The coming clash of trucking "super sites," already shaping up as a mighty struggle on the Internet, just grew by one potentially powerful contender.
Transportal Network, Atlanta, GA, debuted at the Truckload Carriers Assn. meeting in Orlando Wednesday, where company executives described an Internet-based system to join small fleets of, say, 300 to 500 trucks into a "virtual carrier" of 10,000 to 15,000 trucks.
"Our research shows that the largest benefits begin to kick in at about 10,000 trucks -- or about $1 billion in carrier revenue," said Transportal Marketing vice president Jim Pierce. Those benefits will accrue to all participating carriers, he said.
Curiously, the software critical to Transportal's ambitions, until recently marketed under the Sabre name, now belongs to Logistics.com. That Boston-based company has declared its own interest in winning the super site derby, at least in part by offering those same software products over the Internet as an Application Service Provider (ASP).
But according to Pierce, Logistics.com has licensed Transportal to offer the same software in its unique, small-fleet cooperative market. Indeed, Transportal will link to Logistics.com's Digital Transportation Marketplace.
The aggregate fleet created by Transportal could become a major national player, among the top individual fleets in the truckload business. Transportal recently announced that Lana Batts, former president of the TCA, would join the company as executive vice president and chief development officer as of April 1.
Transportal also announced a series of business alliances, among them a agreement with DockSmart, a division of Progressive Logistic Services Inc. (www.plsunload.com)
of Atlanta. According to Pierce, DockSmart will provide fixed-price lumping and spotting services in major cities around the country. "That will allow carriers to turn drivers around more quickly," said Pierce.