INTTRA and Catapult announce partnership
INTTRA, the world’s largest multi-carrier e-commerce network for ocean shipping, announced Tuesday a strategic agreement with Catapult International, a leading provider of multi-modal rate and contract management systems for the logistics industry, to sell integrated rate and contract management capabilities to freight forwarders, shippers and carriers that use INTTRA’s global e-shipping solutions.
“One of the things we like so much about this is that the rate and contract management piece is a natural extension to the electronic shipping life cycle that INTTRA has been automating since our inception,” said Sandra Moran, chief marketing officer for Parsippany, N.J.-based INTTRA. “What we will do together is more completely cover that full e-shipping cycle -- from selecting a rate, making it very easy for a shipper or a forwarder to select the rate including all of the carrier surcharges and then from that rate move directly into the booking process through the INTTRA platform.”
She said INTTRA’s customers have been “asking us for a long time to please help with the complexity of managing their rates and contracts.”
Catapult International, based in Lenexa, Kan., was founded in 2007 to help shippers and forwarders find their best option for shipping rates in seconds.
Gordon Ho, vice president of strategy and growth at Catapult, said customers will be able to go into the Catapult system and view accurate rate information and then book with INTTRA directly by clicking on a button on the Catapult website without going to multiple websites.
The two companies expect to make the integrated system available within weeks to joint customers.
Catapult has about 54 customers, many of which are the top freight forwarders in the world.
Bryan Luttrell, chief operating officer and one of the co-founders of Catapult, said that most of the company’s customers rely on Catapult to manage rates and surcharges from them “so we take the complexity out of managing ocean contracts.” He noted that there is a great deal of volatility to surcharges, and by managing rates and surcharges, and putting them on its software process, customers are able to access data easily.
Because many of its customers are forwarders who need to be able to offer rates to shippers moving cargo between many different points, (and Catapult manages multimodal rates for cargo moving by truck and rail as well), the company has more than 1 billion rates in its system.
Luttrell said customers are able to see the “all in” freight rates for moving cargo between two point on several different carriers or using different routings immediately from the Catapult system, and then, if they wish, drill down to look at the details of surcharges or see the cost of using different currencies. Customers can sort and filter rates by price or by carrier.
Moran noted that customers can also manage their own margins so they can add a specific percentage or dollar amount to the rate that they receive from a carrier so they can improve quote accuracy and maintain an appropriate margin.
Financial details of the arrangement between the two companies were not disclosed, but INTTRA customers will have the option of purchasing the Catapult solution under an annual contract with a monthly license fee and options on Catapult services they might want.
Companies can outsource the loading of their rates to Catapult’s system, as well as the updating of rates and surcharges.
Moran noted that the lowest-cost route may not always be the most desirable way to move cargo, since transit time and rate accuracy may be as important.
She said shippers will be able to combine the information that Catapult provides on rates along with operational metrics that INTTRA provides on data quality, for example “so we can really help a company understand the business decisions that they’re making and the implications that that has to their ability to optimize the supply chain.”
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