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.
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.