Loadsmart Expands Leadership Team

Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, announced the addition of Jim Nicholson as vice president of carrier sales and operations.

Loadsmart Expands Leadership Team

Work Truck Online 
2020 01 13

With API integration directly to both the carrier and the shipper TMS, Smart Match uses the location of trucks to instantly connect available capacity with shipper demand which can maximize revenue per loaded mile for fleets. - Photo: Loadsmart

With API integration directly to both the carrier and the shipper TMS, Smart Match uses the location of trucks to instantly connect available capacity with shipper demand which can maximize revenue per loaded mile for fleets.

Photo: Loadsmart

Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, announced the addition of Jim Nicholson as vice president of carrier sales and operations.

Nicholson’s appointment further underscores Loadsmart’s continued growth following a $19 million funding round it closed in September, according to the company. 

“Jim is an invaluable addition to our incredibly talented team with a proven track record of developing and nurturing relationships with customers, and an uncanny ability to see the big picture,” said Ricardo Salgado, CEO and co-founder of Loadsmart. “Driving meaningful partnerships that enable carriers and shippers to move more with less is the crux of what we do at Loadsmart, and we’re thrilled to welcome a well-respected trucking industry veteran to help guide our efforts.”

With 14 years of experience in the commercial transportation sector, Nicholson previously served as director of carrier sales and operations at truckload, intermodal, and logistics company Schneider National. He will now lend his deep-seated industry knowhow to the continued enhancement of Loadsmart’s relationships with leading carriers.

“Loadsmart is at the vanguard of the evolution that’s happening in transportation and logistics, and the company is innovating new approaches to address longstanding challenges and reshape the movement of goods,” said Nicholson. “It’s a pivotal time in the company’s development and I look forward to working alongside carriers as a partner in streamlining their business operations with the very best digital freight solutions available.”

After more than a decade at Schneider, Nicholson joins Loadsmart at the intersection of trucking and technology, bringing with him a first-hand carrier perspective. His addition strengthens Loadsmart’s insight into industry challenges and equips the company with the experiences necessary to better help shippers and carriers mature their legacy processes.

Nicholson’s onboarding comes during an industry crossroads when, now more than ever, businesses are seeking options to improve operational efficiency and guarantee a simplified, more profitable movement of freight to thrive.


Ike Garners Spot On FreightTech 25 For Seeking To Blend The Old With The New

Ike Garners Spot On FreightTech 25 For Seeking To Blend The Old With The New  Yahoo Finance

Ike Garners Spot On FreightTech 25 For Seeking To Blend The Old With The New

“techcrunch AND freight” – Google News 
2020 01 03

The mission of technology startup Ike is to develop automated trucking technology tools that build upon the expertise of experienced truck drivers, and that’s why the firm has been named to FreightWaves’ list of the top 25 innovative and disruptive freight transportation companies. Ike garnered the 24th spot.

“We have much more to do and to learn, but we know that if we are going to succeed, we need to build technology that the trucking industry wants to use — technology that helps truck drivers, not replaces them,” a company spokesperson told FreightWaves.

Although Ike is a young company, its leadership has been involved in the development of autonomous trucking for years. The founders of the company came from Uber Freight and self-driving trucking startup Otto, according to a February 2019 TechCrunch article. As a result, the leadership has experience incorporating technology with trucking operations and  infrastructure such as trailers and maintenance facilities.

Ike is developing technology that allows Class 8 tractor-trailer trucks to drive safely and reliably without a driver, the company said. Ike’s assets include a fleet of prototype vehicles equipped with its technology, including Class 8 tractors and a Toyota Prius for mapping and data collection. The fleet has been operating on interstate highways through northern California, the Central Valley of California, the Los Angeles Basin and in Arizona. 

“By focusing our product on safe and reliable highway transportation of freight, we think it’s possible to build automated trucking that creates better truck driving jobs so more drivers can sleep in their own beds at night and use their skills and expertise where it matters,” Ike said. 

The company continued, “In the future, some truckers will move loads to and from the highway and hand off to a driverless automated truck for the long haul. That’s a great match between human skills and new technology that can also help make the industry safer and more productive.”

