It is hard to predict the speed at which technology will impact logistics dramatically. From Geo-tagging capabilities to autonomous robots, technology will have enormous impacts on the logistics industry as a whole. Application Programming Interfaces or APIs will be at the center of connecting all these features into a single management system.
In 2015, the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) was the core of advanced transportation management systems, but it is becoming irrelevant. Shipping APIs are taking over the shipping industry, becoming the most tech practice among shippers. In a research conducted with 200 supply chain managers, 85% are using EDI, but 43% were unsatisfied with them. 55% of the respondents believe APIs is a practical option to use instead of the EDI. The main reasons for the replacement are the need to function in real time, compatibility to use competitive TAT, and big data tech compared to EDIs.
Why Real-Time Information Matters
The recent technology advancements in time-critical shipments have brought shippers the ability to quote, route, and track shipments in real-time without picking up a phone. One of the key factors for improving efficiency is the capability to work with data in real-time.
A transportation system needs to have an automated integration process and access to the latest information in real-time to best suite a time-critical provider.
For example, if a medical team is waiting for an organ shipment for testing, a specialist is actively monitoring the delivery process to inform the technicians when the shipment will arrive. That specialist needs to access real-time data as it becomes available to best staff the technician to meet the delivery driver, schedule the organ testing, and prepare a medical team if the organ is viable to be transplanted.
How APIs Impact Time-Critical Shipments
By utilizing APIs, a transportation management system, like the Client Portal Airspace Technologies offers, can pull data from multiple sources at once.
An API connects to databases like a bridge connects two landmasses divided by a river. Ths connection allows the shipper or procurement specialist information on tracking delivery drivers, access to up-to-date flight information, weather and traffic delays and GEO-Fencing capabilities.