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Machine learning, AI hit center stage as companies showcase freight tech

Aman Shahi and Kelly Hanson demonstrate KeepTruckin at Transparency19. Photos: Josh Roden

Machine learning and artificial intelligence took the spotlight as 10 companies showcased the latest in technology that is disrupting the transportation and logistics world at Transparency19 in Atlanta.

Each presenter had just seven minutes to show their offering as part of the Rapid Fire Demos during the first day of FreightWaves’ conference in Atlanta on May 6. They included industry stalwarts like J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) and startups like KoiReader.

“We truly believe this is the Tech Crunch of the logistics industry,” Ash Prasad, co-founder of KoiReader, said while showcasing his document-processing solution.

J.B. Hunt: Carrier 360 app brings transparency, machine learning

Mark Brewer, Director of Innovation at J.B. Hunt.

Mark Brewer, the Director of Innovation, demonstrated the Carrier 360 app for the J.B. Hunt 360 freight-matching platform. “We’re committed transparency,” Brewer said. “Our carriers have spoken about what they want to see. They’ve asked for details up front before they bid.” The app also uses machine-learning and can identify favored cities and recommended loads.

KoiReader Technologies: A leap forward in document processing

Ash Prasad and Viktoriya of KoiReader.

Ash Prasad and Viktoriya of KoiReader Technologies showcased what they call the world’s most advanced intelligent document automation system designed for logistics. They demonstrated how a complicated freight invoice was scanned, processed and analyzed through artificial intelligence. “This is the biggest leap in document automation processing in a long time,” the KoiReader team said.

McLeod Software: Smart load-matching

Robert Brothers and Jonathan May of McLeod Software.

Robert Brothers and Jonathan May showed McLeod’s TopOrder. It uses artificial intelligence to help carriers decide on whether to accept an order or tender. It takes into account factors such as market rate competitiveness, margins and implications for networks. Brothers said Top Order can add “hundreds of thousands of dollars to even a mid-size truckload carrier.”

KeepTruckin: The well-oiled fleet management machine

Aman Shahi, Senior Product Manager, and Kelly Hanson, Senior Partner Marketing Manager, demonstrated how the KeepTruckin’ fleet management system facilitated driver-to-carrier relations. Shahi, playing the role of driver, accepted a load from San Francisco to Atlanta in the KeepTruckin’s system. The system also flagged a dangerous turn – and allowed Hanson to review the dash cam footage. “Looks like you have been cruising a little too fast,” Hanson joked to Shahi. “It’s a coachable moment, and I can shoot him notes,” she added.

Transflo: Velocity Plus adds brokers to ecosystem

Doug Schrier and Don Mitchell of Transflo.

Doug Schrier and Don Mitchell showcased the newest addition to Transflo’s ecosystem, Velocity Plus for brokers and third-party logistics providers. It includes full load visibility. (“Every 15 minutes, the load is pinged,” Mitchell said.) It also has an integrated voice and chat for full communications between drivers and brokers.

Full-Circle TMS: How to go paperless

Stuart Sutton, CEO of Full-Circle, right.

The lone Canadian of the presenting companies, Full Circle TMS, offers a transportation management system with a driver app. CEO Stuart Sutton demonstrated how Full Circle can allow carriers to go paperless, from orders to driver payments. “It’s my third time making a TMS,” he noted. He went through the process of creating an order, dispatching it and recording it all within Full Circle.

Maven Machines: Maven Fleet Management brings cloud-based efficiency

Kyler Ford and Avishai Geller demonstrated Maven Machines’ cloud-based Maven Fleet Management. “We’ve spent the last five years optimizing and automating, and see efficiency gains like never before,” Ford said. The fleet management system operates in real-time and utilizes machine learning. Geller noted that it’s suitable for all kinds of trucking. The flow of data is also well-managed, he said. “Our philosophy is the right data to the right person at the time,” Geller said.

LinkeDrive: Automated driver performance platform

LinkeDrive Founder Jeff Baer.

Founder Jeff Baer delved into LinkeDrive’s Driver Performance Management System. It’s designed to improve driver performance through automated analysis and coaching. “I love the data-forward approach. The challenge is what to do with it on the driver performance side,” he said. Jupiter is fully automated and also factors in the weather. It also allows drivers to see how they stack up with their colleagues and compare ratings on behaviors such as idling.

Coolfire Solutions: Ronin platform’s military origins have transport use

Coolfire Solutions’ CEO Don Sharp, right.

Coolfire Solutions’ CEO Don Sharp demonstrated how its Ronin platform, developed for U.S. Special Forces, has applications for transport. “Situational awareness is just as important in a commercial setting as is in the military,” Sharp said. Ronin is designed to give its users a full operational picture with real-time communication and information-sharing. He showcased one example of a custom-built solution that used Ronin for last-mile deliveries in the food service space.

Carggo: An AI-platform for shippers and carriers

Jason Weber and Samantha Ciavarra of Carggo

Jason Weber and Samantha Ciavarra of Carggo demonstrated its platform for matching carriers and shippers. “It’s built on big data, machine learning and cutting-edge technology,” Ciavarra said. They highlighted Carggo’s transparency on pricing and movement of freight. It also boasts features like smart load matching and automatic detection calculation.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].