Ike is named after former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhowser, who himself helped to create the U.S. highway interstate system. To build the company, Ike raised $52 million in a Series A funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures, FreightWaves reported in February.

As companies such as Ike develop autonomous trucking technologies, they consider factors such as who is going to deploy the technology and how that technology will work with a potential customer’s existing operations. A company’s answers to these issues is why tech companies have developed different business strategies or plans to address autonomous trucking, according to Steve Viscelli, a consultant and an instructor and fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. 

“If you zoom out, everybody has pretty similar approaches and identifications to what the problems are,” but their approaches to those problems are different, said Viscell, an economic and political sociologist. As a result, one company is looking at combining remote operations with autonomous trucking, while another is looking at putting human drivers in a control center to pilot trucks, he said.

“You start to see real differences even though you know that there’s really a similar set of problems identified,” Viscelli said.

What makes Ike distinctive is the focus on how its autonomous technology complements existing trucking operations, he said.

“I appreciate the long-term approach and the concern about how they’re going to fit with the various players, which include drivers and other segments of the industry,” Viscelli said. “And so I think that would be one of the things that really stands out to me about Ike is the thoughtfulness to which they’re approaching how they might fit into the industry.”

Companies named to the 2020 FreightTech 25 were judged by an external panel of industry experts, with voting conducted and overseen by accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM).

Each member of the panel ranked their top 25 companies on a 1- to 25-point basis. The companies generating the most points make up the FreightTech 25.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay


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© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.


Shipfix raises $4.5M seed for its dry cargo shipping platform

Shipfix raises $4.5M seed for its dry cargo shipping platform  TechCrunch

Shipfix raises $4.5M seed for its dry cargo shipping platform

“techcrunch AND freight” – Google News 
2019 12 31

Shipfix, a relatively new startup aiming to drag the dry cargo shipping industry into the digital age, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding.

Leading the round is Idinvest Partners, with participation from Kima Ventures, The Family, Bpifrance and strategic business angels. The company was founded in December 2018 by Serge Alleyne (CEO) and Antoine Grisay (COO), and launched just two months ago.

“We’re trying to fix the email overload for everybody involved in the process of fixing a dry cargo ship by providing a comprehensive market monitor,” Alleyne tells TechCrunch.

“We’re also producing data-driven insights that are profoundly missing in the bulk/break-bulk space. Actually the last revolution of the dry cargo industry was email, and so far people still rely on indices based on a panel of brokers while all the data is available in emails”.

To solve this, Alleyne says that Shipfix connects to its clients’ email to extract and anonymously aggregate “billions of data points using deep learning technology”.

The idea is that, rather than spending hours scrolling through your inbox every morning to take the pulse of the market, you can search and filter structured market offers instantly via Shipfix.

In addition, you can browse what Alleyne calls “augmented directories” (ships, ports, companies and people available within emails and signatures — information that isn’t typically available on LinkedIn), and access data-driven benchmarks and indices.

Shipfix customers are primarily anyone chartering/fixing a ship, such as charterers, ship owners, ship operators, freight forwarders and “lots of brokers”.

However, longer term, the startup plans yo onboard commodity traders, insurers, banks, governments and investment firms, based on the granular benchmarks and indices it is building.

“We cover 430 cargo categories from salt, sand, iron ore, fertilizers, grain, steel, etc., and forecasting market pressures around the globe… [is useful] for everybody involved within the commodities space,” adds the Shipfix co-founder.

Meanwhile, the company currently employs 15 people, including senior engineers, shipping professionals, data scientists and analysts. The team is mostly remote-based and spread across 7 cities, with offices in London, Paris and Toulouse.


Top 10 Tech: The top trucking products of 2019

Top 10 Tech: The top trucking products of 2019

John Smith-38 
Today’s Trucking 
2019 12 18

Posted: December 17, 2019 by John G. Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Picking favorites is not a task to be taken lightly. No matter who you include in a related list, someone will feel slighted because they were left behind. But as a new year comes upon us, it’s a tradition at Today’s Trucking to identify 10 new products that stood apart from the rest during a given year.

