Descartes Systems Group acquires Utah-based XPS Technologies

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Technology news and briefs for the week of June 5, 2022:

Descartes acquires parcel shipping solutions company

Descartes Systems Group has acquired Utah-based XPS Technologies in a $65 million deal.

XPS provides its cloud-based multi-carrier parcel shipping solutions directly to small-, medium- and large-sized ecommerce shippers. It also provides a white-label shipping platform to logistics services providers.

“Combining with XPS adds ecommerce domain expertise, advanced parcel shipping technology and a community of more than 10,000 customers,” said Andrew Roszko, executive vice president of commercial operations at Descartes. “Many of today’s small and medium ecommerce retailers will be the major enterprises of tomorrow, and our integrated ecommerce shipping and fulfilment solutions are designed to help these businesses through all phases of growth.”

The XPS platform helps customers streamline their ecommerce supply chain and reduce transportation costs by automatically importing orders, comparing carrier rates, printing shipping labels for all major carriers, and tracking through final delivery. The XPS platform is also integrated with ecommerce marketplaces, ERP providers and supply chain platforms.

Per Diem Plus joins Platform Science marketplace

Platform Science has added a new app to its marketplace.

The driver-focused Per Diem Plus Fleets mobile app, which enables motor carriers to automate trucker per diem tracking, payroll accounting, administration and auditing, is now available on the connected vehicle platform, which makes it easier for fleets to develop, deploy and manage mobile devices and applications on commercial vehicles.

Per Diem Plus uses GPS to establish IRS-required "time, date and place" substantiation to prove away-from-home travel for over-the-road truck drivers. It is the only IRS-compliant solution for Special Transportation Industry per diem for solo and team drivers traveling in the U.S. and Canada.

Per Diem Plus says the app, which aims to increase efficiencies and decrease burdensome driver tasks, enhances recruiting and retention by raising employee driver take-home pay, saves motor carriers thousands of dollars per driver annually, automates per diem payroll accounting and tax compliance and eliminates the need to retain ELD backups to substantiate per diem for three or more years.

Covenant goes digital with Parade platform

Covenant Logistics Group Inc. has implemented Parade’s truckload capacity management platform to fill a technology gap and enable a quicker transition from manual to digital freight bookings.

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Parade provides one place to store carrier preference information, including new information that freight brokers touch every day and helps customers increase digital bookings by 30% on average.

“Covenant’s booking process had been mostly manual, with reps calling or emailing carriers. The reps had to handle negotiations and bookings through spreadsheets and a splendid memory,” said Covenant Chairman and CEO David R. Parker. “Parade gives Covenant reps digital bookings and integrations with syndication partners so they can post and manage incoming quotes and confirmations of ‘Book Now’ loads without ever leaving the Parade platform.”

FirstFleet adopts dispatch-to-driver messaging system

North American contract carrier FirstFleet has adopted Motorcity Systems’ RELAY system to improve dispatch-to-driver communications across its more than 2,900 power units.

RELAY, which integrates with multiple third-party ELD telematics, mobile communications platforms and devices and new or legacy transportation management software systems, is a real-time messaging system that fleets use to give dispatchers one source of messages with drivers versus using multiple disparate systems that can lead to lost message threads.

The messaging system is a cloud-based solution that has been integrated with FirstFleet’s mobile platform, powered by Platform Science. It aims to make it easier for fleets to develop, deploy and manage mobile devices and applications on commercial vehicles. Through the platform, FirstFleet is able to customize its workflows down to an app-by-app and driver-by-driver level and create in-cab technology experiences that best suit specific business objectives.

With RELAY, fleets can organize drivers into groups to track conversations and complete digital forms on a timeline. Visual and audio cues alert dispatchers and drivers when new messages are received. It also has real-time chat, group messaging and a search engine among other features.

Angel Coker Jones is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal, covering the technology, safety and business segments. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and kayaking, horseback riding, foraging for medicinal plants and napping. She also enjoys traveling to new places to try local food, beer and wine. Reach her at [email protected].