Connectivity of the FSL platform with devices in the field (telematics/on-board units)
The cloud based integration layer of the platform (data services and messages layer in the architecture) will enable a multitude of connection points from hundreds of backend systems over publicly exposed APIs. The data exchange formats will be published and available to business users.
Users and registrations
This is a business-to-business platform where users can be divided into two groups based on their type of interaction
- Big Co / aggregator – large companies, or freight aggregators, which can integrate their own systems with the FSL platform
- Small Co – smaller companies or launching users looking to trial the platform, which would make use of the native user interface (app and web portal) to communicate its availability or demand
Registration of the users will need to undergo a defined process to enable the Fleet Marriage algorithm to identify likely matches of participating users. This will then be used to provide the automated demand / supply matches or suggestions for matches (based on settings).
Supply and demand matching process
“Shipping demand meets vehicle supply”
It is expected companies with shipping needs can sign up to the FreightShare Lab platform and upload their shipping requirements in two ways:
- Individually – this can be done for individual ad hoc jobs on the day
- Manually through FSL web portal app
- Automated via the standardized interface or
- Bulk – this is expected to be done mainly by integrated ERP and TMS systems in the form of upload and maintained during the day automatically. For fixed schedules, this could be done manually as well, but needs to follow rules (posted demand needs to be accurate during the day, otherwise the shipper will lose credibility). Based on these inputs, the platform then performs an algorithmic matching of available supply of spare logistics capacity and returns a number of options. The algorithm then either selects an option or pre-selects near optimal options, based on pre-configured rules and confidence levels that need to be set up. Once confirmed, the shipment is scheduled and the chosen user is informed.
Logistics companies typically schedule a day’s work the day before, assigning shipments to trucks and vans, with the aim to utilise the vehicle, keep to agreed delivery SLAs, as well as weight and size restrictions and run duration.
- Shipper’s pull - where free capacity, as well as time, is known, this information can be made available by the carrier’s system to the FreightShare Lab platform (either automatically, or manually). The resulting “snippets” of vehicle availability are then accumulated in the platform across all member logistics suppliers and can be:
- Identified by the algorithm to suggest a match, or
- Picked up from by the shipper’s operator directly
- Carrier’s push - alternatively, a “market mode” will post the shipment request onto a market of subscribed logistics operators with relevant parameters, such as weight, delivery time requirement and cost willing to accept. Any shipper operators taking part in the market are then able to claim the shipment request
- Directly (buy now option), or
- Via a bidding system (this would be an optional enhancement to the platform)
Shipments agreed through the platform are confirmed to both shipper and operator for fulfilment.