DAT’s OnTime app offers shippers, 3PLs shipment tracking without the large investment

DAT’s new OnTime application tracks a truck’s shipment via an app on a driver’s smartphone, giving shippers and 3PLs a low-cost way to monitor their goods movements. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Continuing efforts to make the life of fleets, owner-operators, brokers and 3PLs easier, DAT Solutions has introduced a new tool to track loads and enhancements to its TruckersEdge load board.

Introduced this week at the Transportation Intermediaries Association conference in Palm Desert, CA, DAT OnTime is a load tracking application that allows brokers and 3PLs to monitor location and status of their freight through an app installed on a driver’s smartphone.

DAT OnTime was designed specifically for brokers and 3PLs, the company said. It provides these parties – who work with various transportation providers on a daily basis – tracking capabilities without the need to install technology onboard the trucks themselves.

“There’s obviously a need in the marketplace for visibility from the shipper’s perspective and from the broker’s perspective,” Neerav Shah, vice president-products at DAT, explained to FreightWaves.

    A look at a screen within the DAT OnTime application and how it tracks shipments. ( Click to enlarge )
  A look at a screen within the DAT OnTime application and how it tracks shipments. ( Click to enlarge )

Shah noted DAT’s heritage, neutrality, and trusted voice within the industry allows it to create tools such as DAT OnTime.

“Through the years, DAT has been a trusted provider of logistics solutions, with a reputation for neutrality, data integrity, and information security, as well as access to the capacity represented by the more than 1.3 million trucks in our network,” Claude Pumilia, president of DAT, said in a statement.

DAT OnTime does not require use of DAT’s load board. It is an app for Android or iOS systems that can be quickly downloaded for use. It tracks a load based on a driver’s smartphone and reports back to the shipper or 3PL location data as well as estimated time of arrival, Shah said. Down the road, the app will integrate with ELDs, providing even more functionality and data reporting for shippers and 3PLs.

One of the issues OnTime solves is the credibility gap that exists for shippers and 3PLs asking drivers to be tracked. “Part of the battle for the broker is to get the driver to [accept] being tracked … but when it is part of the DAT network [there is more trust],” said Eileen Hart, vice president of marketing & corporate communications.

The app, which costs as low as $1 per load and includes no long-term contract or set-up fees, provides data every 15 minutes.

Shah said DAT first launched an Alpha version of the app in December and has since signed up several logistics providers, including Arrive Logistics and Strive Logistics.

The DAT OnTime app builds on another significant announcement from the company in late March – enhancements to the DAT TruckersEdge load board. Popular with owner-operators and small fleets, DAT TruckersEdge now features tools to make searching for the right loads and negotiating the right terms faster and easier.  The new TruckersEdge incorporates the latest search technologies used by the leading web browsers, with auto-populated fields personalized to fit the user’s needs.

“We’re really excited about this,” Shah said. “It’s a major [update] of our UI platform.”

The new TruckersEdge features many enhanced features, including updates to the TriHaul option. TriHaul offers suggestions for loads that can truckers avoid low-paying lanes and backhaul rates. Previously, drivers had to manually enter a new search to find available loads. The enhancement automates that process and is part of what Shah called a “more intuitive” platform for TruckersEdge.

The new system provides faster search and more usability through intuitive processes.

Using the system, dispatchers and drivers can save time by identifying favorite searches, setting alarms for automatic notification when a new load matches their preferences, and sorting search results with one click. They can even sort search results by the offer rate posted by the freight broker.

A new dashboard also gives users a real-time view of inbound and outbound load volume in every state so they can see where their equipment is most in demand. There is also a feed of trending trucking industry news.

“These upgrades to TruckersEdge come at a time when available load volume continues to exceed seasonal levels, and demand for trucking services is expected to grow in the weeks and months to come,” said Shah. “There are 637,000 good load options on our service for carriers to choose from every day, and DAT’s been really focused on speeding up their load selection process so our customers can be even more efficient and productive.”

DAT TruckersEdge subscriptions include a free smartphone app, DAT Load Board for Truckers, available from Google Play for Android devices, and from the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads. Shah said that future updates will include a mobile responsive website so the app will not be needed to see the site on a smaller device.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.