The Freight Marketplace Reimagined

 

One of the hottest topics lately is the concept for digital marketplaces. This is not a “new” concept in many other areas of commerce and business, however, in Logistics and Trucking, this is a relatively new phenomenon.

So why a marketplace? What does that really mean?

A Marketplace is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as…

  1. 1a:  an open square or place in a town where markets or public sales are heldb:market<the marketplace is the interpreter of supply and demand>

  2. 2:  the world of trade or economic activity:  the everyday world

  3. 3:  a sphere in which intangible values compete for acceptance <the marketplace of ideas>

In this example, the first definition is the most relevant. However digital marketplaces used in today’s modern 21st-century economy are upsetting this archaic definition.

Over the past several years there has been a resurgence in attempts to address the massive complexities in the trucking and logistics industries with increasingly advanced solutions. These solutions have been compared to various digital on on-demand businesses, with the most popular analogy being “uber for trucking.”

But what does that really mean? Uber is in effect a transportation broker. They (or their algorithms) decide which driver is most appropriate based on rating and the driver’s acceptance of a potential trip. This an excellent solution to the transportation sourcing problem, but does it really constitute a true, open marketplace?

Trucking and logistics are undoubtedly some of the largest industries in North America and the around the world. It is also one of the oldest and most durable, in light of various examinations of the market and economic history, both domestically and globally.

So how do we build a true, open marketplace that is also secure and efficient?

Amazon has addressed the marketplace from the e-commerce side. Multiple options, with internal ratings and vendor validation, helps create a level of trust and efficiency in online purchases and shopping.

International logistics has seen a new set of entrants attempting to smooth out the incredibly complex workflow of international freight forwarding, air freight and ocean transport as well as customs clearance into a single solution.

So what is a digital marketplace truly defined by? What features are redefining what a digital marketplace is in business overall? Some consider a digital medium for interacting with other parties a marketplace, while others consider a more self-service platform a true marketplace for allowing for commerce to take place.

When does e-commerce end and the new vernacular of “marketplace” take over?

Many questions arise as we look ahead to the future…

How will driver assisted and the potential of driverless trucks affect the trucking industry? How will it effect marketplace models? Will APIs be able to solve the massive differences between various proprietary systems that so many businesses already rely on to service their supply chain and critical business operations?

How much more efficient could you make a marketplace model in onboarding new potential vendor options by leveraging the latest technology? How could you increase the speed of vetting to increase the volume of options and marketplace participants in these models?

As a company, ComFreight is addressing these opportunities from a different angle, and we’re starting with the day to day annoyances, demands and wishes of the people who work in the industry every day.

By addressing the demand for a true forum, with the correct and efficient vetting to ensure an increasing level of confidence, we’re able to create a more expansive and more available set of options for price, service level and available opportunities for businesses who use our marketplace.

Helping to enrich the smaller businesses that drive 80% of the trucking industry in North American is the next big challenge. Through improving core technologies and capabilities, we strive to provide a highly polished and tested tool to the industry to improve sustainable growth and to help these businesses (quite possibly even yours) keep up with the tides of change.

Regardless of automation technology changes and acceptance, the need for efficient pricing decisions, market data to fuel those decisions and visibility to secure options will continue to be the largest ongoing demand for marketplaces in logistics.

Through improving core technologies and capabilities, we strive to provide a highly polished and tested tool to the industry to improve sustainable growth and to help these businesses (quite possibly even yours) keep up with the tides of change.

The Freight Marketplace is the future of logistics today. How the freight marketplace will continue to adapt as a model is yet to be seen, but it will be an ongoing opportunity for all involved in solving some of the largest problems in one of the largest industries.

More updates to come. Stay strong and stay safe, and keep on trucking.

-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Happy New Year 2017

Freight Marketplace

Happy New Year Everyone!

We have exciting news coming in the new year!

Our commitment continues to be focused on providing you with the best possible load opportunities and surrounding services to help you run your business.

We look forward to servicing many more shippers, more ground freight modes and more and more growing logistics and trucking businesses in the coming year.

Thank you and all the best to you and yours!

-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO

Copyright © 2016 – ComFreight.com™

Top 5 Ways Shippers Can Eliminate Freight Bid Headaches!

 

Shippers. Yes, You. If you’re reading this blog then you are already much more open minded, solution seeking and probably successful than some of the decision makers and logistics professional counterparts at other businesses that have to ship freight off of their dock on a regular basis…and that’s a good thing!

