Contracts: carrier vs shipper – the last one standing?
Good chart, bad finding
The debate over how much tech firms are able to disrupt the traditional freight forwarding and logistics business appears to be gathering momentum, if The Loadstar’s comment pages are anything to go by.
And to help fan those flames, this week’s Loadstar podcast features San Francisco-based Haven, which recently launched a new transport management system (TMS). The TMS was originally developed for small- and medium-sized shippers wanting “direct access to a fully transparent carrier market”, but during the past two years of beta testing and system roll-out, it has transpired that its major customers have been multinational commodity trading firms, as chief executive Matt Tillman explains.
“They’re the ones that started to get the most benefit out of it, because in a commodity trade it turns out that highest variable cost is freight and logistics, and so they need an incredibly fast way to set those freight and logistics costs.
“And then their operations teams could be horribly understaffed, and even though they are doing hundreds of thousands of containers a year, they need tools – which they don’t have, outside email – to help them negotiate and communicate with the downstream suppliers: the people who are booking the freight; the shipping lines and so on.
“They needed a collaborative system to help them do that,” he says.
However, as he and fellow founder, director of marketing Renee diResta, acknowledged, it has not been the smoothest of paths.