Today the freight landscape is inundated with technology startups that look to create digital marketplaces that connect shippers directly to carriers, helping cut out freight brokers and generally improve efficiency levels within the ecosystem. Parade, a California-based freight startup, is swimming against the tide, looking to empower brokers by providing them with their own, private, white-labeled digital freight marketplace.
The startup looks to assist freight brokers by automating workflows, scaling their relationship management capabilities and growing digital bookings. The digital freight marketplace that Parade provides to the brokers is coupled tightly with the startup’s capacity tools, thereby helping streamline booking communication between brokers and carriers.
“By providing automation for the carrier sales representatives at a freight brokerage, we help them process inbound emails and send outbound emails on their behalf. We can really sift through all their emails and properly assess opportunities for the brokerage,” said Anthony Sutardja, the co-founder and CEO of Parade.
“With the out-of-the-box digital freight marketplace, we give them a private partner page with typical features like recommended freight, search options for choosing freight based on lanes, as well as calling their carrier sales representative,” continued Sutardja.
Digitalization has made deep inroads within the freight industry, making it vital for freight brokers to look at automating redundant processes with its services. For instance, Parade can help freight brokers enable digital booking for their carrier clientele and create digital counter-bidding systems — without the need for brokerages to employ an entire development team for its rollout.
At the center of the startup’s automation efforts is the Capacity CRM, a web application that allows brokers to view freight matches, analyze the carrier needs and manage relationship automation.
Parade believes that tapping into the expansive historical data sets that brokerages hold within their Excel sheets and transportation management systems (TMS) and analyzing the data will help create more personalized marketplaces.
“We have had a lot of experience with lane clustering to help bring in more data into a central place off of email metadata and open-click metadata. Based on the different data points, we automate and accelerate the processing of emails. This analysis, along with the white label digital freight marketplace and the Capacity CRM, allows us to deliver a more efficient business-to-business (B2B) carrier sales service,” said Sutardja.
Sutardja explained that a basic requirement of every solution iteration that Parade goes through would be to increase carrier sales efficiency and collect historical data for carriers for analytics. “We look to roll out features we think might help improve the workflow or the headcount efficiency. If it does not work as we intended it to, we take out those features,” he said.
Parade counts on large freight brokers as its clients, which is obvious considering the solution is tailored to work exceptionally in situations in which there are vast stacks of data to be tapped into from the brokerage’s operations.
The startup is now coupling its suite of solutions with a new product segment called the carrier API. Sutardja mentioned that one of the problems the startup sees in the future is an explosion in the number of digital freight marketplaces present across the market, with carriers needing to work around a unique login portal every time they interact with a brokerage firm.
“As part of the carrier API, we are addressing this challenge by creating a security layer that unifies all the logins. We build our applications on top of this layer, and we assume a lot of different technology vendors will also use it,” said Sutardja.
While building white label digital freight marketplaces for freight brokers, Parade also established a uniform identity management system for carriers. With the advent of the carrier API platform, Sutardja stated that freight brokers, factoring companies or any stakeholder within the transport space could utilize the identity management system, as it remains uniform across all carriers.