“Nowadays, in 21st-century business lingo, communication most often means digital technology.”—Alen Nguyen, Rolling Stone
By and large, you don’t need anyone to tell you that the supply chain and logistics industries exploded during the pandemic. By now we understand the role e-commerce played in the explosion of the supply chain market. Subsequently, as the supply chain grew, so too did the infrastructure that supports it.
No, we aren’t talking about physical infrastructure and those summertime road repairs. Instead, we’re talking about supply chain data and the software tools that support it.
Supply Chain Software Market Predicted to Reach $26B by 2030
All things considered, it’s never felt more clear. SaaS and cloud software will continue to change the global economy. Indeed, the global SaaS-based SCM industry generated $7.3 billion in 2020. Then there’s the report by Allied Market Research. To summarize, SaaS supply chain market is expected to reach $26 billion by 2030.
In short, it seems like we’ve reached a tipping point in supply chain digitization. As Mike Droesch at Bessemer partners puts it, “digitization is enabling a new wave of data infrastructure, workflow automation, and collaboration platforms.”
Raise your hand if you know any businesses that need to upgrade their software in general. If that question hits close to home, you’ve come to the right place! Are you researching your next investment? Just looking to keep tabs on the supply chain SaaS? Either way, this post is for you. Ultimately, the premise here is that this post is a research tool to assist with your due diligence. Everyone more or less wants to know, Who’s the best of the best?
To answer this, first we’ll give a high-level overview of the supply chain SaaS market. In general, what is it? Why exactly is it growing? What trends should we follow? These are important questions. Next, we’ll look at the emerging subcategories within the supply chain software market. Finally, we’ll provide a list of leading companies that define each SaaS space. Let’s go!
Supply Chain SaaS Definitions
First and foremost, let’s define software as a service (SaaS). Gartner.com defines SaaS as “software that’s owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions. It’s consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis, or as a subscription based on use metrics.”
Many of us are familiar with SaaS by now. We know the software can be on-site or cloud based. We understand cloud-based software is preferable in the sense that it can be updated as easily as your smartphone.
In addition, we get how the subscription aspect works, too. A company ideally pays only for the software services and quantity it needs to get the job done.
Supply Chain SaaS Investment—Follow the Money
But the boom in supply chain SaaS has attracted more than just subscriptions dollars. Namely, investors. For instance, Bessemer Venture Partners posted an investment presentation on YouTube that outlines its bullish case for supply chain software growth.
In it, Mike Droesch describes the tipping point that supply chain software has reached. Additionally, Bessemer presents what it calls the modern supply chain software market map. In turn, we researched the companies listed in this market map presentation. And below you’ll find a summary of the companies that make up the bullish future of supply chain SaaS.
The Modern Supply Chain Software Market Map
According to Bessemer, supply chain software companies have settled into several niches over time. In broad terms, the modern supply chain software market map falls these subcategories:
- digitization and infrastructure
- digital transactions
- workflow automation
- optimization and planning
- supplier intelligence
- carrier backoffice SaaS
- e-commerce logistics and last-mile delivery
- partner collaboration
That said, in the next section we have a list of the leading companies noted by subcategory. We’ve included the elevator pitch from their company website’s homepage as a teaser.
It’s worth pointing out that many companies obviously provide software solutions that cover multiple niches. For example, our first company on the list is Vector. Vector is a digitization expert that can integrate, streamline, and improve a company’s existing supply chain software stack and workflows.
Bullish Digitization and Infrastructure SaaS Companies
Alan Nguyen suggested in a Rolling Stone article about the supply chain that “communication now actually means digital technology.” This statement sounds right. But what does it mean?
Simply put, our supply chains truly are only as good as our data. So, essentially every company listed today provides or relies on quality data points. How do we achieve the best data possible? By partnering with a digitization software expert, of course!
- Vector: The Vector shipment cloud eliminates paper, automates the process, and connects to the other systems you already use.
- Klear Now: Supply chains simplified with logistics as a service. What if you had real-time visibility into your logistics process?
- Chain.IO: Seamlessly connect your supply chain software with integrations. Leverage our fully connected network.
Digital Transactions SaaS
- Cargo.one: The easiest way to book air cargo. The cargo.one booking platform gives you access to real-time prices. Also see available capacities of multiple airlines. Book online in seconds. 24/7.
- Parade: Capacity management helps freight brokerages and 3PLs save time and also make more money.
- FleetOps: Powerful business intelligence for truck fleets. FleetOps essentially helps truck fleets drive performance and efficiencies using data instead of gut feel.
