Freight quoting is an essential part of today’s global supply chain, yet it remains a lengthy and exhaustive process. In many cases, it comes down to which forwarder can provide the fastest rate quote when shippers (customers) are selecting who to award their business to.
The digital freight technology company, SimpliShip, became aware of this gap in the industry and set out to provide a faster solution to providing rate quotes through API (Application Programming Interface) connectivity. Unlike the traditional rate quoting method of waiting hours and hoping for an answer (and likely losing out on business in the process), automated APIs pull information and generate quotes in real-time. Real-time data also allows shippers to know they are getting the most accurate, company-specific rates.
The firm is positioned ideally to be the plug and play where BCOs can connect with their partners within days rather than months.
SimpliShips API solution, which the company calls “LiNK”, is currently offered to two different customer groups:
LiNK for Forwarders – A Rate Management API that allows you to instantly quote on a Forwarder’s own website.
LiNK for B2B – An API that fully integrates into any TMS, ERP, Marketplace or any software solution to enable instant purchasing off international air and ocean freight.
SimpliShip believes that APIs are the next generation of supply chain management systems and technology and that the number one driver of this innovation will be start-ups focused on digital acceleration. This technology will enable a seamless integration of many different parties and touchpoints within the supply chain. Most importantly, it will enable on-demand data and optimization both of which aren’t available today. It has therefore firmly set its foundations on this futuristic technology to innovate and unlock the true potential for APIs in international logistics.
As a result of their ground-breaking work and patent-pending Predictive Freight Rate technology, SimpliShip came out as one of the finalists in the ‘Global Freight awards 2018’ and ‘The Lloyd’s awards’ under the category of ‘Product Innovation’.
Cory Margand, CEO & Co-Founder, SimpliShip
The CEO and co-founder of the company, Cory Margand began his career originally as an Industrial Engineer where one typically thinks critically about every single aspect of activity and outlook to improve it. He then went on to work on the BCO side of things where he was completely taken back by the lack of data availability and transparency. The tech was far behind in terms of other industries as well. So, after going through a few contract seasons and years of negotiating rates, he was inspired to reimagine the way things were done and revolutionize the industry altogether.
He shares, “I’m afraid to admit this but, I always wanted to be associated with this industry. I was obsessed with IE (Industrial Engineering) work for a while which is a natural fit for SCM (Supply Chain Management). So, I legitimately am an SCM geek and got extremely passionate about it after doing a simple LEGO exercise in undergrad. From there on, I was hooked and wanted to learn everything I could about SCM. The industry is huge and I’m thankful I worked for a few companies that allowed me to travel the world and learn about every single aspect of SCM. I’m very much a generalist now which is really cool because I can help in almost every aspect to get a product from concept to the consumer. And, I find that extremely sexy!”
“Our team is made up of supply chain and tech geeks. There aren’t many early-stage companies that can proudly say that. Our team has someone that can lead in any single aspect ranging from logistics to sourcing/manufacturing to global compliance and warehousing. So, we end up having a group of smart passionate people which leads to constantly pushing the envelope to solve our customers’ challenges.”
When asked about Cory’s take on the escalating trade war between the US and China and its impact on supply chains. He expressed, “It really depends on the commodity. Generally speaking, a lot of commodities already moved out of China or dual/triple sourced their products because of increasing labor shortages and costs. This is more for products that are still being manually produced. Electronics, for example, have a real challenge due to the inability of other low-cost countries to replicate the supplier base. I personally believe, the biggest impact is on the US when it comes to scaled commodities like cranberries, lobsters, lumber, grain, etc. It is devastating to these types of companies and their families who have been involved in this type of work for so long.”
In his closing thoughts, Cory shared a bit about SimpliShip’s plans for the future. He aspires to take the firm to the next level and wants SimpliShip to be known as the international logistics connector and data provider. Right now, there’s far too much that happens in silos because of both tech and how the industry operates. The firm is positioned ideally to be the plug and play where BCOs can connect with their partners within days rather than months. As a part of this, SimpliShip is involved in activities and experiments around predictive freight rates where, it can play a significant role as the leader in forward-looking data and indexes for a large range of customers such as financial institutions, BCOs, carriers, NVOCCs, and forwarders.