project44 introduces new volume LTL API offering
March 01, 2016
Chicago-based project44, a technology services provider offering standardized, secure Web service API (application programming interfaces) integrations enabling 3PLs and shippers to connect with carriers in real time, said last week it rolled out new volume LTL (less-than-truckload) rating API, which has been deployed by Sunset Pacific Transportation, the largest LTL consolidator in Southern California.
According to project 44, this new API offering facilitates real-time volume rate exchange between carriers and their shipper, broker, and 3PL customers. And it added that what makes this different from traditional rate bureaus is that fulfilling rate requests through project44’s Freight API eliminates the need for a carrier to manually respond to rate requests, noting that a volume rating API offering through the project44 network increases Sunset’s ability to communicate with a larger customer base.
Tommy Barnes, president of project44, told LM that the company’s base product for core API and dynamic pricing leads it into a greater universe of data available and needed to make decisions for things ranging from predictability in transit to financial offerings for customers, among other things.
“It is a three-core project, with dynamic pricing and predictive analytics powered by API,” explained Barnes. “We are laser-focused on LTL but over time we are going to work into other areas like truckload, cartage, intermodal, dedicated, and international.”
As for how project44 will specifically serve Sunset Transportation, Barnes laid out a typical example of a transaction through the leveraging of dynamic pricing, predictive analytics, and volume LTL rating APIs, which runs through what he called a dynamic pricing engine, which was built for the LTL community for both volume LTL and standard LTL.
“We created a model where we can the pick up and delivery and line haul cost components and load them into our system electronically and give them visibility to toggle the price in real-time,” he said. “If there is a truck in northern San Diego in a Pacific zip code, there is the ability to toggle that back and forth in real-time based on the capacity and demand in that area. That is powerful, because LTL pricing is static, even with large transactional, class-based deals are engaged. This is taking their cost information to the carrier and enabling them to turn that dial in real time on our dashboards and be able to gauge supply and demand.”
Barnes described this offering as more of a tool for carriers, while adding that 3PLs will have a place to use it over time as they use myriad small carriers located throughout the country that they may never truly see or know, given the large number of domestic carriers.
And he noted that project44’s engagements have been mainly with medium-to-large carriers looking to change the ability in the way they manage yield. For Sunset, he said a big driver was shifting away from manual processes for managing and accessing data to an API-based approach.
“In most cases today, volume LTL is usually quoted via phone or e-mail and is all manual,” said Barnes. “If a 3PL is engaged with a carrier, they often have a handful of people chasing volume LTL quotes from their carriers all day long. Conversely, carriers have people in service centers and different locations doing the same, and it is a total waste. What happens now is the parties have the ability to limit that and make 3PLs or shippers more productive, as well as the carrier, because there is one single source of information, or portal there, with real time information. We think we are solving a problem in the industry today as there is a bit of a black hole there and not managed well today.”
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