Trucking/logistics technology: Con-way set to Tweet carriers on the way to available loads

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 09, 2010 - LM Editorial

While the ubiquitous social networking tool Twitter has been used by myriad shippers, carriers, and industry associations, freight transportation services provider Con-way has taken an entirely different approach in terms of gaining new business via the “Twit-a-sphere.”

Con-way Multimodal, a subsidiary of Con-way’s 3PL subsidiary Menlo Worldwide whom provides expanded freight brokerage capabilities and services in the 3PL and multimodal freight transportation business, has rolled out Con-way Tweetload.

Company officials described Con-way Tweetload as a patent-pending tool that helps carriers find available loads via Twitter, where carriers following Tweetload at http://www.twitter.com/ConwayTweetLoad can quickly see the latest available shipments and links to additional information on the Con-way Multimodal link board where carriers can place information on available loads daily.

Con-way Multimodal President Tyler Ellison told LM that the company is always seeking ways to better connect its carrier community with available loads. The primary method Con-way Multimodal has employed is a load board, called LINK, which carriers access by visiting Con-way Multimodal’s website, according to Ellison. Carriers must first be registered with Con-way Multimodal, and need to log in to access the board.

“Our goal in creating Con-way TweetLoad was to find a way to make it even more convenient for carriers to quickly find information on the latest available loads,” said Ellison. We began the planning process late last year, and then began testing it earlier in 2010. We also reached out to a few beta testers recently to get their feedback on the effectiveness of Con-way TweetLoad prior to launching it today. So far we have had a very positive response from our testers.”

In terms of benefits shippers can expect from TweetLoad, Ellison said that they will benefit from carriers’ ability to have immediate access to information on the latest available loads. And he added that by creating the patent-pending process of utilizing Twitter to pull information from the LINK board and posting it directly to Twitter, carriers are able to sign in to Twitter and follow the load posts, or “tweets,” for any period of time without repeatedly logging in on a separate load board. And by following the company on Twitter, Con-way said carriers will have more convenient access to load information updated every 15 minutes.

“The best part of Con-way TweetLoad is that carriers can conveniently follow the latest available loads from a handheld device, like they would for any other tweet coming from Twitter into their personal Twitter timeline,” said Ellison. “This makes it easy for carriers to access load information when away from a computer.”

What’s more, Ellison pointed out that many in the carrier and trucking community are primarily accessing the Internet through their handheld devices and Con-way is making the load information as convenient as possible for its carriers to access, which will in turn make it easier for them to do business with the company and more easily connect carriers with available freight.

The advent of Twitter to help find information on available loads was soundly endorsed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

“With this novel use of Twitter, Con-way Multimodal is leading the industry in maximizing the best features of new technology to improve their processes,” said Bill Graves, ATA president, in a statement. “This is a great example of how innovative transportation companies can make it easier for carriers to do business with them, which will be a benefit to our industry overall.”



About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world's most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, increased 1.8 percent to 57.1 in July. This is 1.8 percent higher than the 12-month average of 55.3. The PMI has grown in 18 of the last 20 months, with economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanding for the last 14 months as the overall economy was up for the 62nd consecutive month.

Modern's annual lift truck issue takes a look at how CN manages mobile crane maintenance, the Top 20 lift truck suppliers, a look at the results of our annual reader survey, a state of the fuel cell market, and more.

Canada’s largest rail operator has developed a new parts management and maintenance program to reduce the downtime of mobile cranes at its intermodal terminals.

Our list grows top heavy following another big merger, but after a year of relative calm, the market is heating up once again.

With plans to buy a total of more than 1,100 lift trucks in coming months, readers share their perspectives on spending, maintenance practices and technology usage.

Article Topics

News · Handheld · 3PL · All topics

About the Author

Jeff Berman, News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.