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FreightWaves 3PL Summit: Broker benchmarking (with video)

Fireside chat with FreightWaves President George Abernathy and VP of Customer Success & Benchmarking Todd Davis

FreightWaves President George Abernathy and VP of Customer Success & Benchmarking Todd Davis talk broker benchmarking program at FreightWaves 3PL Summit (Photo: FreightWaves)
FreightWaves George Abernathy and Todd Davis talk benchmarking capabilities for brokers

FreightWaves’ President George Abernathy and VP of Customer Success and Benchmarking Todd Davis had a virtual fireside chat during Tuesday’s 3PL Summit to discuss benchmarking services for brokers provided by FreightWaves Benchmarking.

Under the program, carriers and now brokers submit their internal financial and operating data to FreightWaves to be compiled for benchmarking — or ranking — purposes. Operators are able to see where they stack up on certain key operating and financial metrics compared to their competitors. Exception range algorithms allow companies to see the areas of operations where they are outperforming their peer groups and where they may be lagging. All of the data is presented anonymously.

The broker benchmarking program is an offshoot of its carrier-based predecessor. Founded in 2014, Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) developed the carrier benchmarking service TCA Profitability Program (TPP). The program started with just a handful of carriers and has grown to more than 230 currently.

FreightWaves enhanced its partnership with TCA last year when it acquired StakUp, the developer of the inGauge online benchmarking platform that is used exclusively by the TCA. The online community allows companies to review their results within chosen peer groups arranged by operating model, industry segment, size and geography.

FreightWaves used the framework and architecture of the carrier program to roll out a brokerage version this spring. Almost 30 broker participants are in the program, which has only been up and running for 60 days.

When asked about the prospects for the new offering, Davis said, “The growth trajectory is quite promising.” On non-asset brokers’ willingness to participate, Davis continued, “Everybody is very competitive, they want to understand how they rank relative to their peers. Their structures oftentimes are by and large very similar, their costs of entry [and] their headcount structures are very, very similar, so it’s only natural to look around and say, ‘How am I doing as opposed to XYZ?’”

The program minimizes a private company’s dependency on data previously only available in financial filings from publicly traded companies, which often don’t present a fair comparison. Brokers are able to use FreightWaves’ proprietary data translation tool so that unique financial and operational data can be analyzed and shared in a common language.

FreightWaves’ benchmarking services are integrated within SONAR, the world’s fastest freight forecasting platform and the only platform providing a complete view of everything moving in the global freight economy. The combination provides clients with a streamlined view of benchmarking data along with the ability to consume other external datasets and workflow tools that will improve the profitability of their business.

To learn more about FreightWaves Benchmarking, contact Todd Davis at [email protected].

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.