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4/17/2014 2:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Freight Transportation Seen Lagging in Tech Applications

This story appears in the April /May 2014 issue of iTECH, published in the April 14 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

By Bruce Lilly, Contributing Writer

The freight transportation industry is still catching up with technology,” said Matt Ziegler, president of ZMac Transportation Solutions. “Even though we’ve made huge strides in the past 10 years, we’re still way behind the rest of the business world.”

This story is a sidebar to the iTECH story, ‘To Share or Not To Share: Should Carriers Share Their Tech Experience?’

Ziegler is doing his part to change that. Through participation at industry conferences and by serving on an advisory board for a technology company, he has listened to many of his peers share technology information. Hearing people talk about what they need technology to do is part of what has led him to develop software applications for use in the industry.

ZMac, based in Racine, Wis., specializes in overdimensional flatbed freight. Ziegler saw the need for a better pricing mechanism for this niche segment, so ZRate was created. “Pricing is a really tough part of handling overdimensional freight,” he said. “ZRate allows carriers to get an instant rate up to 14 feet wide and 14 feet high, including permits and escorts to and from anywhere in the U.S.”

Another need Ziegler identified is a software program for calculating commission compensation. His answer was Crescendo, which provides an online dashboard that lets each sales representative or broker know where their commission stands at any given moment.

“You can react more quickly when you’ve got those real-time results,” Ziegler said. “The method of calculating commission can vary widely from company to company, so it’s not easy to create a tool that handles all of the variables. For example, on the asset side, you might need to include deadhead in the calculation.

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