The APIs include what SMC³ called execution and visibility web-service solutions that provide event-based visibility to streamline workflows by sending alerts when shipments require action or attention.
The new cloud-based APIs are meant to complement existing APIs SMC³ offers for its core products, RateWare XL and CarrierConnect XL.
APIs are an alternative means of system-to-system communication from the transportation industry’s standard method, electronic data interchange (EDI). SMC³ still provides EDI-based tools since much of the trucking industry is still reliant on that communication format. APIs, in general, take less time to build than EDI connections and can be configured in ways that EDI’s standard message sets can’t.
APIs have started to gain traction in the transportation and logistics industry, helped by the formation of project44, a neutral technology hub of APIs connecting carriers, shippers and transportation management system (TMS) providers. Some technology providers, like C.H. Robinson's TMS subsidiary Freightview, only use APIs to connect users with carriers and brokers, while the startup freight broker Cargo Chief similarly only uses APIs to connect with its carriers.
SMC³ Chief President and CEO Andrew Slusher said the SMC³ APIs are intended to help companies with the entire LTL lifecycle, “from initial rating and transit analytics to shipment visibility, execution and audit.”