New trucks are excluded from consideration, simply because they all incorporate a wide array of individual products, but everything else is fair game. My chosen few represent advanced technology, creative thinking, and updates to solve practical challenges.

Given these rules of engagement, here is my list of the top trucking products of 2019.

  1. Detroit Assurance 5.0 – Daimler Trucks North America planted a flag earlier in the year when it became the first OEM to introduce a truck with Level 2 autonomous controls. The new Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of safety systems can adjust and resume cruise control in stop-and-go traffic, apply full brakes when detecting moving pedestrians, warn drivers about vehicles sitting in their blind spots, and even help a Freightliner Cascadia track down the middle of its lane. That’s right. The steering wheel will nudge back and forth on its own. These are merely a few examples of what the underlying technology can do. The decisions are based on the readings from radar-based sensors and a windshield-mounted camera. Don’t mistake this for a truck that drives itself. A driver continues to sit behind the wheel. But it’s fair to describe Detroit Assurance 5.0 as a driver’s co-pilot.

  1. SAF-Holland SMAR-te Tire Pilot – The air within your tires is responsible for supporting the load above them, but what if one load is heavier than the next? SAF-Holland has come forward with a system that dynamically adjusts tire pressure based on the axle weight. In other words, a tire on a loaded trailer could be run at 100 psi, and drop to 70 psi when the trailer is empty. By combining AKTV8’s electro-pneumatic controls and SAF’s Tire Pilot Plus wheel-ends, the system can inflate, deflate and equalize tire pressures; optimize tire pressure based on axle loads to extend sidewall and tread life; notify drivers about overweight loads; and better cushion the vehicle and cargo, especially when equipment is lightly loaded. There’s a promise of marginally better fuel economy, too.

  1. Volvo Dynamic Steering – I was first exposed to Volvo’s Dynamic Steering system on a test track in Europe, and was quite impressed with the way it smoothed out the jarring sensation of a rough road surface. With some tweaks to accommodate the difference between European cabovers and North American conventional designs, it is now available here. The electric-over-hydraulic steering support will lessen steering effort by up to 85% at low speeds, but maintain a stiffer feel on the open highway. It all draws on an electric motor on top of the hydraulic steering gear to deliver extra torque as needed, and absorbs steering wheel torque originating at the wheels. A “zero return” feature will even return the steering wheel to the center position when a truck is in motion, making it easier to reverse, while a lead/pull compensation offers the torque to compensate for crowned roads and steady crosswinds.

  1. Link ROI Cabmate – Link Mfg. has introduced its own way to smooth out your ride with a semi-active cab suspension that responds to everything from rough roads to harsh crosswinds. The electronic control unit at the heart of the system draws data from an accelerometer that monitors cab motion, and a position sensor that tracks the cab’s position and velocity relative to the frame. The suspension’s shock absorbers are adjusted by filling or exhausting the air springs. It means there’s a soft shock when traveling a smooth highway, and a stiff shock for uneven terrain. Adjustments to offset things like potholes are made in real time, too. linkmfg.com

  1. Rocketail Wing – Aerodynamic fairings can make a measurable difference in fuel economy when mounted at the rear of a trailer. But they have to be deployed to make a difference, and be protected from damage. The Rocketail Wing promises to save 8.42 liters of fuel per 1,000 km by smoothing out the rearward flow of air behind the trailer, while also producing lift like the wing on an aircraft. The wings sit an inch from the trailer wall to support a uniform air flow, and extend just 14 inches behind the barn door. When the doors are open, these wings also sit flush at the side of the trailer, so the doors can swing a full 270 degrees without being blocked. Close the doors and everything is ready to flow. rocketail.com

  1. Integrated Filter Gladhands – I’ve seen some strange things pulled out of air lines over the years — from grass clippings to bee hives. But what can be done when equipment is parked for an extended period of time? Tramec Sloan has unveiled a gladhand with a protective filter and cover to keep things clean. It’s an elegant solution that doesn’t require separate line filters, fittings or mounting hardware. When a vehicle is uncoupled, the color-coded swivel simply covers the gladhand’s seal. tramecsloan.com

  1. Purkey’s SteadyCharge – Trailer refrigeration and heating units rely on accessory batteries, but inactive batteries will naturally discharge over time. To compound matters, emerging trailer telematics systems can steadily drain power from starter batteries. The Purkey’s SteadyCharge will maintain such batteries for months on end, without the risk of overcharging, and will run whenever the tractor is connected to the trailer. No extra charging cables are needed, either. The system automatically recharges over the seven-way connector without interfering with other devices that rely on the auxiliary circuit.

