In the last round of live technology demonstrations at MarketWaves 18, companies showed off products that automated document imaging and processing, matching loads to trucks, financing the supply chain, and creating price discovery for air cargo.
Peyton Burnett, Managing Director, presented the world’s first air cargo price index, which has some limited data sets distributed through Bloomberg and Reuters. TAC Index provides realtime market intelligence on specific lanes on a weekly basis through three channels: web-based API calls, reports, and a subscription dashboard. TAC Index envisions its data as being used to settle hypothetical air cargo price futures contracts, which Burnett said represents a potential paper market of $100-200B.
Beginning in 2011, Trimble went on an acquisition spree, buying up transportation technology companies like 10-4, TMW, PeopleNet, and others, seeking to build a universal transportation exchange. Now Trimble has created a blockchain solution based on Hyperledger Fabric that sits between legacy systems and helps them integrate. Trimble demonstrated some of its smart contract prototypes, a technology it still believes is five to ten years from maturity.
Doug Schrier, VP of Product and Innovation, demonstrated Transflo’s mobile app, which promises to save drivers an hour a day while improving safety. The application combines functions like load tendering, routing, telematics data, and document imaging. Transflo said that so far the app has been downloaded 1.1M times, tenders 150,000+ loads per week, and digitizes 500M documents each year.
Jordan Graft, VP of Payments, demonstrated the company’s quick pay platform, which integrates directly into a broker’s TMS, eliminates fraud liability, and allows a brokerage to use a bank’s balance sheet to fund its quick pay program. There are no transaction fees per payment, and 80% of carriers said they preferred that their brokers used TriumphPay to pay them. Graft said that TriumphPay allows brokers to generate more quick pay revenue and keep their carriers happy.
Prasad Gollapalli, CEO and founder, demonstrated a new feature called Smart Capacity designed to solve three problems: brokers make too many phone calls per load; there are too many ‘one load wonders’; there are multiple sources of capacity, but no one aggregated source. Smart Capacity automates the process of sourcing trucks available for a load and ranks them in order of preference.
Luis Lopez, founder and CEO, introduced Product Manager Robbie Dillon who walked the MarketWaves audience through the company’s cloud-based TMS system, which boasted new advances in automation. The PortBot automates the process of sourcing drayage capacity. On the carrier side, AI engines match trucks with loads ranked in order of fewest deadhead miles to most.
CEO and co-founder Will Chu explained that Vector automates the process of data extraction from documents like bills of lading and rate confirmation sheets and into carrier’s transportation management systems, ERPs, and accounting systems. Machine learning algorithms allow Vector to read handwriting even on damaged, poorly photographed documents. The fundamental obstacle to the further digitization of the supply chain, Chu said, was that the industry still mostly uses paper to exchange data.
Founder and CEO Vinnie Annunziata demonstrated mīstrō, a voice-controlled software layer that merges data from various formats, legacy software systems, and partners. Annunziata said that one day, in addition to calling up driver safety statistics, a mīstrō user might even buy freight futures contract with a voice command. “Imagine training new users instantly with a sheet of paper of commands, because they’ve been using their voices to ask for things their entire lives,” Annunziata concluded.
Head of Innovation Mark Brewer showed off the third version of J.B. Hunt 360, the online platform connecting trucks to loads. J.B. Hunt 360 makes the process of bidding on a load, accepting it, transporting it, and getting paid simpler and faster. The application also automatically alerts drivers to potential detention situations and is able to read scanned documents.
Co-founder and CEO David Bryan spoke about Keyturn’s device that allows vehicles in the transport and logistics industry to communicate with each other and seamlessly transfer products, for example from a forklift to a tractor trailer. The device, called the Black Box for Products, is about the size of an iPhone, and could be useful for validating the integrity of data uploaded to the blockchain. The goal is to build a fully connected, standardized supply chain engagement and management platform for all stakeholders in the construction supply chain.