Chicago-based project44, a technology services provider offering standardized, secure Web service API (application programming interfaces) integrations enabling 3PLs and shippers to connect with carriers in real time, and U.S. Bank, a provider of freight payment services, announced a partnership today at the LINK 2019: RILA’s Retail Supply Chain Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Through this partnership, project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform, which focuses on shipment tracking and end-to-end visibility from the start of the shipping process to delivery (and beyond), as well as automation of key transportation processes, and also eliminates gaps in real-time visibility and powers users with high-quality and trustworthy Parcel, Final Mile, Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), Volume LTL, Full Truckload, Refrigerated, Rail and Ocean data, will be integrated into the U.S. Bank Freight Payment offering.
The companies said this integration will deliver on-demand and real-time access to LTL (less-than-truckload) and LT (less-than-trailer) freight documentation, with shippers able to now instantly view carriers’ bill of lading, invoices, delivery receipts, and weight certificates at the same time, which helps to automate the audit exception process and reduces the time spent needed to approve freight bills and improve carriers’ day sales outstanding.
“The development of this partnership was driven by our companies’ joint focus on providing our customers with the advanced visibility they need to automate payment and other key transportation processes,” said Tommy Barnes, president of project44, in an interview. “Specifically, we realized that by integrating the project44 Advanced Visibility Platform into the U.S. Bank Freight Payment solution, we could make invoice processing and payment a better experience for both shippers and carriers. We have been exploring this integration for more than a year, but formally began our partnership last October.”
Barnes added that this partnership provides shippers with more and faster access to freight documentation and other information, allowing them to automate audit exception and other processes.
“For example, previously using emails and phone calls to get the paperwork needed to resolve audit exceptions could take as long as 72 hours,” he said. “Now, with a single click, shippers can instantly view their carriers’ bills of lading, invoices, delivery receipts, and weight certificates. This reduces the time shippers spend approving freight bills, and allows their employees to work more on strategic, value-creating initiatives.”
What’s more, the companies said that by integrating the project44 Advanced Visibility Platform, U.S. Bank Freight Payment can now provide shippers with real-time access to relevant audit exception documents from project44’s industry-leading global network of more than 175,000 carriers.
The companies pointed to LTL transportation services provider YRC Worldwide, which is a U.S. Bank customer, as an example of how their collaboration can benefit shippers.
“Our shippers increasingly demand more and faster access to freight documentation and other information they need to optimize their supply chains,” said Todd Wilson, director of revenue management and customer integration, YRC Worldwide, in a statement. “The new capabilities delivered by U.S. Bank Freight Payment and project44’s partnership help us meet this need in a customer-centric way, by letting shippers access the audit exception documentation they want, in real-time. Plus, it frees our staff up from up from gathering and sending documentation, so they can work on more strategic, value-creating initiatives.”
Looking ahead, project44’s Barnes said project44 is working with U.S. Bank to evaluate other ways it can use the integration of the project44 Advanced Visibility Platform into the U.S. Bank Freight Payment solution to increase efficiencies and streamline collaboration between shippers and carriers.
“We are optimistic that we can make invoice processing and payment an even better experience for both parties, helping them both further optimize their supply chains,” he said.
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