Airborne Freight Selects Dispatch Software

BOSTON (05/24/2000) - Airborne Freight Corp. has awarded a contract for mobile dispatch software to Dynamic Mobile Data Systems Inc. But Airborne will write its own client software for the new Motorola Inc. handheld data terminals it will provide to its 17,500 drivers.

Mark LaRosa, chief technology officer at Dynamic Mobile Data in Somerset, New Jersey, said the contract, whose value he declined to disclose, represents the second-largest contract for the 6-year-old company. It was awarded after a one-year pilot with Seattle-based Airborne.

The contract is a key part of Airborne's five-year project to install a new, $50 million nationwide wireless architecture, according to David Billings, Airborne's senior vice president of information and technology systems.

Dynamic Mobile Data's MobileDispatch software enables real-time data communications with drivers and provides status-tracking of vehicles and shipments. LaRosa said the client software that Airborne will adapt for its own use is compact and well suited for power-sensitive and memory limited mobile devices.

"The entire application fits in about 150K . . . and with that we can provide guaranteed delivery and notification information and job tracking and vehicle tracking," LaRosa said.

Conrad Steffens, an Airborne programmer, said the company was able to adapt the MobileDispatch software to "fulfill our requirements at minimal costs."

Starting with the MobileDispatch core software meant "less risk for us, and it took less time," than completely developing its own dispatch software, he said.

Dynamic Mobile Data said it also won a contract yesterday with Wakefern Food Corp. in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Under that contract, Dynamic Mobile Data will provide a version of its MobileDispatch software equipped with an automatic vehicle location system. Wakefern has equipped its 385 trucks with Global Positioning System receivers and transponders that automatically feed a truck location onto a dispatcher's screen every 30 minutes.

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