September 19, 2019

FourKites says software tool helps manage pickup and receiving appointments

FourKites says software tool helps manage pickup and receiving appointments

Appointment Manager product could save time by avoiding manual processes, firm says.

By DC Velocity Staff

Logistics software provider FourKites Inc. today unveiled a software tool it says can help facilities, carriers, and third party logistics providers (3PLs) to manage their pickup and receiving location appointments.

Chicago-based FourKites said this cloud-based "Appointment Manager" product will allow users to avoid wasting time on that task, and "unlock" an estimated 2.5 million man-hours per day across the industry.

The tool targets a process that FourKites says is time-intensive, largely manual, and extremely inefficient for shippers and carriers. "Everyone is impacted," FourKites Founder and CEO Mathew Elenjickal said in a blog post last week. "If you're a carrier, how many man hours do you spend every day chasing down appointments? What's the impact of inaccurate appointments on your scorecards? For shippers and receivers, how much time do you burn chasing down appointments?"

As a solution, Appointment Manager combines disparate standalone systems at pickup and receiving locations, and integrates those platforms into a single source of data, the company says. "Up until this point, there has been no way of escaping the pain of appointment management," Elenjickal said in a release. "This has major downstream implications on detention, driver productivity, and warehouse and dock operations. It is high time we look beyond monetizing something as simple and basic as setting up an appointment at a location. Our hope is that an integrated system will untangle the current mess, facilitate real-time collaboration, and improve relationships between supply chain partners."

The new product follows FourKites' 2019 release of a Lane Connect tool that helps shippers improve asset utilization by analyzing historic lane patterns, and its DynamicETA platform that predicts freight arrival times with greater accuracy and narrower time windows than previously possible. Both launches followed the company's announcement that it had landed $50 million in venture funding in February and planned to use the cash on fueling the growth of its real-time visibility network for shippers and carriers.

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