Logistics technology provider Cargo Chief Inc. has launched two software products to help third-party logistics providers (3PLs) digitally book loads for their shipper customers, and then track those loads with real-time location data, the company said.
Millbrae, Calif.-based Cargo Chief announced its "C4" carrier integration platform, saying the tool can help 3PLs find a match between their shipper customers' freight loads and capacity that may exist within that 3PL's own carrier network, but is hidden by inefficient communication processes like phone calls and emails.
The C4 platform—an acronym for "Cargo Chief Carrier Capacity"—provides visibility within the carrier's network to find current—and future—capacity, and provides options for booking a load on the spot, the firm says. 3PLs can also use the platform to access Cargo Chief's own network of 4,500 carriers.
Cargo Chief enlisted those carriers in its network when it started as a freight broker in 2012. The firm eventually relinquished its brokerage license and transitioned to a pure technology provider, Cargo Chief founder and CEO Russell Jones said in a phone interview.
The second product announced by Cargo Chief is the "Booking Assistant," a software tool that automatically validates carriers' insurance and safety ratings, then provides load visibility with real-time location tracking, the company says.
Together, the two software tools can generate gains in productivity and revenue for 3PLs and freight brokers by automating the process of matching loads with trucks, executing the transactions, and monitoring and managing every shipment, Jones said. Those capabilities can improve employee productivity and efficiency, he said.
Cargo Chief compiles its data by requesting digital access to a service provider's capacity record, on behalf of the 3PL or brokerage subscribed to C4, Jones said. Most of them comply with the request, since carriers stand to gain additional business by sharing that information and Cargo Chief pledges not to share the data with competitors, he said.
In addition to plugging the data into a searchable database, the firm also applies artificial intelligence tools, such as predictive analytics that can predict when capacity will open up in a given lane and a pricing algorithm that can predict the cost of moving future loads, he said.
Access to the data also helps users find backhaul capacity, locate alternate carriers when the initial provider drops out with a mechanical issue, and provide vetting of insurance coverage and safety records, the firm says.
Cargo Chief announced C4 on April 4.