• ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,909.400
    -330.930
    -2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.776
    0.014
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.610
    -0.170
    -0.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,915.300
    -318.010
    -2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American Shipper

Trade data firm merger a sign of changing market

Datamyne and Zepol joining forces brings the number of major trade demand intelligence companies down to three, and heralds new competition for industry leaders PIERS and ImportGenius.

   It’s said that data is the fuel of information systems, so it follows that trade data is an integral ingredient in modern supply chain IT.
   That’s what makes the merger announced last week between trade data companies Datamyne and Zepol so intriguing, and so potentially impactful on transportation and trade interests.
   In the field of trade data providers, there are but a handful of names upon which the industry relies for accurate information on trade volumes, of which Datamyne and Zepol were among the biggest and most reputable, along with PIERS and ImportGenius.”
   Most of these firms convert either ocean carrier manifest or bill of lading information into easily-manipulated, searchable databases of U.S. import and export volume. That information is critical to ports, carriers, logistics companies, and shippers, for various competition or efficiency reasons.
   The trouble with these systems is that the information they compile is only as accurate and complete as the information that goes in. And many consignees – especially larger ones – do their best to shield information about their volumes for their own competitive reasons. Sometimes that means they don’t list themselves as the ultimate consignee on a bill of lading, or it’s not clear whether 20 different consignees are actually different entities within the same company.
   That’s not to say to there isn’t tremendous value in these systems, especially on an aggregate sector or trade lane basis. Knowing who is shipping what through where is incredibly valuable. But knowing the whole picture also means taking into account supply-side information, as well as rate data. There are tools for all of these functions, but none are housed in the same system.
   Thus, the job is left to modern supply chain software providers, or 3PLs in a managed services environment, to piece this all together.
   In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the combination of Datamyne and Zepol will fare against PIERS.
   “Both Zepol and Datamyne have been under a lot of pressure since Piers sold to IHS, a world leader in data services,” said Ryan Petersen, former chief executive officer and founder of ImportGenius and current CEO of IT-oriented freight forwarder Flexport. “With ImportGenius coming in as a lower cost provider of the same manifest data, and PIERS locking in the top end of the market with lucrative ocean carrier and port contracts, these companies have increasingly found themselves stuck in the middle.
   “Although the data business is high margin, the companies have been forced to reinvest much of the profits in new features to compete for business. This acquisition is all about cost savings as they’ll likely eliminate redundant positions, data collection processes, and corporate overhead.”
   Datamyne’s information is broader in scope than that of Zepol, which focused for years on U.S. import data and in recent years added export data. Datamyne reaches five continents with its database. Both layer analytics and business intelligence tools on top of the data.

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