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June 10 2019

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32 The Journal of Commerce | June 10 2019 Container Innovation Special Report IT'S HARD TO call tracking and tracing of freight an innovation at this point, but most shippers still struggle with pesky details related to completeness of information and the ability to procure such tools, pro- viding an opening for global trans- portation management systems (TMS) to streamline the customer experience. Global TMS provider Haven, for example, is attempting to address those issues, as well as ease of use and cost, with a new track-and-trace ocean product it says covers freight from purchase order to delivery at the container or shipment level. In a briefing with The Journal of Commerce, Haven CEO Matt Till- man said his software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, founded in 2014, learned from its customers that they struggled with basic elements of cargo visibility. While visibility is often conflated with transportation management, they are not the same. TMS providers generally offer some degree of visibility, or partner with outside providers that give their customers such capability. "The big problem in this space is that vendors limit you to their network of providers," he said. "They get tracking information from 45 of the top whatever carriers, and even if that represents 98 percent of trucking in the US, you still have to manage that 2 percent with people, and that's highly inefficient. You've spent $15,000 on a system and you can't use it for everyone." Another issue Haven set out to solve with its standalone product, which is available to shippers and logistics companies, is masking the inconsistencies between data formats, inconsistencies that often crop up even with the same piece of data from the same provider. "That doesn't just hurt the logis- tics team, it hurts finance, because there's an invoice that needs to be paid, and if there's conflicting infor- mation, it takes time and people to resolve those conflicts," he said. Tillman said, for example, that a 315 container status message from a carrier provided via electronic data interchange (EDI) might conflict with information from a carrier's website, or even a direct email noti- fication to a customer. Tidying up As shippers demand cargo visibility, TMS operators seek to streamline track-and-trace capabilities By Eric Johnson

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