“‘Rebooting’ is probably a great analogy,” says Matthew Kane, the founder of the MyRiteLoad shipper-to-carrier connection marketplace. MyRiteLoad hopes to fulfill the promise of what has been called the “elusive holy grail” of load matching, providing load-board-like spot market connections for independents and small fleets to direct shippers rather than brokers.
The “reboot” Kane references is the culmination of five years’ worth of work, a prior launch and subsequent hold put on the service, and four hired software development companies. Kane believes the current iteration of the MyRiteLoad marketplace, with new iPhone and Android apps in place, has truly gotten the technological backbone of the system right.
That fourth software company “we hired back in September or October last year,” he says, enabling MyRiteLoad to completely rebuild its website, scrapping the entire previous “four years’ worth of work,” Kane says. “We started from scratch, and they’ve been able to bring this to fruition.”
The new site, MyRiteLoad.com, has been done since the fourth week of May. The Android mobile app went live on Fourth of July weekend, the iPhone app several weeks ago. Over the years of dealing with “hurdle after hurdle,” Kane says, and amid the successes and failures, “there were times when I wanted to quit, but I feel like I made a promise to thousands of drivers that I actually met.”
Kane learned the business of trucking in the truck stops around the nation, talking to drivers he met along the way. Though he’s never been a trucker, “I went out and got in my car and lived in the truck stops for eight and a half months and asked a million questions.”
MyRiteLoad, he adds, “is really a derivative of all the questions that I asked.” The new system’s platform has made big strides in “in functionality and user-friendliness,” he says. Independent owner-operators pay membership fees to participate in the platform — “$180 up front when they sign up,” Kane says. “$80 is for a full background check, $100 a year is the fee” to participate in the matching service.
The company vets its shippers, too. “We do full credit checks on the shippers,” Kane says, to make certain “they don’t have bad reviews for not paying their bills.”
Shippers don’t pay a subscription/membership fee, but are paying for their connections to carriers on a per-contract basis.
With the mobile app, owner-operators when they reach an agreement on a load are essentially “signing a contract” with the shipper “on the phone,” which enables geolocation to give the shipper an ETA of just when the load will arrive. Kane’s hopeful to really push hard with such technology on solving issues of detention. With shippers starting to utilize the platform today, MyRiteLoad has “built geofences around the pickup and delivery location,” Kane says. With the tracking system “recognizing the driver’s phone, when it reaches the 15-mile benchmark, the system reaches out and let’s the shipper know that the driver is 15 miles away. We give them a pre-emptive heads-up, and it happens automatically.”
Coming in February, the service will get more granular in geo-positioning to deliver information to operators, Kane says. “We will actually be geopositioning the loading docks at shippers’ and receivers’ addresses” so that, at the 15-mile benchmark as the truck approaches the location, a prescheduling notification can help both the shipper to get the dock ready but also notify the driver of the exact dock location and “any other ancillary information the shipper may want to send.”
All in all, the company’s trying to use technology “to answer very rudimentary/simple things that cause massive problems in the industry,” Kane says. “We’re not brokers. We’re not Convoy, not Uber,” but he’s hopeful he can get attract enough players among shippers and independents and small fleets to make a sizable dent in dock-delay and freight-rate problems for carriers, absent middlemen.
“We do have some freight” in the system now, but “the drivers aren’t in there” in numbers sufficient to cover a lot of the loads. I know now there is no formula,” no magic bullet so to speak, to “be able to grow the amount of freight and drivers evenly – knowing that, I’ve taken this step back. We have drivers already signing up, and freight’s being posted” — but both need to increase significantly.
For those who go on board with the company, Kane asks they “understand that a load may not happen the first two-three months. All of the shippers we have currently right now all understand it will take time, but they’re still posting. I’ve seen recent $2.75-per-mile reefer freight, $3-plus-per-mile flatbed stuff. We need to push for drivers.”
In future, expectt negotiated fuel discounts with truck stops and other perks of membership that are in the works to “level the playing field,” Kane says, for small truckers competing with the large carriers and their high volumes.