XPO Logistics Inc. is the latest transportation company to offer customers an online freight marketplace, bringing big investment and the company’s own ready-made list of shippers and carriers to fire back at the upstarts.
XPO launched its service, called XPO Connect, earlier this year as a pilot with about 50 shippers and is now opening it up more widely, the company said Wednesday. Shippers will be able to book and track shipments online as well as monitor changes in carrier capacity, spot rates and shifts in load availability by geography.
“We’re starting off today with our brokerage network, then moving next to XPO Intermodal,” the division that manages transportation over long distances by train and truck, said Mario Harik, XPO’s chief information officer.
Most retailers and manufacturers book some cargo shipments directly with carriers, and the rest through intermediaries like brokers and freight forwarders. Many of those are small companies that rely on phone calls or even fax machines to set up and track loads.
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