TransCore announced the integration of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) into the company’s U.S. version of 3sixty Freight Match, an internet-based logistics service used by shippers, transportation brokers and carriers to facilitate matching freight to available trucks.
One of the early promises of VoIP technology was the potential to incorporate communications right within business applications. TransCore is the first major trucking software supplier to incorporate VoIP technology in its standard offering–for free. As demonstrated at the American Trucking Associations annual meeting in Orlando, Oct. 22, a dispatcher using 3sixty Freight Match can wear a telephone headset and rapidly dial a customer simply by clicking the corresponding customer link in a data field within the software application. By simplifying the user experience, VoIP technology can remove steps that create drag, distractions, or errors–like manual dialing a phone or contacting the wrong person.
For the competitive trucking market, 30 seconds can make all the difference in securing a good paying load from a reliable broker or shipper; and vice versa, securing a truck and driver from a reliable transportation provider.
“Depending on load volume, brokers or carriers will make anywhere from 15 calls a day to hundreds. Traditionally, each call might take two minutes or more to complete. When that’s assessed across agents, companies, days, months, the time lost on the phone multiplies,” says Tim Bickmore, executive vice president for TransCore’s Commercial Technology Group. “By integrating the immediacy of VoIP, with literally one click of a mouse, a business can reclaim hours of lost time vital to moving freight.”
VoIP is also appealing because it is priced more economically than traditional phone services. It can reduce a trucking company’s long-distance phone bill since all calls are free within the 1click2call network, Bickmore says. The 1click2call feature is part of the recent 1.2 software upgrade of 3sixty Freight Match for TransCore’s 3sixty Freight Match software.
In initial research, TransCore found that anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the company’s customers were already using VoIP, so a user base already existed with a familiarity to the technology. By integrating and customizing the PC-to-PC or PC-to-landline calling feature within the freight matching logistics work flow, the 1click2call feature, available free to all 3sixty Freight Match customers, allows a user to complete a business transaction at a faster rate. Instead of identifying a load and then shifting back and forth between the computer, phone and databases, a customer can now with one click immediately call the broker or carrier from the search results screen with all the essential data provided on a customized pop-up screen.
TransCore’s 1click2call network service provider is Skype, a popular Internet phone service with more than 220 million subscribers worldwide. TransCore’s design engineers worked with the Skype application program interface to develop a customized VoIP application to work within the freight matching logistics environment and work flow process, incorporating necessary load posting and contact data, icons, and calling features.
To enable the 1click2call application, freight match users simply sign up for the free Skype subscription at https://www.skype.com/en/. Within the Skype network, PC-to-PC calling is free and PC-to-landline calling is only $0.02 per minute in North America or $29.95 per year for unlimited calling. In an initial promotional campaign timed with the launch, a significant number of the 3sixty Freight Match system’s heaviest users have already signed up for the service, TransCore says.
Other features included in the Freight Match 1.2 software upgrade include:
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