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The world of E-Commerce is drastically changing daily where customer demands keep increasing with the expectation of a dynamic customer experience. Every business has constantly evolved with the use of technology to gain a competitive advantage and survive in a changing environment.

This has been the same for the logistics and supply chain industry. For many years the need to have a competitive advantage has pushed the industry to adopt new technology and software development.

API Integrations digitally transformed the business processes by automating and connecting business systems on one digital network allowing secure data exchange and streamlining operations. APIs allow;

  1. Real-time connectivity
  2. Two-way communication
  3. Accurate and timely data availability

The industry which has been relying on manual processes and EDI is now slowly shifting to integrating APIs.

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface that is generally a cloud-based software used as an intermediary within two applications. Although we may not realise it, API is used daily in our day to day lives. From using social media, online payments, to ordering food, we use APIs to conduct our daily activities easily.

Process of API

Let’s take the example of using a mobile phone. When a mobile app is in use, the app connects to the internet and send data to a server.  Then the server retrieves data. After this data is retrieved, data is interpreted and performed and sent back to the phone. The mobile app then interprets the data which was sent and provide you with the information you needed in a readable format. All of this is possible due to API.

APIs act as an intermediary for freight forwarders and 3PLs and allow different systems to communicate accurately with their customers. APIs are also used to allow freight forwarders TMS to directly communicate with their carriers and other stakeholders.

As mentioned, there is a constant race to be the best in a rapidly digitizing industry. How can API help freight forwarders who are already in bottlenecks due to the disruptions in the market become more agile without exhausting the available resources?

How APIs help freight forwarders

APIs have many advantages that can be offered to freight forwarders;

Process automation

The main advantage freight forwarders would have from API software is the ability to automate their processes. The need for manual entry will be eliminated via automated processes created by the API. As an example API software allow freight forwarders to upload and share documents from around the world in real-time. Through this process, your customers won’t have to wait until the data are manually updated to make any timely decision. 

APIs will provide freight forwarders and their clients’ access to all the necessary data in real-time allowing prompt communication between the stakeholders. Most API software allows shippers to request quotes through the software itself. APIs are also capable of transmitting data between different systems without changing formats.

When customers are provided with seamless integration processes, their customer satisfaction will increase allowing freight forwarders to strengthen their relationships.

Customized solutions

There are plenty of API solutions in the market that provides freight forwarders with the opportunity to personalize and create custom experiences accordingly.  Customized API solutions allow inventory and procurement management, statement of account, billing workflows, and many more features. Shippers can also request quotes and inquire about shipment if necessary. Based on their client’s requirements, freight forwarders can provide customized API solutions.

Available API software in the market provides the ability to send notifications and many more which can be personalized if needed. APIs provide these options all in real-time which expedite the operational process of freight forwarders.


APIs are capable of acting as a middle man between the TMS and stakeholders and provide real-time data along the supply chain process. Tracking and tracing shipments travelling in various parts of the world will provide the stakeholders real-time visibility to make decisions.

Real-time visibility also allows freight forwarders and stakeholders to anticipate any disruption that may occur due to the availability of real-time data. This will allow to allocate the necessary resources promptly to mitigate risks and manage risks accordingly. APIs allow freight forwarders to communicate in real-time with respective stakeholders.

APIs support to also reduce mistakes and allow clients to make direct payments and constantly notify on required information. Freight forwarders can allow their clients to manage and be updated about their statement of accounts on one secure cloud platform and automate their accounts payable processes. This type of visibility will allow freight forwarders to reduce manual data entry and focus on other core operations.

Read our blog on how real-time data can help freight forwarders here.

Solution for Branding and Positioning

API solutions available in the market allows freight forwarders to reflect their companies’ branding when deploying API solutions. This allows freight forwarders to position their brand among the stakeholders as a company that prioritizes stakeholder experience. Customer satisfaction is mandatory in an industry where customers are dependent on real-time updates.

It is also important to ensure any API solution used is easy to be integrated and is constantly updated to support the integration process.   APIs are evolving constantly becoming faster, robust and safer. APIs are freight forwarders’ solution to keep up with the competition and constantly keep evolving.

How can SFL Insights help your business?

SFL Insights is a white label web/mobile app solution for freight forwarders to provide your clients shipment visibility. SFL Insights allows freight forwarders to let their customers view shipment related data in real-time through any device, anywhere and anytime.

A new way to display shipment visibility, tracking, analytics, notifications, and updates that include document viewing, uploads, and display of shipment milestones.

You can also use our app to be updated on all industry related updates!

What are you waiting for?

Download our brochure to get to know more. Visit our website to get the desktop demo version and download the app or email us at for more info.

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