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Edge Logistics launches digital freight-matching platform Capacity

(Photo: FreightWaves)

This week Chicago-based Edge Logistics launched its digital freight-matching platform Capacity, a web portal that makes the brokerage’s private load board transparent to carriers and allows them to bid on and book loads.

Capacity is unusual because Edge is a fairly small freight brokerage with $49 million in gross revenue in 2019. The majority of digital platforms and mobile apps have been built by the upper tier of 3PLs — names like C.H. Robinson, Coyote, TQL and Echo.

If Capacity takes off — and the early data suggests that it will, with more than 500 carrier accounts created already — it will be a powerful demonstration of how cloud computing and near-shored software engineers have democratized access to technology for small businesses. Edge used Lean Tech, the Medellín, Colombia-based logistics tech firm, in collaboration with its own developers, to build the site’s infrastructure in a cost-controlled process. 

Capacity features an attractive interface and is designed to be easy to use to build preferred lanes, search for freight and make counteroffers on loads.

Edge President William Kerr said the popular notion of carrier “app fatigue” has been promulgated by large 3PLs and that his team’s market research found that most carriers are set up to work with 30 to 50 brokerages but get 90% of their freight from their top five brokers. 

Edge’s goal is to be one of those top five partners for its carriers, Kerr said.

“In terms of having enough liquidity to sustain a marketplace, yes, we do,” Kerr added. “We are launching this product with major contracts in hand from some of America’s largest shippers who also believe in this vision. Capacity allows us to get our best loads in front of our best carriers first, which allows us to do much more business per person. We project that with Capacity live in the open market, we are going to be able to deliver $2 million in freight revenue per employee in 2020.”

Edge realized that transparency was in the best interests of all its stakeholders — shippers and carriers — and that building its own technology was the best way to efficiently deliver what its customers and carriers wanted.

“Customers want best-in-class pricing, real-time visibility, excellence in overcoming obstacles/issue resolution and high-quality drivers and equipment,” Kerr said. “They want the same carriers hauling the same loads over and over, and they want all the data in their system in real time. We have been doing the beta testing for a few months now, and carrier participation has been outstanding.”

Virtual dedicated capacity is the gold standard of services offered by 3PLs, and Edge’s Capacity platform allows carriers and shippers to build those relationships directly. In the My Drivers section, carriers can offer recurring capacity to match with future loads from shippers with regular lanes on an ongoing basis. 

“The launch version of My Drivers is far more user friendly and leads to greater matching success, getting those high-probability matches offered in seconds versus minutes,” Kerr said.

Kerr believes that Capacity will allow Edge to build deeper and stickier relationships with carriers. The transparent marketplace should build trust around individual loads and rates while also putting them in the context of the big picture, Kerr explained, so that partnerships can be about more than today’s load for today’s truck.

“There has never been a greater need than right now for a broker to manage the relationship between the national footprint shipper and the family-owned, regionally operating, well-established trucking company,” Kerr said.

Edge is already thinking about Capacity version 2.0. Not only will its matching algorithms get smarter the more daily active users are in the platform, but Edge wants to expand the functionality so that carriers can participate in RFPs in Edge’s shipper network. 

“We think this can give regionally operating carriers the ability to win those one or two lanes they really need to complete their triangle from a major shipper and get the density and consistency they need to keep their trucks moving, without making any of the contractual promises that corporate America is demanding from their carrier base from a size, financial strength, technology and insurance compliance perspective,” Kerr said.


  1. Studly

    Nothing but a reverse auction on freight to see who will haul it the cheapest so the 3Pls can make the most money. People that have no trucks dont belong in the freight business. Most 3Pls have nothing to offer the shipper but cheap rates.

  2. Steven J

    I tried it and one, you have to scroll to the right to see all of the content and two, I was unable to see any posted loads. It said 347 were available, but when one taps on that nothing happens, same with the offers. I believe they have much more work to do.

  3. KG

    Everybody want piece of the pie without doing the physical work. This is reserved for the modern slave – the truck driver, subjugated to clearinghouse drug testing, enslavement logging device ( ELD) usage and many more of the likes. All these rules/regulations are chasing the few good drivers away. For every new regulation we will do away with two…. . Do you remember the fake – haired orange con man election promise? Drivers, you are been taking advantage off big time! Do not sell your labor for pennies!

    1. Bigdee

      Well as soon as the eld went in the trucks the flood gates are open the same people that will try to give you a load that’s worth 2500 but put it on the board for 1800 they are not being hit with the slave box AKA eld so until we have unity in our industry they won’t stop

    2. Noble1

      Appears like “mental anguish” to me . I’m surprised that many of you are not on “sick leave” ,(wink)

      In my humble opinion …………..

  4. Dave

    I think they are too small with only 49m in annual freight with too few available loads to compete with the top 50 brokers apps, various websites, all the load load boards, and the new ‘digital brokers’. We get the same sort of service here for our carriers using Smart Capacity with our Ascend TMS system and a lot more carrier eye balls than we would alone. It’s all about the load volumes. That’s what drives the carriers to a platform.

    I’m sure it will be a nice niche play for a few of their regular carriers, but the’ll still need the traditional load boards. We do. We still use them over 90% of the time although they are getting less and less as we shift to other newer matching services and ELD marketplaces that are coming online. The future is the ELD market places i think. They will be a game changer for sure.

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John Paul Hampstead

John Paul conducts research on multimodal freight markets and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. Prior to building a research team at FreightWaves, JP spent two years on the editorial side covering trucking markets, freight brokerage, and M&A.