Like the automotive industry before it, the shipping industry is beginning to see disrupting trends that are changing industry standards. Leading the way in the disruption are companies with advanced technologies that seek to modernize the shipping space. From tracking containers to overhauling terminals, these companies are finding unique ways to disrupt an industry that has been around for centuries.
Five companies in particular are helping to make shipping innovations lead stories in technology publications, making this once overlooked industry a talking point for innovators around the world. These five companies are definitely the ones to watch as we continue to see this industry change.
1. [Freightos](http://freightos.com" target="_blank)
Freightos puts the power to choose in the hands of not only freight forwarders but also individuals by allowing them to search for and filter shipping options; filters include price, time, route, fees, etc. This is revolutionary in the industry because a shipment can have upwards of 20 fees, so getting a quote in the past took days. Freightos allows instant quotes and compiles the fees for different shipment options, making it sort of the Kayak of shipping.
The company continually makes [headlines](https://techcrunch.com/2015/09/09/with-a-fresh-14m-freightos-wants-to-power-the-global-freight-industry/" target="_blank) with large funding rounds, so we’re sure to see more come from this startup.
2. [Flexport](https://www.flexport.com/" target="_blank)
Another company gaining [wide media attention](http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-11/flexport-wants-to-be-uber-of-the-oceans" target="_blank) is Flexport, a company that wants to be “the Uber of the oceans”. This startup has digitalized shipping using a web-based platform to manage international trade. A licensed freight forwarder, the company offers real-time visibility of shipments, as well as navigation through customs and logistics challenges.
As the amount of international trade certainly isn’t slowing down, Flexport has a good chance of continual growth.
3. [MarineTraffic](https://marinetraffic.com/" target="_blank)
The leading ship tracking service is MarineTraffic, an open, community-based project that gives real-time ship movement information. The platform is based on Automatic Identification System (AIS), which transmits position, speed, and course from the vessel. Even for vessels in the open ocean, MarineTraffic partners with [Orbcomm](http://www.orbcomm.com/" target="_blank) to provide satellite tracking capabilities for these ships out of range.
This site boasts 22 million visits per month and gives the most comprehensive AIS coastal tracking facility available, making it a company to watch.
4. [Holland Container Innovations - 4FOLD](http://hcinnovations.nl/" target="_blank)
A unique innovation comes from Holland Container Innovations, where they created 4FOLD, a foldable freight container. Since 20% of containers transported by sea and 40% by land are empty, the cost to transport these empty containers is considerably high. 4FOLD reduces these costs by allowing four containers to be transported, handled, and stored as one unit.
The benefits to using 4FOLD are numerous - from less storage cost to a reduced port stay - making this solution beneficial worldwide.
5. [Octopi](http://www.octopi.co?utm_campaign=CompaniesDisruptingShipping&utm_medium=blog&utm_source=bloglink" target="_blank)
Leading the way in terminal operating systems (TOS) is, of course, Octopi. Our web-based TOS drastically improves productivity in terminal ports with real-time data reports that can track container location, fees, and management. Octopi allows individuals to track their shipments and makes day-to-day container management much easier. Octopi’s TOS includes seal checking and auditing, automated EDI production for gate and ship movements, CFS operations for container stuffing, stripping and customs inspections and delivery of cargo.
Octopi is modernizing the shipping industry, allowing an easy-to-use platform for ports still using manual, paper-based tracking.
Across the board, those involved in the shipping industry - from ports to shippers to terminal operators - are looking for ways to increase production and reduce cost. These technologies are helping to take this industry to the digital age by providing cost-effective solutions. As the industry is struggling, these technologies are providing cost-effective solutions.