Shopping around for the best price isn’t a task everyone is up to, especially when you’re looking for affordable and reliable transportation and freight shipping services.
Enter Freightera, an online freight marketplace at your fingertips where you can browse thousands of rated carriers and choose the one that’s right for you with the click of a button.
It’s a simple, yet new and innovative idea that came to Eric Beckwitt, CEO of the business, that was started by him and his wife back in 2014.
“I have no trucking experience,” the Vancouver native said, adding that he does have a lot of trucking heavyweights working for him. “I ran a software company previously. But my expertise is in business efficiency, automation, cost production and it all comes together nicely with Freightera.”
In a nutshell, he said, Freightera is a lot like Expedia, the online trip planner. With Freightera, all shippers do is enter the origin, destination, date and quantity of their freight, browse through the competitive rates of available carriers, and then book the deal they want. It connects shippers to already vetted and rated carriers and their prices instantly, which, according to Beckwitt saves time and lowers costs.
It’s beneficial to carriers too, as they can connect directly with customers without phone calls or negotiations.
“We’ve developed a system that allows carriers to easily enter and maintain their rates and transit times in a database,” he said. “Plus, our carriers are rated on performance and shippers can see that rating. So, if you’re a well-managed company, you have a good on-time performance, that will make you, as a carrier, stand out from the rest on the database.”
To date, Freightera has more than 3,000 businesses, including big names like Costco, Coca-Cola, and Air Canada, in Canada and the United States using its services. More than 300 carriers are on their database.
“So far, we’ve had 5,300 loads delivered already,” Beckwitt said. “And we are rapidly expanding into the US – 60% per month in terms of booking volumes. In terms of coverage, we have the best coverage in North America, primarily because of our coverage in Canada. We currently have 6 billion lanes and we expect to have 16 billion by this summer.”
With a business that is taking off and has its eye on becoming a household name in the North American transportation industry, it only made sense that it would be one to promote one of trucking’s most talked-about issues: fuel efficiency.
Recently, the company has partnered with Natural Resources Canada’s SmartWay program, and highlights those fleets on their database that are SmartWay certified.
“We want to bring shippers’ attention to the best run carriers. And companies that are part of the SmartWay program are well-managed,” he said. “They rise to the top of our system.”
SmartWay initially approached Beckwitt asking him to put a tag on those partner carriers working with Freightera so shippers could see the fleets who are dedicated to lower emissions and being environmentally friendly.
“Once we did that, it was clear that those carriers who are part of the program are the preferred choice of the shippers who use Freightera,” Beckwitt said.
To date although only 31% of the 300 or so Freightera carriers are SmartWay certified, they book a whopping 78% of the total loads. Clearly, the SmartWay tag was something Beckwitt’s shipper customers had been wanting all along.
“It’s like the iPhone,” he said. “You build it and people don’t even realize they want it until it’s out there. I can say our customers are happy to have their carriers in one location and they love seeing the ratings of the carriers, which ones are SmartWay affiliated, and the ease of use.”
Beckwitt said he agreed to the SmartWay partnership and tagging feature because the goals of the program were similar to his and Freightera’s.
“We have the same goals,” he said. “The primary vision of SmartWay is it’s a certification program, but it’s also a reporting program where carriers can self-monitor and track what they’re doing. And when you do that from an organizational efficiency perspective, you always improve the things you’re tracking. It’s difficult to improve numbers if you’re not tracking them…We hope to increase our number of SmartWay certified carriers in the future.”
The new partnership has marked Freightera as the North America’s first low emission freight marketplace. The new Go Green option on the website allows shippers to choose quotes by lower emission, as well as price and shipping time.
“With the new SmartWay partnership, shippers can sort freight quotes in the Freightera marketplace and select carriers that are conscious of the environmental impact. Shippers have the option to consider cost and emissions when choosing a carrier and they will see how Go Green is often not just the most efficient, but also the least expensive way. It’s a win-win,” Beckwitt said.