The Era of Trade Management Platforms!? Thinking about the future of logistics DX.

Hello, it’s IINO.

I would like to broadcast IINO san’s Logistics Radio.

Today, I would like to talk about “Zenport released “ZenBox” application.”

Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 19th May 2022

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”ZenBox” released by Zenport

Zenport, a developer and operator of trade management platforms, has released ZenBox, a dedicated application for efficiently managing PDF and other trade documents on Platform.

ZenBox is linked with DocuWorksDesk, a document management software provided by Fujifilm Business Innovation.

This service allows scanned images and PDF to be associated with Excel and other data files for efficient management by case.

About ZenBox

They provide a Platform that enables exporters, importers, forwarders, and other trade-related parties to manage trade information online.

Zenport’s Platform automatically imports and integrates data held individually by trade-related parties, such as order information from importers and shipping information from forwarders.

By having all parties involved share trade-related information on the Platform, they aim to facilitate trade operations.

I took a look at ZenPort website.

I think it is very useful to be able to see at a glance the status of transportation for each trade case. You can also chat, communicate, by case.

Advantages of Platform

Traditionally, communication is done by e-mail, and there are a lot of e-mails from people in the trade, sometimes as many as 100 per day.

It takes time to find emails for the projects we are in charge of, and when looking back on past projects, it also takes time to find the correspondence at that time.

So, I think it is very important to be able to manage emails on a common platform.

Organize and Store in a Single Format

While digitization is progressing in the industry as a whole, faxes and paper-based communication still remain in trade operations.

Some companies manage these documents by importing them as PDF or image data.

However, documents imported as images are complicated to manage, because the information in the document is unstructured, making it difficult to correlate with shipping information and other structured data.

The format is also disjointed, and in the case of PDF, it is not possible to sort by necessary information.

That is why Zenport developed the application ZenBox.

ZenBox allows importers to easily organize and store electronic documents uploaded by exporters and forwarders in various formats including paper documents.

These documents are organized each shipping case through DocuWorksDesk of Fujifilm Business Innovation, which is linked to ZenBox.

Reading of Image Data

I looked for the ZenBox application but could not find it, so my guess is that it reads the image data of electronic documents and automatically sorts B/L, Invoice, Packing List, and C/O.

Here, it is important that whether PDF shipping document information is properly unified.

It would be great if it can centralize the image information, and make AI to look for mistakes, alert and auto correct them.

Zenport President Ota said, “Various digitalization projects are underway in trade operations, but due to the large number of people involved, we do not expect digitization to progress rapidly.” He stated.

Furthermore, he emphasized the benefits of ZenBox, saying, “it is effective as a solution to bridge the gap between complete digitization and partial digitization at the current stage.”

Konoike Unyu’s “KBX” service

I would like to talk about Konoike Unyu matter as well.

On May 17, Konoike Unyu announced the launch of “KBX,” a service that allows users to perform a series of functions online, from requesting arrangements for import and export operations to confirming progress and completing arrangements.

The service allows users to complete the exchange of quotations, progress confirmations, and completion of arrangements on the web.

It is not known if the service can be used for booking, and even if it can be used, it is not known if it can be linked to shipping companies’ API.

Platforms and Forwarders

The future may be the era of using each platform for the use of forwarder services.

Of course, the availability of space and the affordability of freight are important, but the usability of information may become one of the differentiating factors in the future.

For forwarders that do not have a platform, information management will continue to be e-mail and paper, and will probably not be chosen by a generation accustomed to using apps and systems for information management.

It is also important to note how the Booking system for shipping companies will develop in the future.

The current ship-only Booking system may become able to handle total logistics as well.

We do not know what will happen yet.

The information I am providing is based on my own subjective viewpoint, so I suggest that you use it only as a reference, and do your own research and thinking.

That’s all for today. Thank you.