The logistics industry has been characterized by cutthroat competition and overall opacity since the very beginning. As technology advances and visibility increases across the sector, the call for increased transparency grows.
Leading cross-border freight expert Forager has crafted its pricing and booking portal, SCOUT by Forager, to help answer that call.
Forager’s new website allows users to see all the company’s rates and service fees.
“There are constant themes of lack of trust and transparency among basically everyone in this industry,” Forager CEO and co-founder Matt Silver said. “We decided to be up-front about what we’re doing and how we’re monetizing our business. We decided to externalize our methodology so shippers and carriers are aware of our markup.”
While this transparent approach to pricing may seem radical in the logistics industry, the company’s approach was actually inspired by other popular marketplaces outside the industry — including household names like Airbnb.
“We implemented concepts focused on connecting both sides — shippers and carriers,” Forager Senior Product Manager John Koliopoulos said. “Carriers typically believe brokers are taking too big of a cut, and we wanted to eliminate that distrust by explicitly stating our service fee.”
Shippers can get instant spot quotes in mere seconds, book loads and track their freight across borders using SCOUT. The portal serves as a real-time management tool, offering more control to shippers moving freight in Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
Carriers will also have full access to the complete pricing breakdown when they book loads.
The portal’s innovative tools, combined with Forager’s sleek design, offers users something seldom seen in the logistics industry: a simultaneously transparent and aesthetically pleasing experience.
Silver knows that embracing full pricing transparency is a risky move, but he believes it will propel the industry forward, helping individual players gain higher levels of control and visibility.
“We’ll start out by charging an 8% service fee, with a $125 minimum and a $300 maximum, on every load.” Silver explained. “This offers us some protection in a bad market while also ensuring our customers and carriers get a good, fair deal.”
Forager will continue to honor contracts with current customers while offering future and existing customers the option to switch to this new, market-leading pricing structure.
“We know this will take time. Behavior change can be a really big hurdle for people,” Silver said. “We have to walk before we can sprint.”
Forager’s new transparent pricing model is the first in a series of steps the company hopes will lead to a true revolution in the industry.
“This is the first step toward incorporating direct-to-consumer trends and eliminating the kind of analog service a broker provides by connecting the two parties directly over the next several years,” Koliopoulos said.
When it comes to digital versus traditional brokerages, Silver made it clear that Forager does not want to be lumped in with either side.
“We have brokerage roots, but we want to exist outside of that dichotomy and continue doing what we’re doing: giving others control,” Silver said.
Visit Forager’s newly designed website to get an instant cross-border rate or learn more about SCOUT.