It’s hard to imagine anyone booking a flight or hotel today without first using a price-comparison website to find the cheapest rate or best deal. So why, then, do thousands of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to overspend on freight shipping each year? The short answer: they don’t have time to track the prices and service levels quoted by different companies.
That’s essentially what sparked the idea behind Freightview, a cloud-based cargo management software company that launched in 2013 to allow SMBs shipping less-than-truckload (LTL) freight to compare their negotiated rates side by side on a single screen, saving them time and money in the process.
“Before Freightview, SMBs either had to outsource everything to third-party logistics (3PL) providers and hand over control to them, or they had to spend a lot of time calling their carriers, e-mailing their carriers or going to six different carrier websites and checking their rates,” said Jason Roberts, co-founder and managing director of the Overland Park, Kansas-based company, which was acquired in late 2014 by C.H. Robinson. “We saw a need to free them from this status quo.”
Here’s how it works: Clients select the carriers and brokers they already have direct relationships with and Freightview retrieves the already negotiated rates; then, when it’s time to ship, users can compare their rates side by side without having to log in to multiple websites. Freightview also schedules the pickup, provides bill of lading and tracking details and collects and reports data on every shipment.
“Almost all the companies that make freight management software only focus on really big companies. Their products don’t work for SMBs. They’re too complicated, too expensive, too hard to roll out and too hard to use in daily life,” Roberts explained, noting, “A few other little startups are putting their toes in the water but our number one competitor is the manual, inefficient process that shippers are using today… When he has a single shipment to move, he has to go to all these different sites and run quotes. And even once he books shipments they’re all scattered—there’s no one place to see all of his data. So the challenge is awakening him to the fact that this way that he’s doing it, there’s no need to do it anymore.”
Designed for SMBs that use multiple carriers or brokers to move between five and 25 LTL shipments per day per location—and that don’t want to outsource their operations to a 3PL—Freightview is available to new users for free for the first 30 days. After that, it’s $99 per month. Set-up takes only a few minutes and the whole system can be up and running in less than a day, he added.
“Freightview helps improve SMBs’ bottom lines, saves time and move and improves operations,” Roberts continued, noting that employees become much more productive, too. “We’ve seen them go from spending 20 to 30 minutes booking a shipment to one to two minutes.”