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Uber Freight begins piloting the Scheduling Standards Consortium’s protocols

More than 1,500 distribution center appointments are now being booked automatically

Uber Freight begins piloting the SSC’s standards. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Managed transportation provider Uber Freight announced on Monday that it has taken the first steps in activating an API technical standard produced by the Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC) industry group. The group released its standards to the FreightTech industry on GitHub in October.

The need for an API scheduling standard stems from the recognition that fragmented processes, especially in transportation appointment scheduling, hinder the efforts of FreightTech companies seeking operational efficiency. 

Scheduling Standards Consortium releases API tech standard

The Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC) aims to collaborate with logistics providers, warehouse management solutions and transportation management systems to create a common API for sharing scheduling data. 

By establishing these standards, the SSC seeks to facilitate innovation, making it easier for carriers, brokers and shippers to justify future investments. Emphasizing the importance of industry alignment on standards, the consortium aims to minimize operational friction and fragmentation, unlocking a more fluid and optimized market for shippers and carriers.

Uber Freight has officially implemented those standards into its proprietary transportation management system, allowing for automated scheduling across 1,500 facilities and distribution centers for 10 Fortune 500 companies in the consumer packaged goods industry.

“We do about 6 million appointments a year within those 1,500 locations that use our dock scheduler,” Natarajan Subbiah, Uber Freight’s executive vice president of product and data science, told FreightWaves.

Subbiah elaborated that the company has received excellent feedback from both the facilities and the carriers frequenting them daily.

“For carriers and brokers out there who are on the fence about investing time into helping build the API, our success should be a confidence booster,” he said. “Instantaneously, appointments can be scheduled and it saves the cost of having some human wait in a queue somewhere to manually book them. … Shippers are also seeing that because these loads can now be covered much earlier with more lead time, there is a lower cost from the carrier.”

Right now, Uber Freight’s API is not open publicly for scheduling at these sites, although the company plans to have that available by the second half of this year.

“The API is not fully done yet, but we are taking the bare minimum and testing it at this time. There are a few tweaks that we want to make and plan to launch it publicly by H2 of this year. That is when carriers outside of our network and not working with our brokerage will be able to access them [to set appointments],” Subbiah said.

The SSC is currently witnessing active participation in the development of these standards from a diverse range of companies, including Arrive Logistics, Blue Yonder, Coyote, DHL, e2open, Echo Global Logistics, J.B. Hunt 360, Lineage Logistics, One Network Enterprises, Oracle, Ryder, Mastery, Transportation Insight, Nolan Transportation Group and Worldwide Express. The consortium remains open to welcoming new members to further enhance its collaborative efforts.

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  1. Smoke & Mirrors

    This article is legitimately the David & Victoria Beckham meme…

    UF: “More than 1,500 distribution center appointments are now being booked automatically…”
    Everyone: “Be honest….”

    UF: “Okay, well we’re allowing for automated scheduling across 1,500 facilities and distribution centers for 10 Fortune 500 companies.”
    Everyone: “Be honest…”

    UF: “Okay, the API is not open publicly for scheduling at these sites…”
    Everyone: “Have you even built the API?”

    UF: “Okay, The API is not fully done yet, but we are taking the bare minimum and testing it at this time.”
    Everyone: “Thank you”

    What is this? 2021?

  2. Cj

    I’m a trucker of 5 years , and owner operators. This new API software was design to has run frieght more efficient, but its just taking money away for carrier ans broker. You need human interaction to negotiate moving frieght because daily the prices and making change. Just look at what our country saids about gas prices each ywar around August and Christmas. They said its a war going on things are getting hijacked at sea. (Each year at the same time) lol. Carriers most have the power to deal with humans to keep this country moving efficient. It is the worst item to be implemented in years for the trucking industry. Company’s set this software to give trucker the bare minimum (50cent a mile) and if you don’t take it someone else will take or electric truck will move it for us. It’s sad that more people are losing their carrier company and brokerage firms due to this software. Carriers are being forced to use this to use this software and be under paid and devalued for a buck. These companies are creating recessions right in front of our eyes. Putting Warehouses workers, Grocery Store personnel, Customer service reps out of jobs. It’s very sad these technologies companies are getting the green light to cut human interaction. Sorry to vent!! Great articles.

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Grace Sharkey

Grace Sharkey is a professional in the logistics and transportation industry with experience in journalism, digital content creation and decision-making roles in the third-party logistics space. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Grace led a startup brokerage to more than $80 million in revenue, holding roles of increasing responsibility, including director of sales, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. She is currently a staff writer, podcast producer and SiriusXM radio host for FreightWaves, a leading provider of news, data and analytics for the logistics industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University. You can contact her at [email protected].