One of the big challenges of transport/freight business is the predictability of the system. Owing to lack of transparency in the system, there is a lot of pilferage that opens up a huge opportunity for technology play.
Shipx is a SAAS based freight management solution that enables shippers and logistics service providers to manage entire logistics processes, right from load initiation to the final delivery of shipment, smoothly and efficiently.
As an example, in case of tyre and car manufacturers, tyres manufacturer will be a consignor company, and car manufacturer will be a consignee company. In addition to this, there may be other parties involved (like fleet owner – from which the transport company hires the vehicle).
shipX enables all of these companies interact with each other and manage the whole process, right from load initiation to the final delivery of the shipment, smoothly and efficiently. All the involved companies have visibility and they can perform actions depending upon their roles (in the transaction). The company has even opensource’d its base algorithm.
Key features of shipx
1. Load Tendering and Vehicle Assignment
For shipper companies where daily load is heavy (say more than 50 trucks per day) shipX can automatically tender the load to the contract carries depending upon the constraints defined by the shipper to save on total freight and operational cost.
2. Spot Procurement
Shippers who do not have contract with transporters can take use of shipX’s spot procurement solution. They can request quotes from transporters in shipX network and book. shipx uses geographical data (latitude-longitude), service providers’ capabilities and ratings to select the eligible transporters. These transporters can reply to the quotes online (or by SMS). Shipx can also compute instant quote (iQuote) (if transporters have rates defined on shipX)
3. Consolidation and Route Planning
shipX can help companies consolidate multiple deliveries or pickups by region, weight, volume and other constraints and reduce freight cost.
4. Invoice Matching
Shippers can use shipX to do invoice matching. Even though a shipper company may have contract with a transporter, it is a very hard process to verify the invoice transporter submits. shipX can capture the contract, and help shippers verify the invoices by matching contract rates, type of vehicles, transit days etc.
5. TMS Solution for Transporters
shipX is a complete transport management system in itself. shipX lets transporters manage operations across all locations including own branches, franchise locations and customer locations. They can also use shipX to provide shipment information visibility to the customers and effectively interact with the vendors. For example, if a shipment is moving from Bangalore to Pondicherry – Bangalore users can arrange for pickup, dispatch the vehicle and Chennai users (ie, users of the closest transporter branch) will be able to see in their delivery dashboards and plan for delivery. Moreover consignor and consignee companies can track the shipment.
Collaboration is key in this business and in my humble opinion, too much of reliance on connectivity will be a hindrance in shipX’s uptake. Maybe a simple SMS based system will help, though the founders know it best (out of three cofounders, Amar & Venky were co-founders of Boston based supply chain execution company Yantra which was acquired by Sterling Commerce in 2006).