A Chicago-based startup called FourKites recently received $13 million in Series A funding from Bain Capital Ventures in the hope that the company’s real-time load tracking technology will be primed to shake up the trucking industry when the ELD mandate goes into effect.
Startup To Improve Trucking Efficiency With Real-Time Truck Tracking
The two-year old company uses mobile, cloud, and analytics software to track trucks in real-time in order to increase supply chain efficiency by “as much as 5% of sales and 33% of profits on transportation.”
Here’s how that efficiency increase might work, according to CEO Mathew Elenjickal: “A typical scenario is they’re shipping products to a Staples store. But the store manager doesn’t know exactly when that shipment will arrive so can’t manage the labor required to receive it. Or, think about the driver who shows up and the dock is occupied and he has to wait three hours. Or, take Walmart. If you are shipping to Walmart and miss an appointment, it will cost $500. If you [can see a problem developing and] reschedule, it will cost $100. That’s a savings of $400.”
ELD Mandate To Result In An “Explosion” Of Trucking Data
FourKites leadership believes that the ELD mandate will prime trucking for “the biggest data explosion in the history of trucking” and that their proprietary software will help them disrupt the transpiration industry when that happens.
According to developers, the FourKites technology is different from existing apps like Trucker Path and Cargomatic because they attempt to connect truck drivers to shippers — technologies that are only really useful for the nation’s half million owner-operators. FourKites, on the other hand, believes that their technology could reach the rest of the nation’s three and a half million company drivers because of their focus on shipping customers, who could force trucking companies to use the technology if they want a shipper’s business.
FourKites: A Third Party Is Needed To Integrate Trucking Info Across Companies
According to Elenjickal: “The shippers in the country are working with a lot of trucking companies already, and the data is out there, but it’s all siloed. We’ve built integration across all of these ELD devices, so can act as a single data point for shippers, enabling them to see, for example, which shipments are delayed so they can focus on those exceptions. If you’re asking why it has to be a third party, a new player, it’s because existing players can’t build it. If a dispatcher wanted to build what we’re building, they’d have to build integrations with their competitors, and that’s not going to happen.”
FourKites is already working with around 200 shipping customers, including Staples, the Gap, and Ryder Truck Rental.
You can learn more about FourKites by visiting their website.