Business / Startups

This Maryland startup patented technology to make shipping inspections easier

ShipLync's app is part of the Columbia-based company's effort to bring more efficiency and transparency to shipping and logistics.

Saureen Desai of ShipLync pitching her company. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

ShipLync received a patent for a new tool that’s designed to make it easier to show inspectors photos that document what’s in a shipping container that’s heading for an international port.

The Columbia, Md.–based company founded by Saureen and Somil Desai is looking to use tech to help save time and effort in the shipping and logistics industry, as well as bring transparency. To that end, they created a mobile app that helps companies comply with regulations that require inspections before a load is shipped, Somil Desai said.

To ship to China, for instance, there are many requirements for photos that are sent as part of “self-inspections.” Among other requirements, this includes specific weight measurements and numbers, along with pictures when a container is 25 percent full, 50 percent full, 75 percent full and completely full, the patent states. With experience in the shipping industry, the ShipLync cofounders ran into the need for a more efficient platform to complete this documentation themselves.

“We needed a better way to use technology to have automatic timestamps, upload photos in a PDF document and send it over to customs in a professional means,” Somil Desai said, adding that the app also saves the document in a cloud-based network.

The process to obtain the patent began about three years ago, and was finalized last month. Now, the company is looking to partner with ports to introduce the app. The app is specified to work with the company that handles inspections in China, where much of the world’s scrap is exported.

ShipLync also continues to operate its online marketplace, which allows businesses to enter details about what they need shipped, get a quote from a carrier and book a service.

Overall, the company currently has $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue, with five employees based in Columbia. Somil Desai said the company plans to seek outside investment in order to grow further.

Companies: ShipLync

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