Tom Weisz, president and CEO of TMW Systems, Beachwood, Ohio, has proposed creation of an industry-wide standard for load information on the Internet.

Speaking at TMW's user group meeting in Cleveland yesterday, Weisz said a data standard would allow truckload information to better integrate with the software systems used by fleets, logistics companies, load matching services and transportation marketplaces on the Internet. The standard, he said, should be based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which helps format data moving over the Internet.
Weisz said companies such as Microsoft and IBM are working on general standards for the use of XML, but specific standards would have to established by individual industries. Load-matching data standards would best be established under the auspices of the American Trucking Associations, he said.
Weisz pointed out that some fleets must enter load data from the Internet into their own dispatch systems manually. For some, he said, it has proved too cumbersome to be useful. A standard would allow load data to flow directly into differing software systems, he said, and would also allow fleets to compare the profit potential of their own loads with loads available on the Web.
This is the second time that Weisz has publicly called for data standards in trucking. Late in 1997, he made a similar plea for data from emerging trailer tracking systems. Other industry leaders agreed and the Trailer Tracking Interface Standards Committee was formed in August 1998. In March 1999, the committee adopted a standard format making trailer tracking data more easily available across different software platforms.
In the more general area of transportation data, Weisz told he believed that XML over the Internet would supplant the use of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).
"The only question is when," he said.