Though the freight industry is one of the biggest markets in the U.S. with millions of trucks hauling freight, fleet companies still struggle to improve logistics efficiency and in reducing operational costs, according to RoadLaunch. The startup based out of Ontario, Canada, has developed a solution that digitizes the available capacity of trucks and trailers to make the process of getting freight quotes and managing fleets a seamless process.
Cory Skinner, CEO and founder, had considerable experience working in manufacturing and supply chain logistics, specifically in enterprise systems and mobile applications space, before he founded the startup. “My background has really allowed me to think of opportunities to build better tools and service the transportation and logistics industry more easily and intuitively,” he says.
RoadLaunch uses tools designed to take in data points from different parameters like fleet location and available capacity, to match loads with trucks in real-time. The installed sensors link to a central dashboard that provides visibility to fleets and smartly matches loads, along with automating redundant tasks.
Being in a highly competitive space, RoadLaunch definitely has its share of market contenders. But Skinner stresses that it is essential for them to be focused on solving customer problems, rather than looking over their shoulders for competition. “We have been able to create a unique and special niche, and within that, we can make sure we create applications that can be easily used and keep ourselves ahead in the space,” he says.
Before creating the solution, the team took time to understand the market through its customer discovery process and in analyzing their needs. “After doing that, we took a look at the tools and platforms that are available on the market today. We then decided on what we would do to build tools that are not only different, but also solve all the problems that we realized the industry had, based on our customer discovery sessions,” notes Skinner.
The initial solution of RoadLaunch was all about months of iterations, reflects Skinner. “We were taking a very fail forward and iterative approach, as we curbed certain features, added new ones while trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t,” he adds. “This process really helped in polishing our value offering.”
Skinner feels that one of the challenges associated with the industry is the pace at which it is changing now. “With all the new entrants into the market, it seems like logistics has become “sexy” all of a sudden. This wasn’t something that was expected before. Also, trucking companies are facing increased competition, they have the need to get more people on the platform, and are also faced with the ELD mandate,” he adds.
RoadLaunch depends primarily on referral programs and the word-of-mouth for marketing its product. “We honestly try to provide our customers a tool, which once they try it, would not let them imagine using any other tool,” says Skinner.
The company is currently working with one of its partners to expand its solution to the Asian market, looking at Taiwan, China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It is also working on securing partners and in coupling them with their in-progress blockchain solution for contracts. “Though RoadLaunch is only about a year old, we have been able to develop a simple yet sophisticated solution, and we look forward to continuing down the same path,” concludes Skinner.
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