15 September, 2019 Marcel Merkx Marcel Merkx

API's for Logistics (Dummies?)

API's for Logistics (Dummies?)

A logistics practitioners view on “API’s”

API’s, you may have heared your IT team talk about them, but what they are…. and what can you imagine a CargoSnap API to do???

First of all, the term API is an acronym, and it stands for “Application Programming Interface.” Hang on, hang on, don’t leave yet!!!! Lets see if we can explain with a metaphore we can relate to :-)

Let’s say you need a truck for your business. Well, while you could go and build one yourself (right?), chances are you’ll order one. Based on your research or preference, you will opt for a certain brand of truck. Now the dealer will provide you with a list of available models and many options (color, engines, airco, trailers etc) along with that. You can pick the suitable model, select options and regardless how and where they build it, you get the truck you need.

API’s are the software equivalent: a developer needs to accomplish something and a software producer publishes a list of functions and features that the developer can cherry pick from. The developer doesn’t need to know how the other system does it. They just need to know where it is, to make it available for use in their own app.

To extend the metaphore a bit, developers may want to use their own data as input to get specific results, just like you may want to provide your logo to be printed on the tarp of the truck. As such cases are usually also covered, I hope you agree API’s are pretty neat handy ways to make a lot happen quickly (while your competitor chose to build a truck themselves, you’ve touched a half million miles, after all!).

At CargoSnap we strongly believe in the power of API’s, in fact so much that in our solution, anything a CargoSnap user can do, can also be done with an API.

Using our modular design, shippers and logistics companies can ‘drag and drop’ their Proof of Condition processes. For example what information to capture at the receipt of goods, or what to capture in case someone sees a damage of sorts. All that information can be collected with our mobile app, via the web, but of course also through an API. With that information input and output available in API’s, customers have almost endless possibilities to build, integrate and automate solutions, workflows and reporting around CargoSnap. To paraphrase Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, we should be limited only by our imagination.

Do you have ideas for integration with CargoSnap? Drop us a line, help us stretch our imagination just a little bit more!!