automated freight tendering segment continues to heat up with more competitive
products hitting the market. The latest is DAT Solutions, which announced a
pilot program with Knight-Swift Logistics, the logistics brokerage arm of
Knight-Swift Transportation (NYSE: KNX).
Knight-Swift will run a pilot of DAT’s Book Now solution through May. Following the pilot, DAT plans to release
the solution to all freight brokerages in June.
“DAT Book Now is a game-changer for
brokers and carriers,” Claude Pumilia, DAT CEO and president, said in a
statement. “Today, tendering a load can involve multiple phone calls and
interactions. DAT Book Now speeds up the process and leverages the trust and
confidence the industry has in the DAT network as a place to do business. One
click and everyone will know that the load is good to go.”
Book Now allows carriers on the DAT
network of load boards to search for freight and lock in the rate with the
click of a button on their mobile or desktop device.
“DAT Book Now will allow carriers
to make faster, more confident decisions about booking freight,” Shannon Breen,
senior vice president of Knight-Swift Logistics and Intermodal, said in the
press release. “We’re excited to work with DAT to introduce this feature to our
extensive core carrier network.”
DAT said the automated freight
technology streamlines the tendering process so brokers and carriers can focus
on customers. It differs from other offerings in that Book Now is “multifaceted
and more inclusive” and leverages the DAT load boards, Eileen Hart, vice
president of marketing and corporate communications for DAT, told FreightWaves.
“[It] takes the different ways
companies in our marketplace like to work into consideration,” Hart said. “With
the click of a button, a carrier who selects a Book Now load from Knight-Swift
will be directly linked to Knight-Swift’s onboarding and negotiation portal to
complete the transaction.”
Brokers that integrate DAT Book Now
into their own transportation management system (TMS) will be able to send rate
confirmations directly to carriers, she added. Automated onboarding and
negotiation tools for companies without a TMS are planned for the future.
Knight-Swift Logistics is exploring
several options for automating the load booking process. On Tuesday, the company and Truckstop.com announced a similar
offering. Knight-Swift is implementing Truckstop.com’s Book It Now platform and will also provide access to Truckstop.com’s load
board for all its owner-operators and third-party trucking partners.
Book It Now allows freight
brokerages to post, assign and tender loads directly to carriers. Carriers are
able to see the rate, pickup and drop-off details as well as broker information
all before booking the load. Once carriers are added to a broker’s preferred
carrier list, their Book It Now loads are seen on the Truckstop Mobile app.
DAT Book Now will include
additional brokers posting loads during the pilot period.
“All carriers on the DAT network
will have access to Book Now loads in mid-March,” Hart said. “The feature is
accessible through both their desktop and mobile versions of DAT load boards.
As more brokers participate, more Book Now loads will be available.”
Book Now loads will feature more
shipment details and a rate, Hart added, but whether a load is posted as a Book
Now load or not will be determined by the individual broker.
Data and feedback collected during
the pilot will help DAT refine the program for users.