The KeepTruckin company, more than a year after announcing work toward a freight platform, has finally debuted its Smart Load Board, a freight matching system available free to users with KeepTruckin accounts. Partners in the launch include a variety of brokers and carriers with brokerage wings, ranging from Echo Global Logistics and Uber Freight to Edge Logistics, Bennett, EPES Logistics, Page Trucking, Keller Freight Solutions and Parade.
Aman Shahi, product manager for the board, defined the solution’s intelligence as a function of just what it can do particularly for users of KT’s ELD product who opt in for location data sharing to help the system deliver recommendations.
While “anybody can use the Smart Load board,” Shahi said, “we’re really able to drive value for this product if they’re on our ELD – the power and impact on the day-to-day operations is much greater if you’re on the ELD.” The same, he added, can be said for ELD-exempt users of its logbook application untethered to the truck’s ECM.
For those not utilizing KT applications, the company “can still do matching for them,” he added, but it’s a question just how relevant load recommendations may be, or “how well” the matching is conducted.
Shahi was quick to emphasize that, following the closure of KeepTruckin’s One Point Logistics brokerage earlier this year as well as a round of other layoffs in the early pandemic period, the company has rehired some staff and remains committed to addressing customer sensitivity over its employment of user data. It’s working hard at “being on the right side of data privacy,” he said. “We don’t share any carrier data with any broker” unless the user wants the company to, for instance by tapping a “book now” button within the app. The company will, of course, be using user data internally to tailor load recommendations to users.
Speaking of “book now” functionality within the Smart Load Board, the tool allows brokers to give all trusted carriers or custom sets of carriers in its network such an option if so desired.
“We want brokers who prefer different types of interaction to be able to enable that for in-network or out-of-network carriers,” he said. “We have brokers essentially tell us what their networks loo like, and then we display different load actions to the carrier when they look at that.” If you are in-network for a broker, you might see “book now” and “bid” as two options. Possibly not so out-of-network.
Bidding can occur directly within the platform, from a smartphone app or the web-based dashboard. Bids are “pulled into brokers’ systems and they will see that as an offer,” Shahi says. Contact buttons, especially for out-of-network carriers, allow for email, phone, text-message options.
Small carriers with brokerage arms themselves, the company hopes, can use the platform to scale up operations as needs may arise for outside carriers with freight growth. “That’s so crucial to how we see our role in the marketplace,” Shahi said, to “provide more value to smaller fleets” to assist in growth.