• ITVI.USA
    15,415.310
    54.710
    0.4%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.761
    -0.007
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,387.520
    55.710
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,415.310
    54.710
    0.4%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.761
    -0.007
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,387.520
    55.710
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American Shipper

Logistics tech provider project44 targets automated volume LTL quoting

The technology provider, which has championed the adoption of application programming interfaces (APIs) in multimodal freight, has unveiled a real-time, automated quoting solution for “tweener” less-than-truckload shipments.

   Logistics and transportation technology provider project44 on Wednesday unveiled a new product aimed at helping shippers and carriers expedite pricing related to volume less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.
   The tool is designed to enable real-time and automated volume LTL quoting and tendering. Volume LTL shipments are typically those where a shipment is longer than 12 linear feet but smaller than 28 feet – the traditional size of a LTL trailer.
   These shipments, according to project44 Chief Executive Officer Jett McCandless, are often lost in the shuffle among smaller LTL shipments or full truckload shipments.
   “You have LTL, which is typically less than 12 feet long, determined by [National Motor Freight Classification] class pricing, and truckload with mileage-based pricing,” he said. “Volume LTL is a tweener.”
   Volume LTL quotes have always been handled by email or phone, requiring shippers to physically secure rates carrier by carrier and make pricing and service determinations, McCandless said.
   The new project44 tool allows shippers to enter four characteristics of the volume LTL shipment and get instant quotes from five LTL carriers – FedEx Freight, Old Dominion, Sunset Pacific, UPS Freight, and YRC Freight – via application programming interface (API).
   APIs allow real-time two-way communication between systems, speeding information flows and improving the accuracy of data being passed being those systems. The four shipment characteristics required are zip code, dimensions, weight, and linear feet, with the project44 platform normalizing the data across the five carriers.
   McCandless said other carriers are piloting volume LTL APIs and he expects the industry to move quickly to this form of quoting. He also said that real-time volume LTL quoting could act as a “gateway to dimensional pricing.”
   LTL carriers have long wanted to move to dimensional pricing to more effectively price their capacity, but have struggled to build a systematic approach to offering that capacity in an environment where shippers expect more real-time quoting capability. Challenges around dimensional pricing remain, such as the ability for shippers and LTL carriers to properly measure the dimensions of shipments, but alleviating the issue of manual quote requests would constitute a major advancement on that path.
   “Within days of signing a contract, our team could secure real-time volume quotes and transit times from an entire network of carriers – immediately increasing our productivity, helping us make smarter decisions at a much quicker pace, all while allowing our internal resources to focus on other critical initiatives,” said Dave Bush, senior vice president of carrier relations and pricing at GlobalTranz.
   McCandless said volume LTL has been traditionally quoted by phone or email because as the shipment gets bigger than 12 feet, the chance for variance in miscalculating the size of the shipment grows and translates into real dollar errors. In other words, if the size of a six-linear-foot shipment under class-based pricing is off by 5 percent, that’s less of a concern than if the shipment is 24 linear feet.
   “Volume LTL is a $10 billion to $20 billion space, but it sort of blends in with everything,” he said. “It’s hardly talked about at all.”
   The volume LTL quoting functionality can all be completed directly within a user’s current TMS interface or through an additional portal.
   Since 2014, project44 has been building out a one-to-many API-based network infrastructure designed to facilitate instant access to an entire network of multimodal capacity providers. 

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