Drewry and Trade Extensions partner to benefit shipping clients

There’s a definite trend for sourcing software providers to develop product offerings that offer deep expertise in specific complex categories. We can see it in the growth of the ‘VMS’ providers, who are offering software and services in contingent labour and related categories; or in the Emptoris link up with Telecoms experts Rivermine. As Jason Busch at Spend Matters (and I) have commented, it’s a direction that is differentiating these sourcing solution providers from the likes of Ariba with their network focus, and from ERP providers, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see SAP and Oracle watching these developments with interest.

Now in another interesting move down the same track, Drewry Supply Chain Advisors and Trade Extensions have announced a strategic alliance, “to bring leading edge sourcing technology and unprecedented market expertise to companies buying international sea freight from multiple carriers. The alliance will see Trade Extensions and Drewry support shippers in sea freight procurement and any associated rail, road and barge inland transport in a maritime-intensive supply chain”.

Trade Extensions’ sourcing platform is a global leader in terms of automating complex tender processes and running ‘optimisation’ type sourcing exercises (see more here – and our recent White Paper on the topic here).  Drewry are advisers and consultants, with expertise as a market leader in freight benchmarking and sea freight market intelligence consultancy.

Shipping tenders are often highly complex, with many ‘lanes’, carriers and different options. There may well be multiple bidding rounds, and other factors as well as price to take into account - such as carbon emissions or supply chain reliability.  The logic is that the Trade Extensions platform, integrated with the knowledge and experience provided by Drewry, will give exporters and importers a unique and attractive combination of support and expertise.  Back to the press release:

“Some of the features available to shippers through the alliance include:

  • Incorporating carrier service quality ratings and environmental factors into the tender optimisation engine.
  • Advice to buyers on price targets and the timing and duration of contracts.
  • The ability to run “what if?” simulations by quantifying the cost to the company of including, or not including, a particular buying criterion or constraint.
  • The ability to optimise the allocation of volume based on complex constraints and criteria e.g. schedule reliability, transit times, carbon emissions, freight rates and demurrage costs.
  • A sourcing platform which substantially reduces the time to run and complete complex tenders.
  • Independent advice on potential new carriers to be invited to the tender.”

We suspect you'll see more of this type of tie-up, formal and informal, as providers look to build their offerings, and procurement (and business) leaders recognise the opportunities in some of these more complex procurement categories.

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