We need to talk. When I say we I mean everyone who provides logistics services, trucking assistance, dispatchers who dispatch the trucks to pick up your loads, freight brokers and yes…even the “new guys” like us who represent logistics tech. We need to talk about how we can help you save even more time, money and sanity on your logistics costs and keep all of us sane and operational to your benefit as well!

Shippers come in all shapes and sizes. There are the large shippers that can move thousands of truck loads, both dedicated and contracted and spot-market per month. There are also the smallest of shippers who only have a pallet or two that they need a pick up for on an ever fluctuating basis. We love you all! We really do! Well…most of the time.

So what are the top 5 EASY ways that SHIPPERS can cure their freight headaches for the freight that needs to move? Let’s start!

1. Make sure you know the commodity of the freight. By commodity I don’t just mean freight class, I mean what exactly is it that the logistics provider is going to be hauling when they come to pick up your load after you award them a freight bid. This might sound funny to some, but misreported commodities lead to rate hikes and big problems.

2. Include your ACCESSORIALS or any you think you might even possibly have in the additional details or notes in the descriptions of loads you post up for bid. What are accessorials? They are any additional handling, labor or special requirements that will incur costs or require special equipment or preparation to properly pick up and haul your load. Failing to clearly list these requirements could mean a big surprise on your invoice after the load is already picked up and in transit for both you and the carrier.

3. When in this load picking up? The actual time. When is it picking up? Are you sure it’s picking up at 2:37 AM Eastern Time? When entering the time window for pick up onto an online freight service marketplace like ComFreight an inaccurate pick up window can cause a truck that was originally booked based on your info by the bidder to have to cancel because the correct pick up time is not communicated until after dispatch. This can cause an increased cost to you as you scramble to find another option.

4. Delivery. Delivery. Delivery. Did I mention Delivery? When does this have to deliver? It’s not required (yet) on ComFreight to place the delivery date/time into a load post but many other systems also have a field or area to enter this as well. Why is this important? If a load has to pick up in CA on a Monday but needs to delivery to NY that same week by Thursday morning, and most of the carriers or brokers bidding on your load or offering services assume you require a single driver in the truck, all those bids you just got aren’t accurate because you need a set of team drivers to make the transit time.

5. Last but certainly not least…your reputation. Reputation on a freight marketplace can be driven by many factors. At ComFreight we are a true marketplace (unlike all of our competitors) and that means that what you put in is what you put out. Your reputation on ComFreight is based on word of mouth from other logistics providers, carriers and brokers in the industry and ratings from other users. What’s one of the biggest destroyers of reputations for shippers? We call them TONU for short and you probably do too. Canceling a load at the last minute after you have already sent a rate confirmation can throw an instant wrench in a relationship and means that in that off chance you have a hot load that hast to move and can’t find a truck it could be even more challenging due to a tainted reputation for too many canceled dispatched orders.

BONUS TIP: Be sure the weight and dimensions (weight and length) of the freight in the post and rate confirmation matches the final Bill of Lading and freight at the time at pick up as closely as possible. Extra size means extra fuel costs, especially for truck load carriers. So avoid unexpected increases in your invoices. We promise it helps!

In summary, info is KING. Correct info is…well what’s higher than king? Well it’s really up there! Better than great. Although some “marketplaces” or “Uber…cough Goober for trucking apps” require the shipper to enter 100 items simply to post a load those items still tend to be incorrect even after requiring all of those fields.

At ComFreight we take a more open approach and let you enter as much detail as you like, or even tell a story for the load before you post it up for bid. We’ll soon be adding the ability for you to connect even more media to load posts which means even better communication of the correct information and improved transparency.

Thank you for reading this post and check back for more updates soon.

-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO

Copyright © 2016 – ComFreight.com™

The Best Bids on Loads are the Right Bids on Loads…

 

We hope your new year in business in 2016 is off to a great start. We wanted to take some time to talk about shipper loads and loads that are open to bidding and not just direct calls on the ComFreight Marketplace and how bids are commonly awarded.

Although most loads that are posted on the ComFreight load boards are loads that you can call directly on as a carrier, many loads posted by direct shippers are bid-only posts. This means the load poster wants to receive a bid alert (which automatically includes your user profile) to then be able to contact you or award you the bid.

Many users think that the lowest bid wins when shippers or other load posters post loads up for bid. This is actually not the case. The majority of winning bids on loads that are posted by shippers or brokers on ComFreight are the right bids for the circumstance and not simply the lowest possible bids placed. Why is this the case?

