Companies continue to find value in DAT data

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A series of announcements in the past few months have reinforced the leading status of DAT Solutions’ data. Called the “NASDAQ of truck freight brokerage” in a May interview by Donald Broughton of Broughton Capital, DAT has been one of the leading data providers for load and rate information for years thanks to its large database. Now, the company’s data is being used in even more ways, reinforcing the value the overall dataset provides.

Earlier this month, InMotion Global announced that it was partnering with DAT to offer InMotion’s AscendTMS to current and future DAT customers at no cost. AscendTMS has been integrated with DAT’s most popular carrier features, the companies said when making the announcement.

The free DAT Solutions carrier TMS offering provides carriers of any size a complete business management solution. Benefits of AscendTMS include easy-to-use features such as complete dispatch control, IFTA tax reporting, fuel card imports, asset and driver management, driver pay and settlement, free shipper credit reports, a 26,000 strong shipper directory, full accounting, QuickBooks integration, immediate and real-time load funding with Triumph Business Capital, branch and agent management, full document management, load tracking, ELD integration, driver texting, a free truckload rate index, cargo claims handling, easy EDI, and of course, deeply integrated load searching and matching.

“DAT takes pride in our best-in-class solutions, and AscendTMS shares that same mindset,” Don Thornton, DAT senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a release. “This new integration will help our mutual customers run their businesses more profitably and efficiently, and at no additional cost.”

The integration features load searching and truck matching services with single-button control.

“We have a close DAT partnership. Our users can post and search DAT without leaving AscendTMS and we are adding their other services also,” Tim Higham, president & CEO of InMotion Global told FreightWaves. “The AscendTMS knows everything about the load. So, we do all the heavy lifting for the user, i.e. they don’t have to login to DAT separately and enter the same data again; AscendTMS does it for the user.

“By providing the number-one rated carrier TMS software to their customers, [DAT is] now also the undisputed leader in TMS technology,” Higham added. “DAT is relied upon by the majority of the freight transportation industry to keep trucks full and freight moving. We are truly honored to have been chosen to be their long-term carrier TMS solution and partner.”

Also this month, DAT and Logistical Labs announced an integration between Logistical Labs’ LoadDex product an DAT’s RateView.

RateView is an online database of real-time spot market and current contract freight rates based on over $33 billion worth of transactions. LoadDex is a supply chain analytics platform used by shippers and logistics providers to optimize transportation moves and includes tools to simplify rating complexity, improve carrier selection, and leverage data to make smarter decisions, Logistical Labs said.

The DAT data will become another data point in LoadDex that users can tap into to make more informed decisions, said Chris Ricciardi, COO of Logistical Labs.

“We let the user put in inputs and aggregate all the different [data points] for them so they can make an informed decision on the spot,” he explained to FreightWaves.

“Logistical Labs and DAT share a common mission of helping our customers gain insights from their supply chain data,” said Thornton. “Building connectivity with the LoadDex rating engine advances that mission and brings more transparency and operational efficiency to carriers, brokers, and shippers alike.”

“Industry-wise, they are considered the baseline,” Chris Lee, chief commercial officer, said of the decision to add DAT data. “For a small broker, their historicals are not going to be that [in-depth], so having DAT data is important.”

Financial market impacts

Respected industry analyst Donald Broughton, managing partner of financial research firm Broughton Capital, also announced the use of DAT data to create a set of tools called the DAT Freight Barometers.

Based on data from DAT’s truckload freight marketplace and RateView, Broughton has developed proprietary econometric algorithms that provide “predictive value in determining the magnitude and direction of trends in both spot and contract market rates, as well as predictive value for the overall economy,” he said.

Like the other companies, Broughton selected DAT because of its breadth and depth of the load board network, which is expected to feature 141 million loads posted in 2017.

“We have long considered DAT the equivalent of the NYSE and NASDAQ of trucking,” Broughton said, adding that freight barometers based on DAT data have been developed for the three major equipment types: van, flatbed, and refrigerated vans.

The launch of DAT Freight Barometers comes shortly after TransFX announced that it would use DAT data in the settlement process for its financial Trucking Futures Exchange. The indexed data, which will be drawn from a limited number of high-density trucking freight lanes, will form the foundation for TransFX’s financial futures contracts.

Chattanooga, TN-based TransFX’s futures contracts are designed to offer stakeholders tools to manage their exposure to rate volatility. This Trucking Futures Exchange  will list and trade contracts based on trucking line haul rates. While the futures contracts do not affect the physical shipment of goods – or the rates agreed upon between parties – they do offer another tool to affect the bottom line.

TransFX said it has identified the most travelled lanes in the market and found major intra-week and intra-month volatility. DAT data will be used to help develop TransFX trucking futures, which will allow market participants to normalize these price fluctuations.

“We’re delighted to see that the data integrity processes we’ve spent years developing for our freight exchange and rates databases are enabling new business opportunities based on the data,” said Thornton. “When we’re asked what sets us apart, being recognized by industry experts as the de facto standard is the answer.”