The need for speed

Kewill Systems (www.kewill.com) announced availability of Truck WebView, a Web-based add-on solution that integrates with the Alliance Customs Brokerage application. Truck WebView allows carriers to access the processing status of their bills of lading at the border crossing point via the Web.

TMW Systems (www.tmwsystems.com) said it had received certification as a solutions provider for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) e-manifest program. In conjunction with the CBP certification, TMW has introduced an ACE integration tool for its TMWSuite enterprise management platform.

SkyBitz (www.skybitz.com), a satellite-based trailer-tracking and information management service, announced that Yorktowne Cabinetry is the latest private trucking fleet to select the company’s Global Locating System (GLS) technology.

Sprint Nextel (www.sprint.com) and Motorola announced availability of the Motorola i580 – the only iDEN rugged phone in the industry to feature an embedded camera and Bluetooth wireless technology, and the first designed to meet military specification 810 F for resistance to rain, dust, shock and vibration, the companies say.

Oceanwide Inc. (www.truckams.com), a provider of software for international trade, said that Infosite Technologies’ dispatching and operations application Dispatch-Mate now integrates fully with Oceanwide’s Truck e-Manifest solution, which truck carriers can use to file e-manifests.

Looking from his customers’ point of view, Jim Ray sees a desperate need for truck capacity. For traffic managers, securing capacity is a never-ending challenge, and in recent years, many of them have learned to snap up available equipment when they can and skip the window shopping.

Ray, president of RayTrans Distribution and Trucking, always has believed that having the fastest response time to shippers’ capacity needs is a strategic advantage. This belief led him in 1999 to launch the first version of White Lightning, a custom transportation management software system for RayTrans. In March of this year, Ray launched the latest version, 7.8, which he claims performs faster and more intelligent searches of truck capacity than any software system in the market.

For version 7.8, RayTrans’ internal software development team, led by Ray himself, switched the “data layer” of White Lightning to Microsoft’s SQL 2005 and its “business layer” to Microsoft’s .Net. These changes aside, the most significant improvement in performance came from integration of a new mileage solution on the server level, Ray says.

“We went to all of the major mileage solution providers to determine which package would run better in this brand-new environment,” Ray says. ProMiles was the only one to take up the challenge, and the company dedicated one of its best programmers, Troy Berg, to program and test a new solution for RayTrans, Ray says. “Within two months, they had an extremely robust, tolerance-tested solution that was capable of serving thousands of users off of one server,” he says. “This is an immeasurable advantage for two reasons. First, it allows us to serve mileage information from one data center to any type of end-user application. Second, it allows us to process miles very, very quickly.”

Brokerage is RayTrans’ greatest area of expertise, Ray says. As an example of how the new system offers improved performance in this segment, suppose Joe Dispatcher wants to find a truck for an available shipment.

“Our integration of ProMiles processes mountains of data to almost instantly ‘spit out’ the truck most likely to take the load,” Ray says. In less than three seconds, White Lightning returns the query results from the following sources:

· TransCore/DAT’s entire available truck database, which represents millions of rows of data;

· RayTrans’ entire historical database for every terminal in its network, representing hundreds of thousands of rows of data;

· RayTrans’ currently available owner-operators, as well as all of the broker-carriers entered directly into its system, representing more than 200 internal trucks and thousands of carrier entries;

· RayTrans’ carrier hub cities, representing some 10,000 carriers; and

· RayTrans’ carrier profiles, representing more than 5,000 carriers.

Upon completing this search, White Lightning combines all of this data, puts it in context and gives Joe a list of carriers most able to take the load, listed from the most likely carrier to the least likely. If Joe finds more than one truck, he also can list other shipments systemwide that potentially are available, all within the three-second processing time.

“To do a search that complex with that many roads before would take 15 seconds to return,” Ray says. “Our dispatchers are finding 10 to 20 trucks a day and may run a search 20 times. Twenty times 20 is a whole lot of seconds.”

Another competitive edge RayTrans has developed is quick responses to rate quotes for unfamiliar lanes. Integrating ProMiles on the server level has allowed RayTrans to deliver – in less than two seconds – detailed rate information for any given lane, for any given time period.

“For example, if Joe wanted to provide the rates charged for a flatbed shipment from Chicago to Houston within the past six months, Joe could immediately access all of the rating information for every terminal for that approximate lane,” Ray says. “ProMiles helps us quickly convert that rating information to per-mile rates, showing Joe a minimum, average and maximum per-mile rate for that lane.” This capability has given RayTrans the flexibility to eliminate its rating department and empower its salespeople to make wise pricing decisions on the spot.

For each brokerage load, RayTrans’ average margin is about $180. After implementing version 7.8 last March, dispatchers are moving, on average, two more loads per day; with 40 dispatchers and 260 work days per year, “we are talking some real money,” he says.


J & R Schugel picks Maptuit’s FleetNav
Maptuit Corp. (www.maptuit.com) said that New Ulm, Minn.-based J & R Schugel Trucking will be installing Maptuit’s FleetNav Directions, Fuel and Alerts, which provides fuel-optimized truck routing via in-cab mobile communications.

These tools enable back-office staff to manage customer locations and monitor fleet performance from any computer with Internet access, Maptuit says. FleetNav is designed to integrate with all leading fleet management and mobile communications systems.


Navman launches asset tracking system
Navman Wireless Business Solutions (www.navman.com), a provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management, launched the Navman Wireless Fleet Manager, a new asset tracking system for businesses operating in the United States.

The system allows fleet managers to map vehicle and driver locations, analyze vehicle and driver activity, define driver territories and communicate directly with vehicle operators. The solution is suited for businesses of any fleet size, the company says, and offers per-vehicle, fixed-rate pricing.

Navman offers optional capabilities to enhance its basic vehicle-tracking package, including secure two-way text messages and onboard voice-enabled GPS navigation.

The Navman Wireless Fleet Manager is priced from $1.50 per vehicle per day for comprehensive tracking, from $1.77 per vehicle per day for tracking and messaging, and from $2.10 per vehicle per day for tracking, messaging and in-vehicle navigation.