In most of the test cases we’ve viewed, the shipper is looking for the right fit for the move and that often times may require a certain type insurance or equipment. In many other cases the shipper is looking for a specific type of partner for the load. This can be a brokerage with more history or time in business but it can also be shippers who want to work with smaller carriers or brokerages directly. It varies for every load poster.

At ComFreight we don’t force bidders to bid lower than a previous bid. When you place your bid on a load the notification being displayed to the shipper or load poster shows them your full profile information you have with ComFreight.

Here is great example of a user profile that’s been filled out with accurate info.

This is why it’s important to make sure you take a few minutes to update your ComFreight profile so that it includes a logo or profile picture, an accurate MC# or DOT# and if possible a review from another company who has an account with a rating from a previous experience. All of this helps you and increases your chances of winning a bid you have placed on a load or lane on the ComFreight marketplace.

 

best load boards for shippers

 

So carriers and brokers be sure to include as much accurate information and if possible a review from another user in the system to improve your profile displayed to posters.

Hopefully this helps shed some more light on loads that are posted as bid-only and we look forward to delivering you an increasingly improved experience with new updates.

Thank you!

Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO.

Copyright © 2016 – ComFreight.com™

 

Let the Shipper Loads Come to You

Endless hours can be spent with multiple load boards or websites, calling or dealing with multiple brokers without finding anything really new in the way of customers or shippers these days with the common ways to find loads out there on the web. ComFreight set out to change that and although we’re getting ready for some big announcements and upgrades for next year we still have some amazing tips to leverage our current system while you get grandfathered into the new one that’s on the way.

One of the biggest improvements users can make is understanding how to get the most out of shipper load alerts and match alerts. These tools are the ways to keep you involved in other areas of your business while ComFreight does the matching for you. Make sure to always have your shipper load alerts configured to send you new shipper load posts (or requests for pricing from shippers) to your inbox so you get alerted even if you’re logged out of ComFreight or just checking email from your smart phone.

Shipper Load Boards

 

Now just sit back, relax and await new shipper loads directly to your inbox. See one you like? Follow the link in the alert directly to that load details page, bid on the load, or feel free to share that load details page with others who you think could use that load as well. It’s that simple, and it’s just one of the many features baked into the current version of the ComFreight Marketplace to help you grow your trucking or logistics business.

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

 

E-Log Mandate for Trucking: The good, the bad and the ugly…

 

Well the time has finally come. The DOT has published the E-log mandate’s details we’ve all been wondering about and have announced the mandate will take effect on December 11th 2017. This means paper logs alone will no longer be enough. There has been so much confusion that several trucking magazines even inaccurately reported that the legislation will not affect trucks built before the year 2000, when in fact it will.

This news comes as capacity is already tight and the driver shortage is only getting worse. It’s hard to find a silver lining as this legislation feels like a direct attack against smaller carriers and owner-operators as well as medium sized carriers who are already having a tough time convincing new drivers and veterans to continue driving or to join their ranks. Is there a silver lining? The greater trucking industry will answer that.

We believe connecting shippers with carriers and smaller brokers who are taking care of their carriers will be helpful in continuing to support the 90%+ of trucking companies who are at the 10 trucks or smaller mark in fleet sizes. Although there is almost two full years to prepare for the legislation, many smaller carriers and owner-operators are already grumbling about preparing to leave the industry when the clock strikes midnight and the mandate goes into full effect.

One ‘positive’ area could be carriers and owner-operators who have already been using ELD or E-logging technology in their current fleets will have an even more stable economic sphere to operate within if the worst actually happens and we see a huge shedding of smaller carriers leaving the industry. Education and support from trucking associations about the new legislation is one area we think is a great opportunity in 2016 and could help smaller carriers prepare for the mandate.

Leaving 2015 on a more positive note, smaller carriers are seeing new and increased revenues in direct shipper interactions, contract lanes won via online marketplaces and are leveraging other new technology to improve their prospects and continue to modernize. You can count on ComFreight to be there in 2016 for you with more shippers and more business to support your growth as a smaller logistics company.

You can read more Here on Overdrive online’s coverage about the topic.

If you intend to get compliance going sooner than later and need some temporary help with financing to get your trucks equipped just send us a quick email and we can connect you with our financing partner to help you out asap. [email protected]

Happy holidays and all the best in the New Year!

Sincerely,

Steve Kochan, Founder & CEO at ComFreight.com

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

ComFreight and Professional Truckers Association Alliance

 

We’re happy to announce ComFreight and the Professional Truckers Association Group (PTAG) are teaming up to help truckers and owner-operators with safety, medical and other assistance and to offer them another resource when they are out on the roads in North America.

