After more than 18 months in development, Best Transport – a provider of online transportation management solutions for shippers and carriers – is preparing to launch a new platform called BestMatch. The platform was designed to deepen the collaboration between shippers and their core carriers.
To date, 35 major shippers and 200 carriers have signed on to use BestMatch through an exclusive partnership with the National Industrial Transportation League, a consortium of leading shippers. Mark Shary, president of Best Transport, says the company will make BestMatch available for public use by August 1, 2007.
The shippers that use BestMatch have all made a commitment to expose more of their freight planning and forecasting in real time, he says. Likewise, carriers who participate make a commitment to provide their capacity information in real time.
The platform provides a private network for trusted parties to gain better visibility into the business requirements of each party. Through integration with shippers’ IT systems, BestMatch takes forecasted loads – freight that will be offered in 2 to 3 days, for example, and matches it with the uncommitted capacity from carriers. Matches are subject to evolving constraints such as lane and rate constraints from carriers. The system triggers alerts to carriers and carriers can also search for matches themselves, Shary says.
“Once (carriers) see that the information is handled in a trusted, non-exposed sort of way, you start seeing their utilization going up. Shippers want to concentrate business with them. This is not being used as a market auction platform. BestMatch is helping to enable planning with key customers,” Shary says.
BestMatch also gives carriers the ability to solicit freight, depending on what level of visibility shippers allow among their carrier community. Carriers can use BestMatch at no cost.
“I really think they are the only auto-tendering site that will really take off,” says Jim Ray, an early user of Best Transport and president of RayTrans Distribution Services, a transportation company based in Matteson, Ill.
In the early testing and development of BestMatch, Shary says he has seen carriers increase business with key customers by multiples – not because they weren’t already talking, but because the real-time visibility gave both parties confidence to rearrange supply and demand.
For more information on BestMatch, visit Best Transport .