FreightWaves’ Future of Freight festival officially kicked off on Tuesday, and the demos are coming hard and fast.
On the first day of F3, 18 companies were given seven minutes apiece to demonstrate their latest FreightTech solutions. During a pair of rapid-fire demo sessions on Tuesday, attendees got to see and hear from companies like Loadsmart, Emerge, Trucker Tools, OneRail and a lot more.
Here are the highlights from the first day of demos:
During the second rapid-fire demo block of Day 1, Chicago-based Loadsmart — the logistics solutions provider that automates freight pricing, booking and shipping — showed off ShipperGuide, a new product unveiled earlier this year. It’s designed to help shippers manage all of their procurement and transportation operations in a single place.
Within ShipperGuide, Robb Porter, executive vice president of managed transportation, and Art Cady, director of digital sales, demonstrated how a freight broker can find rates on the spot market by selecting a mode, equipment type, origin and destination and pickup date. Immediately, the system offers quotes and the carrier can click to tender.
Porter and Cady also demonstrated ShipperGuide’s RFP tool, using it to create mini-bids, and walked through some of the automation shippers can do on the platform They also showed off some features in OpenDock, the company’s appointment scheduling software, as well as its Carrier TMS designed to help carriers optimize dispatch and scale their fleets.
Aeye (pronounced like AI) is a Dublin, California-based provider of tools for automated vehicles. The company produces lidar and sensor-based systems that act as the eyes for driverless cars and trucks, recreating real-world obstacles and hazards in a virtual space.
The company showed off its solution by taking attendees on a virtual ride through towns, cities and highways, demonstrating how the vehicle’s “brain” builds its world. As the vehicle made its way through winding streets, on ramps, highways and roundabouts, audience members watched as objects were recreated on a screen showing the computer’s view.
Trees, buildings and other vehicles were converted into arrays of colored dots. But to the software, they’re more than just dots — it was able to use that information to keep the vehicle on the road and prevent accidents before they happen.
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Emerge is all about procurement for shippers. The company leverages benchmarking and lane-by-lane views to build profiles for different carriers and help shippers pick the one that best fits their needs.
In a demo, SVP of Product Kyle Jepsen showed attendees how to create an event in the system. Then, in just a few seconds, the platform spat out a list of the best rates for that specific load. The company can handle full truckload, drayage and intermodal deliveries.
Emerge also works with carriers on the other side of the equation. It runs a contract marketplace, where carriers can view a slew of RFPs from shippers and negotiate rates. They can even specify by lane and be notified of opportunities along certain routes.
Trucker Tools does what its name says — it makes tools for shippers and carriers to simplify the process of digital freight matching. The Reston, Virginia-based company works with stakeholders on both sides of the transaction to find the best fit for every load.
The company demoed two features on Tuesday. The first, Smart Capacity, is a tool for brokers and shippers that uses data and preferences collected from users to match the right load to the right vehicle at the right time. The solution facilitates digital booking through integrations with several transportation management systems.
The second offering, Smart Negotiations, allows carriers to negotiate with brokers even when there’s no human present on the brokers’ end. Brokers can set a preferred and maximum price they want for each load. Then, the software automatically negotiates with carriers, countering with the broker’s maximum price if the carrier’s offer is too high.
Symtrain is a software development company based in Alpharetta, Georgia, that is revolutionizing the way that brokerages and transportation companies can train their employees to handle situations with an AI system that interacts with employees to create a realistic scenario for them to work through.
In the demo, Symtrain work simulation specialist David Sebastian Rodriguez demonstrated an AI simulated role-playing scenario in which a driver was concerned about the assigned load. In the simulation, Rodriguez took the steps necessary to find the root of the problem and solve the matter.
Users can then view the results of the training simulation for feedback or select other scenarios to train further.
A leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, Skybitz offers a unique service that grants customers the ability to view their assets in real time, allowing for monitoring solutions for better planning.
Presenters Sarah Dyche and Debbie Sachman presented a scenario in which a broker (Dyche) calls a driver (Sachman) to ask how long the loading process would take. During the conversation, Dyche was able to view the loading process and determine whether detention pay would be necessary.
This visibility eliminates sometimes awkward conversations and can help asset-based transportation companies better utilize their empty trailers for shippers that need them most.
An autonomous dispatch and routing solution, Wise Systems is offering a service that provides real-time GPS tracking to ensure scheduled deliveries. The Boston-based software company created a load board, of sorts, that shows carriers a list of loads that they need to be completed after accepting based on the customer constraints.
Once loads are accepted and appear on the “depot,” which is a list of all of the loads, the software then plots the best route for the driver to arrive at the destination on time. If the load is not going to make it on time, the depot alerts the planner or dispatcher so that they have time to replan if needed.
As drivers complete loads, they are able to clear them out of the depot as they go along simply by swiping and marking them as cleared and delivered. Drivers are also able to collect a signature for proof of delivery for the planner.
Other companies presenting were:
- Surge Transportation
- Cargo Chief
- OneRail Group
- Echo Global Logistics
Did you think we’d stop there? There will be 30 (!) more companies presenting over the next two days during rapid-fire demo sessions on the General Session Stage, and six more will be taking over the brand-new Startup Alley Stage on Wednesday. Here’s a preview of Days 2 and 3:
|Day 2 (General Session Stage)||J.B. Hunt|
|Day 2 (Startup Alley Stage)||FreightRoll|
|Day 3 (General Session Stage)||US Xpress|