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eflatbed.com brings new efficiencies to the flatbed trucking and shipping industries

Pittsburgh, PA, March 15, 2000 - Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc. (PLS) and eflatbed.com today announced that eflatbed.com, the only on-line logistics source dedicated solely to the flatbed shipping industry, has been established as a separate entity from PLS to focus on electronic transportation commerce.

eflatbed.com was a start-up of Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, a leading provider of logistics management services to the metals industry and three-time winner of the Pittsburgh Technology 50, an award recognizing technological achievement, bestowed by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Last year, Pittsburgh Logistics Systems posted sales in excess of $200 million managing the movement of more than 20 million tons of metals, metals-intensive products and raw materials such as coal, coke and iron ore.

"By operating eflatbed.com on its own, the company will have the opportunity to focus exclusively on e-commerce transportation solutions for flatbed shippers and carriers alike," said eflatbed.com and PLS Chief Executive Officer, Gregg Troian. "We have combined the industry expertise of PLS with the speed and easy access of the Internet to offer flatbed shippers and carriers an unparalleled resource to bring greater efficiencies to their business."

As part of the move, Troian also announced that Joe Morgan has been named president of the e-commerce venture headquartered in Greentree, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Morgan was formerly president of Sony Chemicals Corporation of America.

"While eflatbed.com competes with on-line transportation exchanges that match shipper and carrier opportunities, eflatbed.com will offer a far more comprehensive service by handling the "back-office" activities normally handled by a carrier or a shipper, including setting up both the pick-up and delivery times, and managing carrier payment and shipper invoicing," Morgan said.

"These additional services, as well as several advanced features planned for later this year, will continue to keep eflatbed.com in the leadership position for flatbed transportation services," Morgan said.

Currently, more than 1,300 carriers and 20 shippers are utilizing eflatbed.com's dedicated service to move thousands of flatbed loads. Many of these loads, in the past, would have been left sitting on shipping docks, resulting in missed delivery dates for shippers, unused flatbed capacity, and unrealized revenues for the carriers.

"The flatbed carrier segment of the trucking industry is more fragmented than others," Morgan noted." Many of these smaller carriers have not been able to invest in sophisticated scheduling tools to run their networks. Most use the telephone as their main tool, which creates a very inefficient system for finding and selecting the best loads for their operation. Our model 'defragmentizes' flatbed trucking by opening a much larger information window between shippers and carriers giving them greater visibility to one another. The result is fewer empty trucks, more freight moved, and a more efficient system creating tremendous efficiency in the channel."

In addition to the base established in the metals shipping industry, Morgan noted that eflatbed.com is aggressively moving forward with expansion into other vertical market segments. Negotiations are presently underway with shippers in lumber, fabricated wood, building materials, heavy equipment manufacturing and other industries that rely upon flatbed trucks for shipping.

"While we will expand into other commodities, we still plan to stay within the flatbed transportation segment," said Morgan. " We believe that maintaining our focus on this portion of the market will allow us to develop additional unique services and continue to offer the most complete flatbed freight transportation system available for our customers.

"It is critical for our success to transition our business into key vertical segments, especially when we have the chance to provide carriers the opportunity to reload from point-to-point at the click of a mouse," Morgan said. "With the number of lumber mills, brick companies and heavy equipment manufacturers in North America, the possibilities are limitless as to the number of loads flatbed carriers can find on our site for their equipment."

Carrier subscription fees of $24.95 per month currently are being waived. After carriers complete enrollment - which includes checks for U.S. Department of Transportation safety ratings and insurance coverage - carriers can quickly search available inbound and outbound loads on a state-by-state basis. All loads are displayed on the site by origin and destination as well as load weight, pick-up and delivery times. Carriers wanting a particular movement simply click on the load and provide a price. Load offers are responded to within one hour during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, eflatbed.com is the only Internet transportation marketplace dedicated to providing complete logistics services solely to flatbed motor carriers and shippers.

Elicia Troese, eflatbed.com, at 412-928-2788, ext. 2639, or etroese@quadrivius
Jeff Nobers, Blattner Brunner, Inc., 412-995-9525, or jnobers@blatbrun.com.

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