  1. VanGripper Restraint System – A new personal restraint system offers a portable option to secure workers as they walk on top of trailers. The Van Gripper from Deneigement Toitures Excel attaches to opposing edges of a trailer or van rooftop, and workers attach their safety lines to it. The related grips then slide along with the personnel as they remove snow or complete other repairs. It all helps to comply with rules that require people to be restrained while working more than three meters above the ground, and also to meet the regulations that require snow to be removed from trailer rooftops.
  2. Continental’s “intelligent” tires – Every tire can tell a story if you know how to read the patterns in tread wear. But Continental has developed a steer tire and line of construction tires that will deliver direct information about temperatures and pressures thanks to an integrated sensor. The sensor itself is mounted to the inner liner, while the data can be monitored through a ContiConnect Yard Reader or the in-cab ContiPressureCheck. The capabilities currently come in the Conti HSC 3 steer tire, HAC 3 all-position tire, HDC 3 drive tire, and HS3 regional haul steer tire.
  3. Ancra’s AutoDeck – Ancra Cargo has automated its integrated decking system, making it possible to adjust trailer deck heights at the touch of a button. Deck heights are controlled using a panel at the rear of the trailer, and a manual override option is also available in the case of lost power. The company believes it can reduce loading times by 20%, in part because forklift operators can stay in their seats as adjustments are made.


Today’s Pickup: KeepTruckin launches developer platform

Keep Trucking development platformPlus: Napa freight company hauls wine in electric truck; Spin E-scooter workers join Teamsters

Today’s Pickup: KeepTruckin launches developer platform

Linda Baker, Staff Writer 
2019 12 13

Keep Trucking development platform

Good day,

KeepTruckin, an IoT fleet management technology company, announced the release of its modern developer platform, featuring a developer portal and driver workflow tools.

The platform gives partners, developers and customers access to the company’s APIs so they can build and utilize tailored fleet management solutions.

The developer portal features a self-service model that allows users to register, build and publish integrations. The portal will further grow KeepTruckin’s App Marketplace, featuring integrations that streamline business workflows and enable fleets to build custom management solutions. 

KeepTruckin’s Driver Workflow tool, available within the API documentation, simplifies operations by integrating with any dispatch or transportation management system (TMS).

“We are excited to continue evolving the fleet management industry and help companies of all sizes run more efficiently with our best-in-class technology solutions,” said Ryan Johns, CTO of KeepTruckin, in a statement. 

Did you know?

Carriers delivered about 80 million packages per day during the week of Cyber Monday, but Amazon, FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service each saw a drop in on-time delivery performance during the week. During the week of Cyber Monday, Amazon’s on-time performance was 93.7%, FedEx’s was 90.4%, UPS’ was 92.7% and USPS’ was 92.3%.

ShipMatrix, via Supply Chain Dive


“I was told we were trying to turn things around. We were continuing to hire right up until the very end.”

Celadon recruiter Ernesto Gonzales, via FreightWaves

In other news

Napa freight carrier Biagi Bros. tests all-electric heavy truck to haul bottled wine

The trucking and warehousing company will run a Peterbilt 579 Class 8 truck tractor with a TransPower electric kit. (NorthbayBusinessJournal)

Spins electric scooter workers join Teamsters Local 665 

The scooter company employees are first in San Francisco to organize (PRNewswire)

Four Seattle companies make Glassdoor’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2020
Amazon was not on the the list. (SeattlePI)

Cannabis retailer MedMen implements Onfleet logistics software

The software will fulfill MedMen’s delivery management, including driver scheduling, routing, tracking, analytics and customer communications. (Yahoo)

Final thoughts:

The electrification of trucks and buses needs to be accelerated, according to a new report released Dec.11 by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Titled “Ready for Work: Now Is the Time for Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles,” the report states that in addition to lowering emissions, the overall ownership costs can be cheaper than diesel. “Fuel and maintenance savings can offset the higher upfront costs of heavy-duty electric vehicles, making them cheaper than a diesel or natural gas vehicle over the life of a vehicle,” the report said.

