Document Automation

DocRouter - a new free automation tool from Shipamax

DocRouter, a new, free, standalone service from Shipamax, gives logistics companies a zero-risk way to prove the value of automation—and then scale to full production use with no costs and no strings attached.

Shipping is a documentation-heavy industry, and the sheer volume of physical and electronic paperwork can be overwhelming. Yet while logistics and freight-forwarder companies know they could benefit from automation, they also want to know it’s going to work before they make the investment.

Shipamax has come up with a novel approach to de-risking the process of adopting automation, by offering its DocRouter solution free-of-charge, with unlimited production use and no strings attached.

DocRouter solves a relatively simple—yet frustrating and time-consuming—problem for freight forwarders. It gives ops teams a simple interface where they can monitor all the emails coming in from suppliers and customers, extract the attached PDFs, Microsoft Word and Excel files, scanned images and other documents, and upload them to the right jobs in their Transportation Management System (TMS). For example, for companies that use CargoWise as their TMS, Shipamax claims that the whole solution can be up and running in as little as 30 minutes.

We asked Nick Thorne, Director of Product at Shipamax, to comment: “We realised that traditional trials like small proofs of concept or limited free tiers just aren’t appealing to most logistics companies. They don’t want to spend time deploying something, even as a pilot project, if they can’t see how it works at scale—because that’s the only way to tell whether it’s really going to deliver value.”

Thorne continues, “By making DocRouter completely free to use even at production scale, we’re saying go ahead, try it out, and if it works for you, keep using it. Once you experience the benefits of DocRouter and gain confidence that automation is going to deliver value for your business, then we can talk to you about other solutions that provide even more sophisticated automation capabilities.”

As Thorne describes it, automation deployments are fundamentally different from other software projects, because success depends on how the solution performs in production and across a seemingly endless variety of document formats—which is difficult to predict. He says: “With most software products, you only need to see a demo of the features to know what you’re going to get when you deploy it. With automation, you need to put serious volume through the system before you can be certain of the results.”

Over time, the AI embedded in DocRouter learns how users handle each type of document, and then becomes able to classify incoming documents automatically. It can also help to automatically route documents to the correct job in the TMS by recognising references such as bill of lading numbers—saving time for ops teams and freeing them to focus on more valuable tasks.

Yet DocRouter is only the tip of the iceberg for AI-powered automation, says Thorne. “Document classification and routing is where you start. And then you think: what if the AI could intelligently extract data from these documents, enter it into our TMS, and validate and reconcile the figures automatically? That’s when it’s time to talk to us about Shipamax’s paid products, such as AP invoice and commercial invoice automation.”

After trialling DocRouter with a few existing customers, the company is now seeing interest from net-new clients across the industry and is already engaged in its first greenfield implementations.

“We’re excited to see where this could lead,” says Thorne. “And we’d be delighted to hear from any other logistics companies who are interested in taking their first steps with automation with our no-risk, no-cost DocRouter solution.”

If you’d like to learn more about how Shipamax can help you make the case for strategic automation at all levels of your business, reach out to us today.

Helen CherrySenior Product Marketing Manager
September 2022
4 min read
  • Freight Forwarders
  • Document Automation
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