Time Is Ripe For APIs In Logistics Supply Chain

Logistics Update AfricaSeptember - October 2019

Time Is Ripe For APIs In Logistics Supply Chain
Adopting technologies like APIs has become crucial for supply chain management stakeholders to be able to offer quick quotes, compare rates, make bookings, track and deliver value to their customers, Blessy Chettiar reports.
Blessy Chettiar

A huge part of supply chain management processes is exchange of data from system to system. Data creation, transfer, storage, analysis and use are hot topics of discussions as increasing digitisation is slowly, but surely getting entrenched in the business of logistics.

For decades, supply chain management solutions have been relying on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), through which companies were able to send large amounts of data with a single transfer. It allowed business to ditch the use of paper and send data to other businesses electronically. Clearly defined standard formats are maintained by all parties and this helped minimise human intervention, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency and accuracy. However, even though it is more secure, the use of EDI is increasingly thought of as redundant as it requires more manual involvement. And that’s because APIs or Application Programming Interface offer the same functions to streamline freight and logistics, with added benefits of quicker transfers and tracking data in real-time.

API is a set of programming instructions for accessing web-based software applications that allow software platforms to talk to each other. Open or public APIs are published freely on the internet for the developers to use. Businesses can integrate functionalities directly into their systems or software solutions, or customise according to their preferences for increased productivity.

Just like a user interface allows one to operate a computer or mobile phone, APIs serve as an interface between software programs and help them communicate.

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September - October 2019