Earlier this month, 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, announced it rolled out new capabilities with a focus on enabling multimodal visibility across a single user interface.
The company’s API-based Software-as-as-Service integration platform currently facilitates around 2.1 million instant API transactions per day and supports full truckload and less-than-truckload visibility activities replete with what it said is industry leading speed, automation, and productivity.
This recent release focuses on providing access to multimodal data, end-point tracking information, and real-time ETA updates, said project44, with multiple benefits, including:
“We have always said from the beginning that we are an API platform that handles all the way from quote to invoice that is multimodal,” said project44 CEO and founder Jett McCandless in an interview. “We have really dominated LTL, with 99 percent of the API traffic for the entire LTL industry going through project44. It is a natural progression to go into truckload as our customers ship truckload and are asking for it and wanted visibility into it so we built the end product out.”
So far, it appears to be off to a strong start, with McCandless explaining that this release has 19 demos for the offering this week alone.
In June 2016, project44 announced it had integrated more than 1,000 transportation APIs into its platformed network. While that was a significant milestone, McCandless noted that the truckload side is somewhat different when asked if there would be similar goals on the truckload side.
“The market is different in truckload than LTL, but how we connect to the truckload providers is also different,” he said. “There is also some overlap so we connect to the large truckload carriers’ public API in the same way we do for LTL. And with the small carriers, a lot of them are not running any technology so we connect to them through cell phones via GPS tracking. The third option is to connect through a carrier’s ELD (electronic logging device), as well as telematics options.”
The cell phone option is the most popular, and the ELD, which will become a federal mandate this December, is the one that often gets the most attention, he explained.
Prior to this release, McCandless said project44 worked with customers during beta testing via driver cell phones and carrier ELD, with 40 ELD providers set up through project44, which equates to around 98 percent of the ELD market.
“Now, it is about executing,” he said. “When a shipper or a 3PL covers a load with a carrier, a text message is sent to the driver’s cell phone, the driver opts in, and we start tracking the load,” he said.
As for next steps on the project44 product roadmap, McCandless said the company has access to API data for railroad and a number of intermodal marketing companies to be integrated into its network later this year.
Gartner names project44 as a cool vendor. In separate news, IT research and advisory firm Gartner named project44 at a Cool Vendor in Supply Chain Execution Technologies.
In Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendor research note, the company wrote: “Gartner's SCM Technology User Wants and Needs Study found a convincing correlation between supply chain performance and respondents' bimodal capabilities,” adding that “Visibility has become one of the top two priorities for supply chain organizations across all geographies, and it is No. 1 across North America, Europe and APAC.”
“project44 is honored by Gartner's selection. Our solution enables retailers, ecommerce companies, manufacturers, distributors and 3PLs to quickly achieve the visibility needed to compete in today's market,” said McCandless, said in a statement. “Our customers see the benefits of accessing multimodal load visibility within days of implementation—increasing the speed at which they can act and reducing the costly effects of at risk shipments.”