Two weeks ago I wrote about two exciting young companies (PostBidShip and Buytruckload.com) that are applying Innovation and Technology to the automated freight brokerage/freight portal space (http://www.dantranscon.com/index.php/blog/entry/innovation-and-technology-come-to-the-freight-brokerage-industry). Subsequent to that blog, I was made aware of two more interesting companies that have entered this space, QuoteMyTruckload.com and Freightopolis. I contacted each of these companies to learn more about their operations.
QuoteMyTruckload.com (www.QuoteMyTruckload.com) is one of the portfolio of services offered by InMotion Global Inc., an Interstate Logistics Group Company based in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The company began as freight broker. QuoteMyTruckload.com is the truckload quoting and rating module available through their InMotion Global TMS® (www.TheFreeTMS.com) transportation management software solution that is targeted at large shippers moving heavy volumes of freight. It utilizes the same patented truckload quoting technology.
The new automated service allows shippers to obtain immediate online truckload quotes in real-time; they can book their shipments in a matter of seconds. The InMotion Global team developed QuoteMyTruckload.com specifically for small to medium sized truckload shippers so they can quickly obtain firm truckload quotes online. Shippers do not need an account to use QuoteMyTruckload.com. The system also allows users to obtain an unlimited number of truckload quotes each day so they can gauge ever changing market rates. The service can be accessed from any any tablet computer.
Tim Higham, President and CEO of InMotion Global said, “QuoteMyTruckload.com gives shippers a streamlined method to obtain quotes without having to sign a contract, create an account, or spend hours on the phone calling carriers and brokers for quotes. QuoteMyTruckload.com is truly unique in the marketplace and is the full truckload quoting website to use our patented InMotion Global TMS™ quoting technology.”
Higham added, “Shippers tell me they don’t have the time to e-mail or call dozens of carriers or brokers just to get a single truckload quote. So, we simplified the process for them and put a powerful tool in their hands. Our instant online quote process takes under 10 seconds from beginning to end and they can simply book the shipment if they like the quote.”
Tim Higham highlighted to me that that the $75K freight broker surety bond is a challenge for some of the smaller operators and could cause some consolidation in the industry in the United States. For brokers with limited funds, Mr. Higham indicated that he is seeking to expand his brokerage operation and is willing to take on the salary and benefits for successful qualified operators who wish to join his team.
Freightopolis (www.freightopolis.com) is more of a freight matching portal than a freight brokerage operation. The company is based in Montreal, Quebec. Here is how it works. Freightopolis® describes itself as the first software-based live Truck Load (TL) and LTL online shipping platform. With the company’s online shipping platform, customers type in their shipment information, and then choose from reliable carriers according to a unique PATT™ system – price, availability and transit time.
According to Jack Pollack, the company founder, “online services that offer this type of booking service work primarily with Common Carriers and thus can only provide competitive rates on shipments of four pallets or less. Freightopolis gives free access and usage to the company’s freight management platform to carriers with as few as five trucks. There are as many as 10,000 carriers between Quebec and Ontario. The Freightopolis platform allows a wider selection of choices to shippers all with a single click of a button, providing access to carriers of all sizes.”
Freightopolis claims that many services “offer” online booking of freight but when you try to book loads above 5-6 skids, you are suddenly on the phone with an agent and the pallet rates become a lot less attractive. With Freightopolis, a shipper can book one skid or 26; “the only time you need to pick up the phone is to call that you’ll be home early tonight!”
The company claims that customers can book freight in as little as 90 seconds. Its online platform allows carriers to share their live database of available trucks. Customers looking to ship palletized freight can instantly access accurate information and book with the click of a button.
A shipper enters its PATT (price, availability and transit time) data.
Step #1 – Choose LTL or TL freight
Step #2 – Enter pick-up and delivery location
Step #3 – Enter number of palettes, weight etc…
Step #4 – Sort results by price, carrier and transit time
This triggers a no-obligation quote from one of its carriers.
Freightopolis is proud of the fact that all of its carriers are pre-approved through their Customer Care Department. The company is quite transparent about its pricing methodology. Freightopolis applies a ten percent markup to the freight cost at “check out.” There is also an option to purchase additional insurance.
The company was launched in Ontario on March 15. It will offer domestic Canada and cross-border services initially. It is waiting for a permit to supply domestic U.S. freight services. It will introduce its services in Quebec in May. The company has over 50 trained people in its offices in Toronto and Montreal.
Freightopolis allows shippers and carriers to monitor every shipment they have on the road. The system is fully automated and alerts dispatchers of key events such as a new pending bookings and pending pick-ups. It allows dispatchers to schedule for multi-day pick-ups, sub pick-ups, even scheduling straight trucks.
Carriers have free access to the system. Shippers pay Freightopolis for the service and the company pays its carriers. All the paperwork is built into the process – shipment history, bills of lading, customs documentation, proof of delivery, and invoicing are all managed and delivered online. The entire freight history is consolidated in the account and available at any time with a click of a button. The company has committed to take care of all payments by shippers booked through the system, within 30 days through a partnership with JD Factors that “guarantees payment to carriers, on time, every time.”
Will one of the companies featured in this blog or the above-mentioned blog become the Expedia or Priceline.com of the Trucking Industry? Have you used one of these automated freight brokerage/freight portal services? Please share your experience with the readers of this blog.
Dan Goodwill, President, Dan Goodwill & Associates Inc. has over 30 years of experience in the logistics and transportation industries in both Canada and the United States. Dan has held executive level positions in the industry including President of Yellow Transportation’s Canada division, President of Clarke Logistics (Canada’s largest Intermodal Marketing Company), General Manager of the Railfast division of TNT and Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TNT Overland Express.
Goodwill is currently a consultant to manufacturers and distributors, helping them improve their transportation processes and save millions of dollars in freight spend. Mr. Goodwill also provides consulting services to investors, vendors to the trucking industry, transportation and logistics organizations. All posts by Dan Goodwill