Anheuser-Busch items in a warehouse. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)
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Lanehub, a provider of freight lane matching services, said it will soon begin providing financial incentives to shippers that help their contract carriers find backhaul opportunities with other shippers in its collaborative freight network.
This benefit-sharing program is designed to encourage shippers to work together and share their carriers in a complementary way that reduces empty miles and maximizes freight-hauling capacity.
“A lot of companies are searching for ways to find those efficiencies,” founder and CEO Mark Hackl told Transport Topics. “Lanehub just provides the ability for them to come together and make that happen.”
Hackl described his company as the “eHarmony of freight.” In a fashion similar to the online dating service, Lanehub’s software analyzes the compatibility among potential business partners and aims to facilitate long-term relationships between shippers and carriers, as opposed to a load-matching service for spot freight, he said.
Lanehub’s new benefit-sharing feature is an expansion of its Backhaul Assist program, which it initially launched last year for private and dedicated fleets but will now extend to third-party contract carriers as well.
Through benefit sharing, shippers will receive a credit when they share their existing carriers with other shippers seeking freight-hauling capacity.
Hackl said Lanehub will initially set that credit at 2.5% of the cost of each shipment, although it might fluctuate on a case-by-case basis.
Lanehub’s software includes a “match engine” that suggests good potential partnerships among companies using the platform, a process that Hackl likened to “friending” on social media.
Companies can then view a map displaying how their freight networks overlap and use that information to identify opportunities to share capacity on complementary lanes.
“They’re running in opposite directions with each other, so it really feeds the capacity back and forth to each other,” Hackl said.
When a shipper decides to move forward with a suggested match and onboards the carrier, Lanehub will issue the benefit-sharing credit to the shipper that provided that carrier. The credit represents a portion of the cost savings generated by the backhaul arrangement.
Benefit sharing is available to all shippers in Lanehub’s transportation network. Any carrier currently contracted to haul freight for a member of the network is eligible.
Lanehub’s software is designed to help shippers and their carriers form long-term partnerships on complementary freight lanes. (Lanehub)
Hackl said Lanehub intends to begin offering benefit sharing for Backhaul Assist later this year.
While many technology companies have introduced digital freight-matching tools in recent years, Hackl drew a distinction between Lanehub’s services and digital freight brokers such as Convoy and Uber Freight.
“We’re not a broker. No one is tendering loads to us. We’re providing a technology solution that helps companies collaborate,” he said. “It’s really about strategic procurement and overlaying networks.”
Lanehub’s network covers truckload freight in the United States and Canada. The network began with dry van and refrigerated freight but recently added flatbed as well.
Shippers such as Anheuser-Busch, Pactiv, IFCO, Shaw Industries Group, Rockline Industries and Smithfield move more than 19 million shipments on the network annually, the company said.
Lanehub, founded in 2016, is based in Green Bay, Wis.