Freighthub: The digital innovator disrupting freight

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 27, 2018

Innovative Auckland-based start-up Freighthub has applied digital technology to automate the process of connecting those who need to send goods with the empty space available in trucks moving around the country. The result is lower transport costs for customers, dramatic improvements in efficiency for transport operators, and reduced emissions from further optimisation of vehicle fleets.

Founder Alan Walpole says making better use of available capacity is not a new idea.

“What is new is our ability to use proprietary algorithms to identify where space is across our network and then efficiently and automatically connect that with customers moving goods.”

Freighthub‘s digital system handles consignment and sign-off online, providing customers with full tracking and reporting, from start to finish. All shipping documentation takes place electronically and automatically, right down to carbon footprint receipts.

Freighthub‘s vision is to have freight manage itself by being the market aggregator with a digital platform specifically for the SME market, both shippers and carriers, says CEO Katrina Hall.

“The SME market is the fastest growing market in the world, they are also the largest users of digital platforms and the shippers and carriers require a digital platform. In New Zealand alone the SME domestic road freight opportunity is a billion dollar market.”

The idea for Freighthub germinated through Walpole‘s career in various supply chain and logistics roles. He recognised that when deliveries are made in one direction, it often means transport heads back empty in the other.

The magic in the system is integrated data communications and a simple freight control dashboard for customers. “Customer experience is crucial to our business,” says Walpole. “Logging on to Freighthub, booking the required space and sending goods is fast, easy and satisfying.”

Within its transporter network, Freighthub constantly monitors the landscape and identifies capacity, matching it to incoming bookings. Transport is guaranteed, as is a lower price for sending the goods: Freighthub bears price and delivery risk, ensuring it always meets customer expectations.

“Our pricing is based on variations of demand, availability, urgency, load-type and several other factors important to our customers,” says Walpole. “No one else in New Zealand can provide the same level of nationwide efficiency and customer support as we can with our technology. It‘s that good – and we‘ve seen month-on-month customer adoption rates of 40 percent.”

There‘s more to come from Freighthub and its network of haulage partners, as the company continues to innovate and improve its service delivery and reach.

“Probably our biggest challenge, now that we‘re an established provider of nationwide freight, is staying ahead of customer demand. After all, freight is changing, and customers are coming to us as they expect digital levels of efficiency,” he says.