that they had already set in place.
“We saw this time and time again. At Shipwell, everything that we’ve built for our online application has been built on top of a REST API. For customers that couldn’t use this before, we’ve productized that API, so that they can use any or all of Shipwell’s functionalities, the same way we use it,” said Traff.
The functionalities have been broken into distinct modules. For instance, if a client is looking for a better way of getting orders for shipments, they can utilize the order entry optimization module through the Shipwell application or could take up the module’s API and integrate it into their own workflows.
Traff observed that customer feedback has been heartening. “Clients that use our web application typically see a 15% reduction in shipping spend within the first three months, which for a lot of customers is well over $1 million. Generally, within the first year, they see a 20 to 25% reduction in shipping costs,” he said.
These functionalities have a positive effect on the forwarder’s clients because they can now track their shipment through the web portal, giving them a branded experience as is expected in the ecommerce landscape. Traff explained that Shipwell integrated its solutions with the top ELD companies in the market, helping the company track truck locations and connect to trucks to bring in hours of service availability.
“A lot of customers we see come in with a tracking baseline of around 50%, with most of that tracking being manual. After integrating the Shipwell tracking into their platform, they now have a combination of ELD, API and EDI integrations along with the mobile application technology, helping them get to roughly 75% tracking, with most of it being automated,” said Traff. “For them, there are many benefits through soft cost savings. Their employees can now focus more of their time on core operations, rather than just track shipments.”
Shipwell will be demonstrating a bit of its REST API functionality at the FreightWaves LIVE event in Chicago. That apart, it will also showcase its routing guide and the possibility for shippers to leverage its carrier scorecards to evaluate past performance and safety records before agreeing to the indicated hauling price.