Cox Automotive has invested more than $100 million in the vehicle transport industry through technology. The investment will transform the company brand Central Dispatch from a matchmaking service that connects shippers and carriers into a fully integrated automotive transportation marketplace that gives clients tools, data and insights to take control of their supply chains.
“At Cox Automotive, we see tremendous opportunity in the vehicle transport space,” said Cox Automotive President Steve Rowley. “By leveraging the full power of Cox Automotive’s data, technology and expertise to re-imagine the Central Dispatch experience, we will give shippers and carriers what no one else in the industry can—a comprehensive logistics solution that enables them to better compete in today’s automotive ecosystem.”
The Evolution of Vehicle Logistics
As recently as a decade ago, vehicle transport was simpler, with new-vehicle movement focused mostly from the manufacturer to dealerships and used vehicles largely moving between auctions and dealers. However, increased adoption of digital buying across the industry—from wholesale to retail—has dramatically increased complexities and demand across the vehicle supply chain. The proof is in the numbers:
- Most wholesale vehicles are now purchased digitally: 72% of Manheim’s transactions in 2023 went to digital buyers.
- Dealers are buying wholesale vehicles from far away; on average, Simulcast buyers purchase vehicles 360-plus miles away.
- Many dealers now offer customers at least a partial online retailing experience, 39% offering customers the ability to complete each step online and 67% the ability to schedule vehicle delivery online.
“The trends over the last several years have created new pain points for shippers and carriers that require real solutions,” said Joe Kichler, vice president of logistics at Cox Automotive. “I’m confident that the new offerings from Central Dispatch will bring simplicity to this complexity, connect all parts of the transport process and ultimately make clients more successful than they are today.”
Cox Automotive says Central Dispatch will ultimately offer everything shippers and carriers need to manage their transportation business in a single, integrated platform. This will not only bring shippers and carriers significant efficiencies, but it will also increase transparency, better connect carrier supply with shipper demand and enable the execution of the transaction all in one place.
This year key highlights of the new Central Dispatch experience will include continued enhancement of carrier verification, a new carrier mobile app (with inspection and Electronic Bill of Lading), advanced pricing and market intelligence tools and a suite of APIs, which will enable more seamless connectivity between different tools and applications that shippers and carriers already use.
The additional investment in Central Dispatch builds on the momentum that began in 2023 with the release of two enhancements that were highly requested by clients: transactional ratings, which crossed the 1.5 million milestone in just under a year since launch, and more customizable user management controls.
Those interested in learning more about Central Dispatch can stop by the Manheim booth in the Cox Automotive Village at the NADA Show Expo kicks in Las Vegas Feb. 2 to 4.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today