Laredo, Texas-based Fr8Hub, a cloud-based over-the-road freight marketplace focused on United States-Mexico cross-border shipping, recently announced it has rolled out the 2019 version of its cross-border offering.
Established in July 2017 Fr8Hub said that the focus of its digital freight marketplace is on directly matching cross-border shippers throughout Mexico and the U.S.—to and from border cities—with available carriers and drivers for their loads. And it added that through a pairing of tracking and visibility for shipments in and out of Mexico, the company’s flagship offering is a streamlined, cross-border freight marketplace. Fr8Hub CEO Ohad Axelrod said in a statement that the company’s mission is to revolutionize cross-border shipping and to simplify connections, increase efficiencies, reduce costs and increase revenue for shippers and carriers.
In an interview with LM, Axelrod provided an in-depth analysis of the Fr8Hub marketplace.
LM: What drove the need for Fr8Hub to launch its new cross-border digital marketplace?
Axelrod: The founders of Fr8Hub go back many generations in the logistics industry in Laredo, Texas, now the largest land port in the USA. As international trade grew, we saw first-hand how warehouses filled up to capacity with trucks backing up waiting to drop off their shipments. There just weren’t enough outbound trucks to meet the growing demand of freight that needed to flow out—or so it seemed. But actually, in north of Laredo, hundreds of trucks were parked at truck stops waiting to find loads. Shippers and freight forwarders couldn’t connect with these truck owners in a seamless way. Finding over-the-road direct shipping solutions across the border was also complicated, tedious, and sometimes downright chaotic. We thought we could provide a new way forward. The number of trucks entering the US from Mexico has risen 16.6 percent over the last 5 years—trucks hauled $424B in imports and exports across the US/Mexico border in 2018 (source- U.S. Bureau of Transportation), and we saw a need to A-provide carriers with increased growth opportunities and B-give shippers with flexibility, visibility and simplicity for the complex, cubmersome process of international over-the-road (OTR) shipping.
LM: What are the biggest benefits of it for customers i.e. shippers?
Axelrod: Visibility of their cargo. Fr8Hub 2019 provides live tracking for loads on both sides of the border through telematics and GPS integrations in the United States, and a combination of historical data and partnerships with leading ELD manufacturers. This is especially relevant in Mexico; all Mexico-based carriers are vetted through onboarding processes, reviewing historical data regarding performance and on-time delivery—including door-to-door, crossloading, interline or to-the-border deliveries, providing unprecedented visibility for US companies shipping into Mexico, where ELD is not required and manual logs are the norm.
LM: How large is the carrier base for this marketplace?
Axelrod: There are thousands of pre-screened, qualified carriers for over-the-road, cross-border loads in or out of the USA, Mexico, and Canada. The Fr8Hub carrier network currently features more than 1000 carriers in the United States and Mexico, counting more than 30,000 available trucks and we expect that to continually grow as we extend the network.
LM: What are they key aspects/features of this version that were not in previous versions?
Axelrod: The Fr8Hub Control Center- With this release, shippers and carriers can now access this critical data through the Fr8Hub Control Center to make timely, actionable decisions on loads and optimize their operations. The control center is a centralized hub to manage all live load locations, statuses, and related documents such as BOL, RCS, and POD, as well as an archive of past loads.