Hammer down, everyone!


Butter in tow, Plus.ai completes cross-country commercial freight run

The self-driving truck startup hauled tubs of Land O’Lakes butter from Tulare, California, to Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

Butter in tow, Plus.ai completes cross-country commercial freight run

Linda Baker, Staff Writer 
2019 12 10

Hauling tubs of Land O’Lakes butter, Plus.ai has completed what the autonomous trucking company claims is the first cross-country Level 4 commercial pilot.

The trip took place the week before Thanksgiving, Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus.ai, said in an email to FreightWaves.

“There were zero disengagements,” Kerrigan said. “Beyond federally mandated breaks and refueling, our autonomous truck was running consistently on autonomous mode.”

A safety driver was behind the wheel at all times for the 2,800- mile  hub-to-hub stretch, which extended from Tulare, California, to Quakertown, Pennsylvania. The trip lasted less than three days, traversing Interstate 15 and Interstate 70 and passing through varied terrain and weather conditions.

The Land O’Lakes haul demonstrates the “safety, efficiency and maturity of our autonomous trucks,” Kerrigan said in a news release about the trip posted on Dec. 10. Those trucks are already delivering freight for other partners several days a week, he added, and continued advances will make it possible for similar cross-country trips to become the norm in the future.

End-of-year shipments are a busy time for Land O’Lakes, said Yone Dewberry, the company’s chief supply chain officer, in the release. “To be able to address this peak demand with a fuel- and cost-effective freight transport solution will be tremendously valuable to our business.”

The vehicle carrying the Land O’Lakes shipment was equipped with Plus.ai’s advanced autonomous driving system, which utilizes multimodal sensor fusion, deep learning visual algorithms and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technologies.

The truck navigated driving day and night, across the Rockies, road construction, miles-long tunnels, elevations over 11,000 feet, and along rainy and snowy roads.

Founded in 2016 by a group of Stanford classmates, Plus.ai is one of a handful of trucking startups seeking to automate the long-haul. The company has operations in California and China and has been testing vehicles in both countries.

Plus.ai’s cross-country haul comes a few months after the company announced a joint venture with FAW Jiefang, China’s largest truck manufacturer, to develop self-driving big rigs for the world’s most populous country.

The new venture is launching its first product, the FAW J7 Level Two truck, with plans to bring a full Level Four heavy-duty truck to market in three to five years.

In addition to its business relationship with FAW, Plus.ai claims as a partner Softbank- and Google-backed FullTruck Alliance, a Chinese freight-matching platform that controls 80% of the country’s trucking market.


Today’s Pickup: Safe parking available through TruckPark, Dock411 collaboration

Truck parking reservations are now available through popular facility rating app Dock411, plus, more on the Celadon closure, drone safety a focus of working group and Virginia considers a fuel tax hike.

Today’s Pickup: Safe parking available through TruckPark, Dock411 collaboration

Brian Straight 
2019 12 10


Truck parking reservation is now available through the Dock411 app thanks to an integration with TruckPark, the digital truck parking platform.

Users of Dock411 are now able to
reserve one of TruckPark’s thousands of available spaces through a link in the
Dock411 app. That link takes the user to TruckPark’s system, allowing drivers
to see and reserve available parking. Shippers will also be able to see the
location of these trucks through the Dock411 web portal, providing insight into
the vehicle’s location.

Spots can also be reserved through
the web portal.

“We have been excited since day one
about this partnership,” Anthony Petitte, CEO for TruckPark, said. “Dock411
helps us bring a full suite of tools to the industry. Shippers now can direct
drivers to safe and available parking and carriers rest easy knowing their
drivers and payloads won’t be compromised.”

Drivers have the option of choosing
locations based on preference and amenities, and security and yard features are
all visible to drivers that use the app, Petitte said.

