Fourkites wins patent for ocean visibility platform

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by Emily Atkins

The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Fourkites a patent for its ocean shipment documentation tracking.

FourKites automates the matching of specific documents with shipments to help shippers avoid demurrage and detention (D&D) fees, which can add up to millions of dollars a year.

Over the past few years, ocean shippers have faced unprecedented challenges. The first half of 2022 alone saw disruptions including COVID-19-related port shutdowns, container shortages, labor negotiations and new legislation — all of which resulted in persistent delays and congestion.

According to FourKites’ Global Ocean Report for the first half of the year, average global ocean transit time peaked at nearly 50 days and, compared to the first half of 2021, transit times were 19 percent higher than last year. 

In response, shippers have adopted solutions capable of providing end-to-end visibility and advanced functionality for managing global freight. Over the last 12 months, FourKites’ Dynamic Ocean saw an 80 percent increase in customer growth, including adoption by major global brands such as Cardinal Health, Arizona Tile, LyondellBasell, McCain Foods, Roehm, Rove Concepts and Yamaha Motors.

Over the same time period, FourKites’ ocean tracking volume has grown 240 percent. Through FourKites’ “Live in 5” program, new customers can expect to be operational on Dynamic Ocean in less than five days.

“FourKites’ automated reporting and tracking for ocean shipments provides more accurate and real-time data, which allows Canfor to respond to customer inquiries quicker, and with up-to-date information on our upcoming shipments that would have otherwise had to be manually tracked,” said Bob Hayes, vice president of global supply chain at Canadian forest products producer Canfor, which uses the system.

Fourkites also recently received a patent for its Smart Forecasted Arrival (SFA) capabilities.

 “We are excited to once again offer global supply chain leaders unique, breakthrough capabilities that address a significant and costly supply chain issue,” said FourKites’ founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal.

“With this patented technology, international shippers can enjoy easy access to the critical supply chain data… This latest patent brings us one step closer to providing visibility into everything, everywhere.”