API integration programs are starting to become more and more common in the logistics industry as end-to-end visibility emerges as a crucial component of the modern supply chain. With XPO now starting to focus energy on APIs, it’s hard to deny that the industry is headed in that direction at lightning speed. XPO joins FedEx, who implemented an API Integrator Program last year, as two of the industry’s largest companies currently working to improve, not only their own technology and visibility solutions, but the solutions of their partners.
Collaboration is Powerful
A major revelation within logistics over the last year has been the idea that collaboration is a necessary component to increase efficiency across the supply chain. It is estimated that 80% of the most relevant supply chain data to your company resides with your partners, and as our ability to share information has improved, the benefits have been palpable. When the industry has access to more data, companies are better equipped for things like visibility, exception management, inventory or route planning, and just about anything else related to the supply chain.
One of the main hurdles has been making sure that everyone a supply chain is able to share data effectively—the technology the industry has used to communicate for decades doesn’t provide accurate enough data. When supply chain data comes in late, or in a format that your technology systems don’t recognize, it causes a snag that bottlenecks your shipments. That’s why companies are taking it upon themselves to initiate integration programs.
Technology Improves the Supply Chain
Industry technology is advancing at a faster rate than it has in a very long time. Companies are starting to realize the benefits of a modern technological infrastructure, and putting a serious effort forth to upgrade their systems. Modern technology gives companies the ability to share their data in real-time, and if they’re integrated through APIs, that data can be normalized and fed to all supply chain partners at the same time. That’s called information symmetry, what everyone across the supply chain is able to obtain and leverage the same data.
That’s a main reason we’re seeing the implementation of these API integration programs. Companies want instant and accurate data, billing processes that are drastically less prone to errors, improved visibility, and access to better tech solutions down the road. The more companies that leverage these solutions, the more prevalent the benefits are. That’s why it’s good to see larger companies, who work with a larger percentage of the industry, leading the way for these API integration programs.
Benefits to Carriers
- More exposure to potential business
- Higher priority with customers due to better data
- More data for business planning
- Higher revenue thanks to more business and higher efficiency
Benefits to Freight Purchasers
- More robust market
- Single integration for market access
- Better data for purchase analytics
- Higher profit margins
Seeing leading companies in logistics embrace APIs signals that this trend is only beginning. Whether it’s XPO APIs, FedEx APIs, or any industry titan, it’s especially encouraging that they’re bought in to the extent that they’re implementing these integration programs. As the push towards revamping industry technology continues, strong leadership will be extremely valuable in getting everyone on the same page.