Increasing penetration of APIs fuels rise of Freight.Tech 25 winner project44

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Shippers seeking visibility into their freight will find APIs provide an easier solution than legacy data interchange systems.

(We are highlighting all 25 companies, one per day. that were in the Freight.Tech25, announced at the Marketwaves18 conference.)

Project44’s goal to move the transportation industry off of legacy freight tracking systems gained the attention of one of the world’s largest software companies.

Chicago-based project44, which won the number two slot in the Freight.Tech 25, announced this month that its application programming interfaces (APIs) are available through Oracle’s (NYSE: ORCL) transportation management software.

This integration eliminates the gaps in real-time visibility for freight moving on parcel, final mile, less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, refrigerated, rail and ocean. Through the p44 APIs, users can get real-time, reliable, and predictive visibility into multimodal shipment tracking, along with pricing, routing, scheduling, digital document retrieval, and invoicing.

 “The fast, accurate and secure data exchange powered by this collaboration can take our mutual customers’ productivity gains to another level,” said Tommy Barnes, president of project44. “Thinking long-term, Oracle customers represent some of the most innovative supply chains in the world.

The interest in API technology comes as the legacy electronic data interchange (EDI) system used in transportation networks is not keeping up the needs of a modern freight system changed by e-commerce.

The switch from using EDI to APIs can easily automate the interaction between freight transactions and back-office software. APIs transmit data fluidly between those systems, providing end-to-end tracking and management of transportation services.

To that end, project44 is also working with GateHouse Logistics, a leading provider of tracking and management software for the transportation industry.

GateHouse Logistics chief executive Jesper Bennike said, “project44 and GateHouse Logistics have been championing the importance of high-fidelity data for years. This collaboration aligns with both company’s core promise to deliver the most comprehensive global visibility engine powered only by secure, high-quality and real-time information.”

Knight Swift Transportation (NYSE: KNX), Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN), FedEx Freight (NYSE: FDX), Schneider International (NYSE: SNDR) and Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) are among the carriers using project44’s API platform. It’s also integrated into major transportation management software vendors such as JDA and McLeod Software.

APIs still have room to grow in carrier networks. Project44’s APIs handle just under 100,000 truckload and less-than-truckload moves per day, out of an addressable market of 1.3 million moves per day. 

But the ability to offer shippers visibility and tracking of their freight is gating factor for trucking firms to become a carrier of choice. Even smaller carriers, such as drayage, are finding that in order to stand out, they must adopt API connectivity to shipper networks.