Linux in the Freight-Transportation Industry

New B2B offering puts Linux on the Qube.

TransCore's Commercial Services, providers of technology-based business tools for the freight-transportation industry, recently released an operations-management software and hardware package called Keypoint for Brokers. The interesting part of this announcement, from our perspective at least, is that the hardware part of the package is the Sun Cobalt Qube 3 server and the software runs on Linux. The basis of TransCore's decision to use the Qube and Linux came directly from their and their customers' experience with the stability, extended up-time and speed that Linux offers.

Here's the full text of their announcement:

TransCore's Commercial Services, which provides technology-based business tools for its transportation intermediary and carrier customers, today announces the release of TransCore's Keypoint for Brokers, an operations-management software and hardware package that complements the company's popular freight-exchange and -matching services. TransCore's Keypoint for Brokers is the industry's most affordable software and hardware tool that enables users to track shipments and equipment, manage their customer data and have instant access to TransCore's DAT Services' load and truck network.

TransCore's Keypoint for Brokers, available on a subscription basis, is the first operations- management software tool of its kind to include prepackaged network solutions so users can securely host their information and handle business communications throughout the day in their own office network. The new tool also facilitates negotiation of freight movements online with trading partners and manages numerous routine business processes more efficiently. Keypoint for Brokers includes the following features:

  • Operations Management: Keypoint for Brokers captures order information for shipments and trucks; automates load matching; maintains and evaluates historical data as it relates to customers, consignees and carriers; and tracks activity on any shipment from acceptance to delivery.

  • Accounting/Financial Management: Keypoint for Brokers facilitates accounts receivable and accounts payable and generates aging and cash-management reports.

  • Records Management: Keypoint for Brokers manages customer, shipper, carrier, driver and equipment and vendor databases.

"Keypoint for Brokers is the next step toward TransCore's goal to provide integrated, end-to-end solutions that enable intermediaries to both manage their internal business processes and negotiate capacity and demand electronically," said Marc Cameron, COO of TransCore's Commercial Services. "Users of TransCore's Keypoint for Brokers package will notice measurable improvements in their back-office efficiency and enjoy the added benefit of having instant online access to the TransCore trading community of 20,000 companies that actively share load and truck availability across North America."

TransCore's research indicates that 72 percent of its broker customers do not have a commercial-grade operations management system. While numerous technology vendors have tried to address this market opportunity, few small- to medium-sized companies have embraced such software due to its complexity, high price and difficulty integrating with popular freight-matching systems. In a move to succeed where competitors have failed, TransCore has designed its operations management tool to be affordable, intuitive, and easily integrated with TransCore's suite of end-to-end solutions.

About TransCore Commercial Services

TransCore's Commercial Services is headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., a suburb of Portland, and is a part of TransCore, a privately held transportation services company with 1,800 employees and more than 80 locations throughout the United States and abroad. With installations in 37 countries, more than 160 patents, and a world-class manufacturing facility, TransCore's expertise in providing technology-based applications that improve transportation efficiency is unparalleled. TransCore's Commercial Services includes DAT Services, Keypoint and Link Logistics. TransCore's freight-exchange network was recently featured in Forbes' "Best of the Web: B2B." For more information, visit www.transcore.com or www.dat.com.

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