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EDI vs API

February 22, 2017 by InterChez in Tips To Ship By

What is EDI? It is the electronic interchange of data using an industry based, standardized format. This allows one business to send data to another electronically rather than with paper.

What is API? An API is an Application Program Interface comprised of a set of routines, protocols, and tools to link software applicatoins together. API’s allow developers to access data on demand using credentials specified by the software or program they’re interfacing with.

How are EDI and API used in the logistics industry? These information exchanges are used in all steps of the Supply Chain from warehouse management to carrier invoicing. Some of the main ways EDI & API are used include: booking shipments & scheduling pick-ups, tracking the status of shipments, and invoicing customers for shipments. EDI is the current standard of data exchange in the logistics industry, however many companies are rapidly making the switch to APIs.

DISADVANTAGES ADVANTAGES
EDI

– Very cumbersome and time consuming to implement

– Can be very expensive, especially when using a 3rd party to translate the data

– Only operates in one direction; No ability to respond to EDI transmissions with “received” messages

– It’s not very flexible: you must schedule transmissions and cannot request data on demand

– Current standard for data transmission in the logistics industry

– Ability to bulk send mass amount of information in scheduled intervals

API

– Not standard practice in the Logistics industry…yet!

– Requires development to implement

– Extremely flexible and generally easy to implement

– Is the standard for data transmission in almost all industries besides logistics

– Two-way communication: Can send responses to data calls with success or error messages

– Data On Demand: With APIs you can request vast amounts of information from an API endpoint as often as you’d like

While EDI still has some advantages, it will not be long before API data exchange becomes standard in the logistics industry. EDI simply cannot compete with the visibility, security, and efficiency that APIs provide.

If you haven’t started thinking about how your company can begin adapting to the API revolution, now is the time to put it on your radar. InterChez can help you establish API connectivity so you can book, track, and invoice with speed and efficiency. Contact our logistics team to get more information or to request a quote for API integration with our InterView TMS.

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About InterChez

InterChez is a full-service national and international logistics, translation, and consulting company based in northeast Ohio. InterChez is proud to offer our clients technology-driven solutions that integrate and simplify complex global operations. Our proven dSEC principles – Design, Source, Execute, and Continuously Improve – complement our industry-specific experience, our innovation, and our dedication to excellence, enabling us to provide our clients with a competitive global advantage.

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