Workflow Automation SaaS
- Vector.ai (not to be confused with Vector): Remove the roadblocks to amazing operations. Vector.ai uses real-time content to drive seriously streamlined workflows.
- Expedock: Delivering powerful data infrastructure for the global supply chain. AI technology. Streamline all your workflows.
- Shipamax: Data entry automation across your entire logistics team. Leading freight forwarders automate with Shipamax.
Crossborder Shipping SaaS
- Flavor Cloud: Italy. Iceland. Indonesia. And anywhere. Wherever you’re shipping. We make global expansion easy.
- Passport: The number one international shipping carrier for e-commerce.
- Throughput: Predictive replenishment for complex supply chains. Realize greater output and also free cash flow.
- Four Kites: The number one global supply chain visibility platform. Trusted by the world’s most recognized brands.
- Terminal49: Streamline and automate your container tracking tasks. Save hours of labor. Expedite your containers. And also eliminate unnecessary demurrage and per diem charges.
- Project 44: Port congestion and delays? Manage global disruptions in real-time with Project 44’s new product, Port Intel.
Optimization and Planning SaaS
- Optimal Dynamics: Plan. Automate. Optimize. Dynamic planning and automation powered by high-dimensional AI.
- Zoba: Zoba increases the profitability of mobility operators through decision automation.
- Wise Systems: Wise Systems’ autonomous routing and dispatching software enables the perfect last-mile delivery for everyone in the process. Recipients. Drivers. Dispatchers. And managers.
Supplier Intelligence SaaS
- Scoutbee: Smart supplier data and search. Empower proactive procurement. AI-powered supplier intelligence. A platform for increased supply chain agility. And also faster innovation.
- TealBook: TealBook delivers a data foundation that unifies your systems. Empower your people. Optimize your suppliers.
- Supply Hive: SupplyHive analyzes, rates, and scores corporate suppliers at scale.
Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
- Turvo: The only collaborative TMS for a modern supply chain. (Especially) for freight brokers. 3PLs. And shippers.
- Rose Rocket: Growth requires power. The TMS you need to run your trucking and logistics business. For everyone in your freight network.
- Supply Stack: An all-in-one TMS that logistics teams actually enjoy using. Makes them feel like, “Hey, we got this.”
Carrier Back-Office SaaS
- SmartHop: Run your trucking business, your way. With SmartHop, it’s never been easier. Or more profitable.
- CloudTrucks: Managing your trucking business has never been easier. Make more money with fewer headaches. Run your business on the platform built for owner operators.
- TrueNorth: As the recognized experts in fintech software development, we offer proven architectural frameworks to accelerate the build of customized solutions.
E-Commerce Logistics and Last-Mile SaaS
- Deliverr: Fast fulfillment to accelerate your Walmart and Instagram sales.
- OneRail: Last-mile delivery solutions. From dispatch to doorstep.
- ShipBob: Fulfill your everything orders. ShipBob is a global omni-fulfillment solution. Ship orders everywhere customers shop.
- Mercado: Bring order to your imports. Discover a modern first mile workflow. Also a visibility platform for global trade. Plan. Buy. Then move your products online with ease.
- Backbone AI: Backbone AI automates the data connections in the supply chain. Manufacturers. Distributors. And suppliers. Uses advanced collaboration features.
- Vizibl: Leverage the power of supplier collaboration to drive sustainable business growth.
The Supply Chain SaaS Starts With Digitization
As you can see, there are many great SaaS solutions in the market. That’s the reality. Now and in the future. Our list today is just an example of some blue chip companies. Many more SaaS options are in the space. Not to mention there’s more software coming. A lot to process? Indeed. But this is why folks across the industry are bullish. The future of supply chain SaaS is bright. And it’s reason for optimism despite the supply chain crisis.
On the other hand, it’s a lot to take in. And you’re a decision maker. But your company hasn’t updated your system lately? In turn, researching the SaaS market is a time-consuming process. It can be intimidating. OK then, where to look first?
Here’s a rule of thumb. Going forward, communication is going to involve digital technology. In other words, you need to let the data talk. Thus, in many ways, we’re only as good as the quality of our data. So, it only makes sense that a good next move is to look at digitization.
To be sure, the future arrives one step at a time!
This post was written by Brian Deines. Brian believes that every day is a referendum on a brand’s relevance, and he’s excited to bring that kind of thinking to the world of modern manufacturing and logistics. He deploys a full-stack of business development, sales, and marketing tools built through years of work in the logistics, packaging, and tier-1 part supply industries serving a customer base comprised of Fortune 1000 OEMs.