NTE Unveils Wireless Trading for Transportation Services

Goal is To Provide Instant Access Anywhere, Anytime, Any Way

NTE, the company that launched the nation's first transportation exchange using the Internet, today announced a new way to trade in its e-marketplace -- via wireless technology.

The B2B, e-commerce company will enable shippers and carriers who buy and sell transportation services in its online marketplace to do so using wireless devices, such as the latest cellular telephones, palmtop computers and other hand-held devices. NTE has contracted with Novarra, a leading provider of wireless software enabling e-business solutions, to deliver instant wireless interaction between NTE's e-commerce applications and handheld devices.

NTE is one of the nation's first B2B transportation e-marketplaces to offer trading that uses wireless application protocol (WAP)-enabled cellular phones.

"Our goal is to provide our customers with instantaneous access to our e-marketplace on their terms -- anywhere, anytime and any way," said James Davidson, NTE president and chief executive officer. "The rapid evolution of wireless technology opens a world of possibilities for online freight management. These and other new applications will enhance liquidity in our trading community as we make it easier and better for transportation-dependent companies to transact."

NTE member carriers can use the password-protected system to reduce empty backhauls, increase profits and make better business decisions. Among the initial applications that will be available using wireless access, companies will be able to:

-- Search for and book shipments that are tendered to NTE. A

        carrier will be able to identify available loads in any given
        state, as well as the pricing, attributes and delivery

    --  Provide status updates. This will allow carriers, shippers and
        others in the supply chain to always know the whereabouts of
        their trucks or goods, as well as to obtain associated
        accessorial charge information.

Small carriers, for example, which traditionally have relied on drivers to locate profitable freight, generally by calling businesses or using bulletin boards or brokers, will be able to connect with NTE using Internet-compatible cellular phones. From their vehicles, drivers can make smart procurement decisions by accessing a ranking of the most profitable loads, then booking shipments using their WAP phones.

With technical support from Novarra, NTE has mapped its existing browser-based applications so they will operate using the wireless devices. The mapping process establishes new filters so key information can be presented on smaller screens without re-authoring existing Web content or fundamentally altering the current application.

"Our goal is to provide meaningful data to our member companies so they can make intelligent transportation logistics decisions as efficiently as possible," explained Stephen Baggett, NTE's director of strategic solutions development. "We're also investigating ways to use integrated voice response (IVR) technology, which should eliminate any equipment barriers."

NTE is testing wireless access with some carrier customers. The company is planning widespread launch of wireless trading in the spring.

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