Reader Kerry Dunnigan, operations manager for J.S. Dunnigan Truck Line, wrote in a few weeks back with a note that sounded very familiar, given the then ongoing back and forth I’d had with Manuel Chavez relative to the No Broker Freight service, which I wrote about last week.
Dunnigan had seen the years-old MyRiteLoad shipper-carrier load matching service’s advertisement in the August issue attendant to the company’s participation in the Great American Trucking Show that month. The ad touted the central message of company leader Matthew Kane in its “No Broker Fees” display text — MyRiteLoad, like a variety of services out there today, has created a load-matching engine with the goal of connecting owner-operators not to brokers but directly to shippers. Its subscription model makes MyRiteLoad.com not a broker itself — unlike some who operate primarily via technological platforms in the freight space — but a marketplace for freight, with a stated goal of delivering greater margins to carriers and savings to shippers.
Dunnigan questioned just why she paid $180 for a year’s worth of a subscription when, entering the board, she “realized there are very few loads on the site and nothing is current,” she said. “After several attempts to contact them for a refund, we cannot get a call back.”
As in the case of No Broker Freight that I wrote about last week, MyRiteLoad over its five-year existence has run into a chicken-egg problem when it comes to bypassing brokers with technology. You’ve got to have a solid base of drivers to effectively sell the shipper with prompt service, in the end. Kane, when I talked to him last week, said the company has refocused its efforts on rebuilding the driver base after some initial success years ago attracting shippers. The company had refunded Dunnigan’s subscription by the time he heard from me, which Dunnigan confirms. And Kane gave a promo code — 365F180 — that any driver can use to join the service totally free of charge for one year, “no questions asked,” Kane says.
Today, they’ve got a couple thousand such operators signed on, but Kane believes the service needs more than that to do it right. “When we did first start this – we had some shippers and we had some drivers,” he says. “The biggest problem we ran into is that shippers started posting more freight and we didn’t have enough drivers. In the best interest of the operation of the company, we had to take a step back and punt. We said, ‘let’s just give this away and get the drivers on board.’
“We’ve had some blips here and there, but we’re doing something there that is really really good for the industry – if the drivers just found out about us.”
When can operators expect to see shipper-direct freight there?
Kane says he’s “gunshy” about answering that question definitively at this point.
They’ve got a long way to go.
“I don’t want to do anything until we have 35-45,000 drivers on board. That’s the best answer I can give you at this point,” he says. “We’ve told everybody” that as of now “there is no freight going on the board. We’ve never tried to manipulate the truth in any way, shape or form.”
Dunnigan didn’t get that message from the advertisement, obviously, and others in similar situations are advised to keep contact with MyRiteLoad to resolve any issues.
“Our ultimate goal,” Kane says, “is to eliminate the brokers. The clear reality of it is, if anybody opens there eyes for half a second, there is zero need for a broker today with the technology that is availability. A broker is a dinosaur, outdated. … We’ll keep pushing until people understand ‘these guys are for real.'”