Dock411 collects, curates and
shares facility profiles and reviews. A complete facility profile in Dock411
includes over 70 attributes, including local directions, restroom availability,
lumper fees, hazards and photos.

“We’ve worked hard to make Dock411
a great tool for the industry by listening to our users,” Eric Weidl,
co-founder of Dock411, said. “Drivers have told us again and again that finding
available parking is a daily challenge. Not only do they want more parking
locations, they want to be able to find those locations. We’re excited about
the opportunity to work with TruckPark to expose their parking locations to a
wider audience.”

Future plans include the ability
for drivers to reserve parking directly through the Dock411 app and to see the
number of available spots in real time, the companies said. Additionally, there
are plans to add more capacity around more shipper locations nationwide.

TruckPark provides technology that allows truck drivers to reserve a space in a lot operated by a partner company. Among those partners is Storemytruck.com, which joined the platform in September. That partnership will open over 10,000 parking spaces to truckers over the next few years.

Did you know?

Investors continue to flock to
supply chain technology businesses, with venture capital investment reaching
$11.7 billion for 371 deals in the first three quarters of 2019, according to


“We regret to inform everyone that
Celadon Group Inc. has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We will continue to
haul and deliver all the loads that we now have in transit. We will have more
information in the morning as to where equipment needs to be returned to. We
have been assured that everyone who follows instructions will be paid for the
work and miles assigned and completed, and Celadon will not leave anyone
stranded away from home. Finally, we truly appreciate your commitment and
dedication to this company and wish you luck moving forward.”

— Celadon management, in a message Dec. 9 to its drivers on the company’s bankruptcy.

In other news:

Low-tax Virginia seeks hike in fuel tax

Virginia, which has the 12th-lowest state fuel tax in the country, is looking to raise that as it faces an infrastructure funding shortfall. (WTOP

Drone safety at heart of new working group

Police, fire and other stakeholders have joined forces to help study drone safety around major cities and urban centers. (Government Technology)

GM provides loan to new Lordstown owners

GM has confirmed that the new owners of its Lordstown facility were provided a $40 million loan to help facilitate the purchase. (Journal Gazette)

Rhode Island Trucking Association criticizes firm with large toll bill

The Rhode Island Trucking Association said a state trucking company that racked up $75,000 in unpaid tolls in Maine is not reflective of the safety-conscious image the industry considers important. (Go Local Prov)

Lost capacity from Celadon will be absorbed

The trucking industry will absorb the lost capacity from the Celadon closure, experts said. (The Wall Street Journal)

Final Thoughts

The sudden collapse of Celadon over
the weekend had one positive. Despite a perceived overcapacity in the market,
trucking companies up and down the spectrum reached out through social media
with offers of help and jobs. Surely, there was some self-interest involved,
but many companies were simply offering help in ensuring any stranded Celadon
drivers could get home to their families. Trucking may be a competitive
business, but in times of need, it is among the most compassionate.

Hammer down, everyone!


Truckstop.com’s new platform benefits both carriers and brokerages

Chief Relationship Officer Brent Hutto explains the importance of embracing the freight industry’s digital evolution.

Truckstop.com’s new platform benefits both carriers and brokerages

Jack Glenn 
2019 12 09

With advances in technology and new entrants into the freight marketplace, Truckstop.com restructured to both navigate and help usher in the digital movement of freight.

Talking with FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller on the FreightWavesTV show “Fuller Speed Ahead,” Truckstop.com Chief Relationship Officer Brent Hutto explained how a range of businesses can benefit from the company’s new digital freight-matching marketplace.

Truckstop.com markets itself as “the #1 load board for growing your business.” The company provides logistics solutions for transportation professionals, including load planning, transportation management, real-time rates and negotiation tools, as well as a credit reporting entity — the largest in the industry, according to Truckstop.com — that helps industry experts find trusted freight partners.

The “Nasdaq of Freight,” as Fuller described the company, recently celebrated the release of Book It Now. Available on the Truckstop Mobile app, Book It Now enables freight brokers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) of all sizes to add instant load board functionality to their business, according to their website.

Carriers are able to see the rate, pickup and drop-off information, as well as broker information all before booking a load, according to Truckstop.com. Once carriers are added to a broker’s preferred carrier list, their Book It Now loads will be seen on the Truckstop Mobile.