PTAG and ComFreight hope to improve the options for truckers with a trucking association developed for truckers and by truckers thus improving their options for medical, safety, parking and other assistance while they’re in service every day hauling freight across the US and North America.

The PTAG, is a non profit organization focused on education and safety services that helps Truckers and Small Carriers with the resources and extended services to compete in the trucking industry. Their programs are designed to save professional truckers money on fuel, hotels, healthcare, road breakdowns and working very hard to help save lives.

Trucker’s helping Truckers is what we do. From great paying freight to saving you tons of money on your bottom line.
Because here at ComFreight we believe you should work smarter not harder.

So join us today and let us make your lives out here on the road a little easier.
Owner Operator Trucking Association
Professional Trucking Association

 

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

 

New Feature for Load Board Searching – Hide Loads From This User

 

We listen. We listen to you, our users and we create solutions as quickly as possible. Last week a few users mentioned they’d like the ability to hide loads from specific users. So the ComFreight team put their heads together and we came up with a solution that same day. Phoenix, ComFreight CTO, engineered this simple to use and easy to navigate way to hide loads from showing from specific users while browsing loads anywhere you see a load match result. I.e. from the load match to truck post results or search loads.

You can click on “Block Loads From This User” and then confirm the block. Then you’ll no longer see any loads from that user. This comes in handy if there is a specific company that you know you cannot haul for or would rather not haul for. You can always go back to your ComBoard or dashboard and unblock the user in just one click too! It’s that easy.

You can now also sort results in your load search view and when viewing load matches to your equipment or truck space posting by clicking on any of the column headers. You can quickly sort by post age, load type, closing time or any other column displayed.

Check out the screenshots below to show you how the new block user loads tool works. We’re getting ready to release our next round of updates too so stay tuned or drop us a line if you have suggestions. Email us at: [email protected]

ComFreight is The Future of Load Boards. The Commercial Freight Marketplace.

Load Board Hide UsersLoad Board Com Freight

 

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

 

Visual Tips for Shippers Who Need Freight Quotes

ComFreight is designed to be easy, open and fast to use for our free direct shipper users. Our freight matching and bidding platform is designed to make everything easy to enter quickly and to obtain competitive freight quotes and bids from smaller carriers and qualified transportation providers in the best possible way with the least hassle.

We’ve added an image that will be going into our extended help section that is coming soon to give you some basic tips on posting partials, ltl and to show you just how easy it is to enter a load and start getting freight quotes and bids your loads right away. Check it out.

Click Here to View The Image Showing Tips Overlaid On Our Bid Home Screen

We’ve made it easy to post partial loads, LTL or larger freight like truck loads of any trailer or load type from one simple screen from your smart phone, tablet or computer. Once you see the bid you like you simply click through to accept a bid and send a rate confirmation.

We’re always working to make the freight marketplace experience better for you here at ComFreight. New tools are on the way and updates will be coming to you soon!

Comments or suggestions? Send them us here [email protected]

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

Our User Rating System is Finally Here in BETA

 

We’ve moved out of testing just over a month ago and are now making some final updates to our user rating system. Carriers, Brokers and Shippers will be able to rate each other on a user’s ComFreight Profile page. The great benefit of this is direct feedback on user’s moves for loads found on ComFreight as well as rating for Shippers (for payment speed, information provided and more!). Simply follow the “view profile” link anywhere you see it, in email bid award alerts, matching load alerts or matching truck to load alerts and select the stars under the user’s profile picture to set a start rating. The rating is a standard 5 star rating system: 1 star for poor and 5 stars for excellent service or experience. The basic rating system is active on select accounts and the remaining capabilities will be rolling out throughout the rest of this week.

Load Boards Reviews

You are also able to leave comments with your rating which will be posted to the user’s profile page. Don’t worry. Since this is still in live BETA our support team will be alerted when new ratings are posted so we can do moderation manually initially. If there is a complaint about a rating you can always email [email protected], if we haven’t already addressed the review ourselves, and let us know if there is anything that we should help resolve on the new rating. We’ll continue to update this feature so it’s more streamlined and automated for the best possible user experience for all of you!

You can check out a public test profile with ratings by clicking here to view now.

Users who are awarded bids will have the chance to review the Shipper or Load Poster’s activity. The Shipper will also be able to review the Carrier or Transportation Provider’s service to them as well. Full closed loop review to help improve the service levels in our growing freight marketplace community. Alerts will be generated to remind both parties after specific transactions occur in the system to remind them to review as well.

Have a suggestion or question? Email us! [email protected]

Thanks everyone and have a great freight day!

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™