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The 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.
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