It is difficult to anticipate the rate at which best tech practices in logistics are changing. The EDI which became the center of any advanced transport management system by 2015 doesn’t seem to hold the same relevance now. Shipping APIs are gradually advancing to become the most efficient trend among shippers. In a study conducted with 200 supply chain executives, it is noted that even though 85% are using EDI, out of the, 43% are frustrated. Also, 55% respondents believe that web-based service APIs could be a feasible option to replace the EDIs. The main reasons for the switch are coming out as the need to work in real time, compatibility to work with big data tech and competitive TAT compared to APIs.
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It needs to be noted that the recent progress in the logistics domain is majorly attributed to the improvements in the efficiency. One of the major parameters for improving efficiency is the ability to function in real time. With the industry aspiring to provide 1 day or same day delivery model even for the small ticket items, it becomes imperative that almost all the lags in the delivery chain are diminished. Therefore most of the supply chains start rolling the different stages simultaneously. So when the purchase order is still in the process of being prepared, the insurance surcharge and load rendering is also simultaneously completing their completion cycle.
EDI Vs API – Which one is better?
EDI, which works on the principle of “Store and forward” doesn’t fit into this frame of working. There is no direct scope of real time functioning which makes it impossible for the system to work simultaneously. EDI was the first solution which was adopted by the logistics industry to accelerate the communication system which was relevant then. But in the current scenario where communication entails a much deeper level of functioning, EDI might just not be the right tool to operate on.
There are 2 primary challenges which are faced by any system when all of its components work simultaneously. First is seamless integration and second is access to the latest status update of the process. API technology works well to conquer both of these challenges. Application Programming Interface (API) was primarily used to help two different systems communicate efficiently and in real time. Since it is able to provide the output in real time, all the components of the supply chain remain in sync with the progress of delivery. The crucial features of the delivery cycle such as routing and real-time tracking are also supplemented with the API technology without any abruption.
E-commerce- The Biggest Beneficiary of Shipping APIs
E-commerce companies come up with their specific goals and can’t afford to focus single handily on shipping (unless, of course, it is Amazon). But the key necessity of finding a right shipping partner is undeniable. It also plays a crucial role in accelerating the scaling capacity of the company. Shipping APIs pose as a ready to use solutions for these e-commerce companies who turn towards the shipping companies with a single goal of faster and better delivery practices without much efforts on the development front. Apart from accelerating the existing processes, shipping APIs also adds value by giving multiple shipping options to e-commerce. With the help of robust and real-time information provided by the APIs, e-commerce companies can opt for multicarrier delivery system increasing the ways in which they can optimize the delivery process.
APIs – Increasing visibility as well as mobility
Rating APIs & Shipment tracking APIs are a great asset for the shippers who are able to utilize higher visibility into the operations for their benefit. The improved and comprehensive rating information gives them leverage on choosing the most profitable carrier and faster dispatch with wasting time in requesting for rates. The tracking APIs ensures that all the stakeholders of the freight are informed about the real time location of the shipment. This alone has improved the customer experience to new levels.
The advantages, as well as feasibility provided by the penetration of internet in the systems, cannot be ignored simply due to the impact it has created. The upsurge of mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones have made it possible that even without any cost intensive setup the carrier can still be tracked down with the device carried by the driver. This accelerates the adoption of tracking services in the system and also ensures that the onboarding of new vehicles doesn’t necessarily need to go through extra steps of integration of tracking or communication devices. The GPS and cloud-based services are easier to connect with the help of smart devices carried by the drivers.
Paving way for an autonomous future
The driver shortage is an impending problem that logistics industry is fighting with for decades now. There is a huge emphasis on creating an autonomous delivery system which avoids all types of drawbacks present in the current system. Since we are speaking about a future where M2M communication is going to be the foundation of the operations, usage of the API’s can be hardly surpassed. Rather than evaluating the relevance of your system technology in every 2 years, it is better to go for a technology which is flexible enough to accept the changes and model itself accordingly for a longer duration. APIs seems to pass this test.
DreamOrbit is helping out its global clientele in acquiring the advanced shipping APIs which works on the RESTful platform. Depending upon the needs and demands, it has also provided API solutions on XML and SOAP. One thing which is common in all types of requests is the inclination and optimism shown by the logistics experts for the Shipping APIs.
DreamOrbit is a Logistics and Supply Chain Technology Development company. We have been creating meaningful and reliable software products for the industry which is “Always on the go” for the past half decade. We are highly motivated team aimed at innovation. Our philosophy is to “keep challenging the potential within”. With the support of our happy customers and dedicated team, we strive to provide best possible solutions to industry problems. Visit our website to know more about DreamOrbit.