Supply chain software vendor project44 will integrate its less-than-truckload (LTL) supply chain visibility technology with McLeod Software Corp.'s transportation management system (TMS) platform, the firms said Monday.
The move allows project44 to expand its presence in the relatively new form of data interchange services known as application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs allow automated systems to communicate directly with each other instead of routing data through a third-party interface or relying on partners using formats like electronic data interchange (EDI).
Project44 landed $10.5 million in venture capital funding in September and is using the capital to expand its technology beyond its core less-than-truckload (LTL) market into truckload, intermodal, and final-mile delivery services.
Customers of McLeod's TMS, which is known as "PowerBroker," can use APIs to instantly collect data from carriers directly connected to the project44 network, thus gaining a competitive edge over rival logistics companies in managing LTL freight, McLeod founder and CEO Tom McLeod said in a statement.
Deploying APIs can help users improve productivity by more efficiently handling back-end tasks such as tendering, dispatch, and document imaging, project44 President Tommy Barnes said today in an interview. McLeod will also use the firm's rating API to help its clients avoid the laborious process of managing contracts with rate bureaus, he said.
While transportation tends to lag behind other industrial sectors in adopting new technologies such as APIs, many companies now have an opportunity to "leapfrog" directly from legacy phone-and-fax networks to modern APIs, thus bypassing EDIs, Barnes said.
Project44 plans to follow this path in continuing to roll out its technology to new users, both among domestic shipping networks and in global TMS applications in Europe and Asia, Barnes said.