Cox Automotive said it’s “doubling down” on its commitment to vehicle logistics.
The auto industry giant announced an investment of more than $100 million in its Central Dispatch brand to “revolutionize the vehicle transport industry through technology.”
Cox said the investment will transform Central Dispatch from a matchmaking service that connects shippers and carriers into a “fully integrated automotive transportation marketplace that gives clients the tools, data and insights they need to take control of their supply chains.”
Cox Automotive president Steve Rowley said the company sees “tremendous opportunity” in the vehicle transport space.
“By leveraging the full power of Cox Automotive’s data, technology and expertise to re-imagine the Central Dispatch experience,” he said in a news release, “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.”
In a news release, the company cited statistics to show how the increase in digital car buying, both wholesale and retail, has changed the automotive logistics sector. Cox said 72% of Manheim’s transactions in 2023 went to digital buyers and Simulcast buyers purchase vehicles from, on average, more than miles away.
And the 2023 Cox Automotive Digitization of Car Buying Study found 39% of dealers offer customers the ability to complete each step of the purchase online and 67% offer the ability to schedule vehicle delivery online.
Cox’s ultimate plan is for Central Dispatch to offer “everything shippers and carriers need to manage their transportation business in a single, integrated platform,” which it said will add efficiency, increase transparency and connect carrier supply with shipper demand.
This year, Central Dispatch will begin with the 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 designed to enable greater connectivity between the tools and applications shippers and carriers already use.
“The trends over the past several years have created new pain points for shippers and carriers that require real solutions,” Cox Automotive vice president of logistics Joe Kichler said. “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.”
The added investment follows the 2023 release of two enhancements to Central Dispatch: transactional ratings, which Cox said has surpassed 1.5 million milestone in less than a year since its launch, and more customizable user management controls.