While Truckstop.com celebrates its expanded offerings, Hutto explained that Truckstop.com has no desire to become a freight brokerage itself. Doing so would alienate 10,000 of its brokerage customers, according to Hutto.

Hutto explained that although many private marketplaces have created their own innovative technologies, this siloing of data hasn’t helped the overall market. Truckstop.com’s goal is to provide a platform that works for all players in the freight-matching marketplace, including brokerages and asset carriers alike.

“It’s always been our mantra as a company to help every business succeed no matter their size,” Hutto said. “We develop technology that allows them to be able to digitally match freight, to automate the things that need to be automated.”

Hutto said Truckstop.com wants to be the data connection in the middle of the marketplace where many parties can digitally connect and be able to move freight openly within the system.

But he explained that technology is only as useful as how well you leverage it and said that looking at industry data is probably the most important advice he has to grow your business. “You can adopt all the technology and buy all the data you want, but if you’re not building it into your business, then you’re not getting its advantages,” Hutto said.

More freight is handled by brokers than ever before, according to Hutto. Twenty years ago, only 4% of freight in the market was brokered. Today, that number has jumped to 25-30%. With more freight in brokerage than ever before, the ability to forecast market trends has never been more important.

And while market capacity has stayed relatively stable for the past 20 years, Hutto argued that many other factors remain variable in the marketplace. He believes fully utilizing Truckstop.com’s market-forecasting tools will protect businesses from the harsh effects market downturns can have on unsuspecting companies.

“If you can anticipate a downturn, you can adjust for it,” Hutto said. “If you don’t anticipate it, then the markets are going to be harder.”

Understanding how to integrate products into your business that can help create efficiency is what Hutto stressed that all in the marketplace should focus on.

“How are you going to adjust to this industry as it digitally changes?” Hutto said. “It’s going to change.”


BuildDirect opens its freight-shipping platform – TechCrunch

BuildDirect has developed a name for itself as an online store for home improvement products. One issue with selling these products online is that you also must build a logistics backend that allows you to ship heavy items to the customer. BuildDirect did just that.

BuildDirect opens its freight-shipping platform – TechCrunch

2019 12 07

BuildDirect opens its freight-shipping platform

Over the last few years, BuildDirect developed a name for itself as an online store for home improvement products (think flooring and roofing materials, bathtubs, etc.). One issue with selling those kinds of products online is that you also have to build a logistics backend that allows you to ship these heavy items to the customer. BuildDirect did just that for its network of sellers on its one-year-old marketplace and today it is opening this shipping network to anybody who has to ship heavy goods across North America.

BuildDirect Gateway, as the new service is called, builds upon the company’s experience in working with its sellers to get products to its 40 warehouses and to customers. As the company’s VP of Marketing Joe Thompson (who was previously a GM at Amazon) told me, the company always had plans to open its shipping service beyond its own seller network. Its sellers, though, started asking the company about tapping into its supply chain network earlier than the company anticipated, so for the last few months, the company focused on testing this new service, and it’s now opening it almost a year earlier than originally planned.


“We want to create a smarter, simpler home improvement industry,” he said. “We always know that supply chain is a key part of it. We knew we wanted to open it up eventually.”

Gateway promises that it can shave hundreds of dollars off the usual cost of shipping a heavy item across the country. By tapping into its network, a seller could ship a 1,500-pound load across the country for just $200, for example. The company promises that its delivery costs will allow vendors to save up to 30 percent on their shipping costs. Thompson tells me that the company is able to do this by having those items effectively piggyback on existing trips it would have scheduled for its sellers anyway.

BuildDirect will also offer GateWay users access to its ocean freight service, which includes working with ocean service providers and ports to ensure goods move through customs effectively.

While the service is open to all vendors — no matter whether they sell their goods on BuildDirect or not — Thompson expects that many will want to tap into the company’s pool of potential buyers. So while Gateway won’t necessarily benefit the BuildDirect marketplace directly, customers will likely notice an increase in available products, and maybe even cheaper and faster delivery, thanks to the company’s ability to run its logistics network more efficiently now.