Rapid-fire pitch: project44 and the art of the possible

Photo: FreightWaves Staff

Photo: FreightWaves Staff

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 in November when it announced a partnership with Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). Project44 aims to connect shippers, brokers and 3PLs to their capacity providers through their advanced visibility platform. David Deutsch, presented p44’s vision at MarketWaves18 with an approach he called exploring the “art of the possible” for how their web services can be integrated into common customer service applications.

Early on in the organization’s history, Project44 decided to focus on integrations and partnerships above an independent development of an application. “We chose to build a best in class logistics and capacity provider network, and power that network with the highest quality information available and deliver that information to our customer’s existing systems and applications through restful API integrations,” Deutsch said.  

While the integrations typically work with TMS systems, Deutsch says it doesn’t need to end there. The integrations work for multiple business applications that impact different business units for customers. The rapid-fire pitch focused on how the platform can enhance customer service and support. The first example looked at chatbot software powered by IBM’s Watson technology, and the other looked at the Salesforce CRM application. Both examples showed how quickly the virtual assistant can retrieve information that shippers and 3PLs often need immediately and consistently. Among other things, the chatbots also use machine learning and predictive analytics to make more accurate decisions on the intent of the user and how to access the necessary information.

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Earlier in November, project44 announced that its application programming interfaces (APIs) are available through Oracle’s transportation management software (TMS). 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. Such integrations move p44 toward the goal of not only enhancing the TMS, but every one of their customer’s applications that are impacted by transportation.