Veteran player DAT Services, headquartered in Portland, Ore., unveiled a new Internet-based service designed to optimize the movement of shipments and equipment by providing an online negotiating process coupled with access to the company's 17,000-user freight exchange network and a suite of decision support tools.

Dubbed DATconexus, the new web initiative is already in "controlled launch" with about 50 users, according to Susan Little, vp-marketing. The service includes not only the traditional freight exchange functions, but also offers tendering, negotiation and automated confirmation, she explained. Additionally, it incorporates what DAT calls Partner Trading Groups - a selection and communication mechanism designed to facilitate negotiation with user-defined groups and entities to enable customers to easily communicate with their preferred trading partners as well as the entire network of DAT users.

The variety of decision support tools also bundled into DATconexus are intended to speed the processing and management of critical day-to-day information. These include routing optimization, credit profiles and reports, access to market data, and other user-configurable tools. The cost for the new suite of services "will not be more than current products," she added.

Additional information is available at www.dat.com.

The fleet edition of Vehicle Record System Plus is an inexpensive Windows-based program that can track maintenance and expenses for groups of vehicles, according to developer K-Jon Software. A no-cost Free-for-3 version that will maintain records for up to three vehicles can be downloaded at www.kjon.com/prodwvrs.html.