Earlier this week, two well-known freight transportation concerns—DAT, a Portland, Oregon-based freight marketplace platform and information provider, and Knight-Swift the nation’s largest truckload carrier—have teamed up, in the form of a pilot program that focused on advanced rate predictive forecasting.
This pilot program leverages DAT’s RateView, which DAT said is the largest and most historically complete database on freight transactions in the trucking sector and provides what it called actionable short-term and long-term insights into transportation markets. RateView provides forecasts of more than $68 billion in annual freight transactions, according to DAT.
The pilot program between DAT and Knight-Swift will take place over the course of the first quarter, with DAT’s rate forecasting tool subsequently being made available to 3PL’s, freight brokers, truck fleets, financial analysts, and other industry stakeholders in the second quarter, according to DAT.
DAT Chief of Analytics Ken Adamo, whom recently joined DAT from FedEx, where he served as Manager of Decision Science and Innovation at FedEx Custom Critical, said that the company’s data science team has been actively testing rate algorithms for months and back-checking forecasts against actual results and refining models to improve accuracy, adding that the Knight-Swift partnership offers up what he called the perfect proving ground.
“This pilot is an important step as we develop and broaden the commercial scope of our best-in-class forecasting tools,” said Adamo in a statement. “Our forecasting is based on the most historically complete database on the market today. That’s important, because the best indicator of future prices is historical prices, and by teaming with Knight-Swift, we can continue to refine the algorithms to solve real-world problems.”
In an interview, Adamo explained that this pilot program will help to validate DAT’s assumptions on various fronts for things, including what is the best time horizon for an RFP situation, the best modal output for same-day coverage versus next-day or two-day out coverage, noting that there are hundreds of usage cases for time horizons.
“We want to narrow it down to make it less confusing and more applicable,” he said. “That is one of the main things we are looking to gain in forecasting. You always want to get more accurate, too.”
Don Everhart, VP Technology & Analytics for Knight-Swift Logistics said in a statement that Knight-Swift is eager to begin testing DAT’s new rate forecasting tool.
“In our experience, DAT is the most accurate and complete source of spot and contract rate data available,” he said. “We are looking forward to applying these rate predictions to significantly improve the speed we can serve customers, while mitigating price risk.”
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