Jade Brasher | FleetOwner
Tom McLeod speaks during opening general session of McLeod Software 2023 User Conference

McLeod rolls out new offerings to improve workflow

Sept. 19, 2023
The carrier and broker transportation solutions provider detailed new versions of its software, upgrades to its driver app, new features with LoadMaster, and more, at the start of its annual user conference.

PHOENIX—With an eye on streamlining work for drivers on the road and brokers and planners back in the office, McLeod Software showed off its latest product releases and new features to its established LoadMaster and PowerBroker solutions.  

McLeod released Version 23.1 for LoadMaster and PowerBroker earlier this year which upgraded the PowerBroker//web product, a web-based user interface for PowerBroker.

“We have completely redesigned the workflow,” Tom McLeod, the president of McLeod Software, said in his opening address here at the start of his company's 2023 User Conference, and “streamlined the dispatch and support for the brokerage operation.”    

Featuring re-engineered workflows, a streamlined user experience, and an interactive dashboard, PowerBroker//web contains tools for creating and updating orders and managing movements, all on one webpage. Users can find coverage for a load, send offers to carriers, post to load boards and perform all common tasks brokers need to conduct their daily work.

McLeod will extend this new web-based user interface across the entire product line in future releases of its products.  

“This is an important step in our migration,” McLeod said. “We're going to be able to move in a stepwise direction over the next year or two as we roll out this type of interface and functionality throughout the entire product line.”

McLeod driver app

Version 23.1 for LoadMaster includes Driver Sidekick, McLeod Software’s next-generation driver app. The new design displays as much information as possible on the home-screen dashboard. This reduces the number of touches or taps for drivers to navigate to commonly used features. Drivers can view current assignment details, recent settlement amounts, and quickly access document scanning, messaging, mileage, and their home time requests.

“We've used input from customers who've worked with us and gotten this pointed and kept us pointed in the right direction,” McLeod said. “We've placed a real emphasis on integrating with the information that's in the operation system. For example, the new app will notify the drivers of missing paperwork.”

McLeod also said the app can house videos that fleet managers record to properly train drivers on certain company processes, such as how to properly load or how to properly secure freight. Additionally, drivers can offer feedback in the app with a “Yelp-style rating system” of the driver-friendliness of each pickup and delivery location, McLeod explained. Managers can also customize questions inside the app that will give planners more insight into the conditions drivers face.

Driver Sidekick is currently available on the Android operating system with an Apple iOS version coming in the future.

LoadMaster LoadMatch

McLeod also has a new feature included with its LoadMaster product, the LoadMaster LoadMatch. This tool helps planners find the best load for every driver based on instant analysis of the fleet and every driver’s current position, status, and available hours of service at the time of the assignment’s creation.

“You can pick a truck and the system will go through all the available freight optimized based on several criteria,” McLeod explained. “One is of course empty miles, but the second one is an extensive list of preferences and restrictions that you can put on an individual driver.”

Reviewing company preferences and driver-specific requirements provides users with the top five eligible loads for each driver. It examines all critical parameters in the system, such as empty distance to the next load, hours of service, minimum revenue per order goals, and any lane preferences.

This tool can act as an aid for new planners and help seasoned planners make the best decisions faster. It also helps identify drivers with special requirements, including specific lane preferences and their empty distance to the next load.

LoadMaster LoadMatch highlights drivers who may be the best choice for certain lanes and those who cannot service specific customers, allowing planners to optimize assignments by examining all constraints with a single click.

See also: Blackberry Radar integrates with McLeod's LoadMaster

Rate predictions

McLeod Software announced a built-in feature of MPact PRO, its lane and rate analysis tool. The new feature, MPact PRO Predictor, forecasts freight rates up to 14 days in advance.

Backed by data from McLeod’s Market Insight, MPact PRO Predictor factors in line-haul rate, trailer type, carrier type, and commodity type to offer predictions. Customers can also adjust the Predictor’s forecast confidence level to match risk preferences.

“Here's where we have extensively used machine learning with our data science group,” McLeod said. “A week or two in the future, we show you what's likely to happen to raising that lane … This is a great resource that we hope will be beneficial to most of our carriers and in most of our markets.”

This new feature gives sales staff an advantage with quotes for orders that are picked up and delivered in the future. It also helps new users explore lane rates and navigate the market from the first day on the job.

See also: Survey: Brokers optimistic about 2024, despite weak freight rates and demand

New McLeod MPact API

McLeod Software also announced the MPact API, which gives McLeod customers—those who have signed up to be anonymous rate contributors for the company’s Market Insight data set—the option to access the market lane intelligence housed in McLeod’s MPact lane and rate analysis product via an API.

This gives McLeod Software customers “access to this aggregated information for local applications,” McLeod said. “We want to take (your data) and give it back to you in the form that's extremely useful.”

MPact data can be imported into internal reporting, dashboards, and homegrown applications by customers for their own market comparison purposes. The MPact API returns buy and/or sell data from Key Market Area Origin and Destination Pairs based on freight that actually moved during the time period being examined.

This new API will also give customers to access MPact PRO Predictor data.

See also: NMFTA's Digital LTL Council developing API roadmap for data 

McLeod also announced several other upgrades and updates to its systems and operations. Among those are Cloud IQ Version 2024, Logix Solution expansions for Cargo Insurance and Shipper Portal Automation, the addition of more certified partners and choices, a new version of McLeod’s online customer service portal, introducing subscription-based pricing, and more.

About the Author

Jade Brasher

Senior Editor Jade Brasher has covered vocational trucking and fleets since 2018. A graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in journalism, Jade enjoys telling stories about the people behind the wheel and the intricate processes of the ever-evolving trucking industry.    

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