Dock scheduling is in the headlines–finally. We’ve been waiting. Let’s talk.
By Jeff Booth, Director, Product Management

Here at Loadsmart, we are highly focused on solving inefficiencies caused by fragmented transportation processes. It’s in our DNA; Ricardo and Felipe were inspired to form the company in 2014 because of the fragmentation they saw in freight quoting and booking. In 2017, Loadsmart launched the first dynamic instant pricing API with Oracle TMS, and since then the company has continued this cycle: identify fragmentation, solve for it, repeat. In 2021, dock scheduling entered this cycle, and–so did I. Since then, I’ve helped Loadsmart turn its attention to the warehouse.

In Q3 2021 Loadsmart bought Opendock, the leading stand-alone dock scheduling solution in the market. Opendock provides scheduling solutions for over 1,000 unique customers across thousands of individual facilities and appointments for over $18B in freight spend.

The lack of standards is a growing challenge and we applaud the efforts of the Scheduling Standards Consortium and look forward to supporting them in every way possible. However, we have identified a few upstream challenges we need to solve before we arrive at industry-wide API standards that move the needle for carriers.

First, Opendock is the only scheduling solution with a carrier-facing API today. We make this documentation publicly available for our 30,000+ unique carrier companies scheduling appointments today, including the key members of the Scheduling Standards Consortium. Other scheduling solutions often require unique URLs and credentials per customer so there isn’t standardization within their own customer base. We feel these same challenges within our brokerage business and logistics service offerings.

Second, which is the larger challenge, is low digital dock scheduling penetration across the industry. Less than 10% of facilities in the US and Canada have a dock scheduling solution. With over 90% of facilities using phone calls, emails, and first come first serve, we need systems in place first before we can standardize them.

Creating an API standard today is a good start and will make it easier to schedule at this 10% of facilities in the US and Canada, but how do we attack the larger problem of 90% of facilities with nothing to standardize in the first place?

That’s why we are strong believers in Opendock. Loadsmart acquired the market leader in dock scheduling because it had the best opportunity to solve this core problem: 90% of facilities have no digital solution. The key is an easy-to-use, lightweight solution that’s built API-first and integration friendly. We can get a facility up and running in less than 90 minutes with no costly implementation fees. At the same time, we can serve enterprise solutions with things like SSO and integrations into TMS, WMS, and visibility providers.

We look forward to continuing to expand the Opendock facility footprint with easy-to-use APIs for carriers to schedule appointments. Currently several of the top brokerages in the US are already using the Opendock API to programmatically schedule and update appointments. We hope to continue that with the Scheduling Standards Consortium.

ABOUT LOADSMART

Transforming the future of freight, Loadsmart leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and strategic partnerships to automate how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Pairing advanced technologies with deep-seated industry expertise, Loadsmart fuels growth, simplifies operational complexity and bolsters efficiency for carriers and shippers alike. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com