Supply chain visibility platform provider FourKites will launch an ocean shipment management tool after acquiring a firm that generates maritime shipping, document management, and cargo tracking data, the company said today.
The announcements comes as international container flows have been snarled in recent months by pandemic demand spikes, consistent port congestion, and the weeklong blockage of the Suez Canal. Those events have slowed typical export patterns, led to expensive detention fees, and sparked a federal investigation into the enforcement of ocean carrier and marine terminal practices.
Against that backdrop, Chicago-based FourKites has acquired Haven Inc., a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2014 with a goal to coordinate global trade by allowing users to compare freight rates, manage end-to-end bookings, track shipments in real-time, and receive predictive delay alerts.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FourKites says it will leverage Haven’s capabilities to create Dynamic Ocean, calling the product a “next-generation visibility solution that redefines end-to-end management for international ocean shipments.” Companies could use Dynamic Ocean to expedite the flow of goods through busy ports, reduce detention and demurrage costs, and improve customer satisfaction, FourKites said.
Dynamic Ocean covers 99% of global container traffic and more than 750 ports, using application programming interfaces (APIs) to share that data with other shipper systems like transportation management system (TMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, FourKites said.
“Ocean shipping is extremely complex, with at least six different parties touching a single container, and cumbersome documentation workflows that can account for upwards of 70% of detention and demurrage,” Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites, said in a release. “Together with Haven, we are proud to introduce new end-to-end ocean capabilities that have been sorely lacking in the industry, and that are now mission-critical to effective management of ocean shipments.”
The move follows a similar acquisition by fellow visibility tool vendor Project44, which last month bought Rostock, Germany-based Ocean Insights for an undisclosed sum, saying that move would complement its over-the-road supply chain visibility data set with maritime visibility solutions.
Get ready to Go Beyond - with digital document workflows, streamlined collaboration capabilities and global door-to-door tracking across every mode.— FourKites (@FourKites) April 7, 2021
The next generation of ocean visibility is here.https://t.co/SUOhFGD4m6#TechNews #SupplyChain #Logistics pic.twitter.com/ubeD2uBYu4