Aljex says it now offers software APIs, allowing brokers and 3PLs to quickly and easily access carrier tracking information and proof-of-delivery, as well as extract correct, updated rates and quotes. Application Program Interface software enables different applications to exchange information. Aljex says it created APIs for individual carriers available to any Aljex customer who uses that carrier. The API pulls data from a carrier site through the broker’s account using the broker’s log-on and password.
With an API, brokers and 3PLs can enjoy a carrier’s online services without leaving their Aljex screens. An Aljex API reaches across the Internet from the transportation document on a broker’s screen directly to the always-current rates on the carrier’s own Website. Aljex says its APIs relieve brokers and 3PLs from having to update rates in their own systems each time a carrier makes a change and sends out an update.
APIs enable an Aljex user to query multiple carriers to determine least-cost-routing, with results displayed within seconds, much more efficient than going to each site manually or paying a rate agency. The rate quotes can populate the appropriate information fields in a transportation document so that a broker need not physically copy rates into a freight bill.
“It’s amazing, when combined with automated billing by the carrier to the 3PL and from the 3PL to its customers,” says Tom Heine, Aljex chief executive officer. “It automates yet another piece of the transportation work cycle. It’s especially helpful with multiple LTL shipments. You eliminate copying errors while always applying the latest appropriate rate.”
Heine says APIs also show carriers the percentage of business they are winning from the ongoing record of quotes provided vs. shipments booked; without APIs, a carrier may not be aware of business it is missing, knowledge that can encourage a carrier to offer more competitive rates to coax more business from a particular Aljex 3PL. “APIs make working with carriers quicker, easier and better for both sides of a transaction,” Heine says.