Every month we select one logistics startup which represents a positive example of innovation in Logistics and Supply Chain and has the potential to alter the way the industry operates. This month, Transmetrics selected SHIPSTA, the leading eProcurement platform, as the “Logistics Startup of the Month” for its innovative focus on logistics procurement solutions.
The company offers products that provide the direct link between shippers and logistics service providers, procurement, handling which are optimizing transport capacities and reducing freight costs. In order to learn more, we have talked with Christian Wilhelm, the Co-Founder of SHIPSTA, about the startup’s journey and how eProcurement can improve logistics operations.
First of all, congratulations on becoming the Logistics Startup of the Month! Can you please briefly introduce our readers to SHIPSTA? What is the focus of your service?
SHIPSTA is all about taking a digitized, smart approach to procure freight rates. Our flexible eProcurement platform, SHIPSTA FLEX, allows purchasing and tendering processes to be optimized. Shippers can effectively be digitally networked with freight forwarders.
According to you, what are the biggest problems with procurement in logistics today?
In my opinion, the digitization wave is simply passing a large part of the logistics industry by. This applies to procurement, too. Instead of using the advantages of modern technology, which would save time and money. Finding the best freight rates is a highly complex, tedious and manual process, where even a small mistake could have enormous consequences.
Can you please tell us more about the concept of eProcurement and how can it improve the logistics operations?
eProcurement enables products and services to be electronically purchased with the help of digital networks. Our eProcurement aims to lead the transport industry into a digital future. Thanks to new digital technologies, tendering processes can be analyzed in seconds with a mouse click instead of suffering weeks of excel mania.
So our eProcurement doesn’t just save time, but also money – there’s a saving of up to 65 percent when it comes to process costs. At the same time, it creates transparency like never before that you are able to gain more insights into your business.
What are the unique aspects of your products such as SHIPSTA FLEX?
SHIPSTA FLEX forms the core of the SHIPSTA concept – whether for spot buying, short-term day-to-day procurement, contract buying, or long-term contracts. Many tedious steps become a thing of the past as soon as shippers and carriers go online with the SHIPSTA platform.
Instead of using a phone, e-mail and excel, the procurement of freight volumes – i.e. the whole procurement process – takes place entirely through SHIPSTA FELX. As such, SHIPSTA FLEX offers a professional, efficient and flexible e-procurement solution for medium-sized and large companies. In short: SHIPSTA shortens distances, avoids detours and connects people.
Considering your extensive experience in the industry, how did it help you during the development of SHIPSTA?
I worked for over 8 years in the procurement department of one of the largest logistics companies. I was responsible for freight tendering processes and carried out numerous tenders. Therefore I know exactly what is important and what has to be considered during the procurement process of freight rates.
Apart from the eProcurement, what are the other digitization trends that will influence the logistics in the next 5 years?
- Artificial Intelligence and machine learning;
- IoT track and trace;
- Autonomous vehicles and platooning.
Looking at your journey with SHIPSTA and the experience that you’ve acquired, what would you do differently if you had a chance to start over?
When we started SHIPSTA in 2015 we had a to-do list with thousands of entries – and wanted to tackle them all at once. This multitasking ended up preventing us from focusing on the most important things. We’ve worked to improve in this respect based on what we’ve learned. Good project management is especially important for young, fast-growing companies.
What major developments should we expect from SHIPSTA during the next year?
Our plan for 2020: We want to launch a global logistics marketplace called SHIPSTA GO. Whether from corporations or small businesses, it will finally allow freight rates to be digitally purchased on a marketplace. Our vision: Create the first virtual procurement manager worldwide.