• DATVF.VNU
    1.541
    -0.059
    -3.7%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.985
    0.042
    4.5%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.291
    -0.082
    -6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.823
    0.020
    1.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    -0.086
    -6.2%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.114
    -0.041
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.062
    -0.147
    -6.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.623
    -0.029
    -1.8%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.919
    -0.111
    -10.8%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.679
    -0.061
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.702
    -0.062
    -3.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,284.970
    34.260
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.190
    0.270
    3.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,274.450
    29.640
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.660
    0.040
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.541
    -0.059
    -3.7%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.985
    0.042
    4.5%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.291
    -0.082
    -6%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.823
    0.020
    1.1%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    -0.086
    -6.2%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.114
    -0.041
    -1.9%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.062
    -0.147
    -6.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.623
    -0.029
    -1.8%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.919
    -0.111
    -10.8%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.679
    -0.061
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.702
    -0.062
    -3.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,284.970
    34.260
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.190
    0.270
    3.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,274.450
    29.640
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.660
    0.040
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    158.000
    8.000
    5.3%
New TechNewsTechnologyTruckingWarehouse

Giving truck drivers’ jobs a FreightTech makeover (with video)

Successfully building a FreightTech company takes engineering brilliance, the right people and the right product. NEXT Trucking is going through that journey and learning first-hand what it takes to build an innovative, driver-centric company disrupting industry.

“It is a unique, one-of-a-kind product we are building,” Lidia Yan, chief executive officer of NEXT, said. Speaking on the opening day of FreightWaves LIVE Chicago on Nov. 12, Yan told the audience NEXT has tripled its engineering team but remains committed to delivering on its core mission – to help truck drivers make $1,000 a day and “get home for dinner.”

“We view the solution as being [driver-centric],” she said.

Founded in 2015, NEXT has developed its product solutions while dealing with one of the most difficult markets in North America – the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Yan said the idea to create the company came from personal experience. Her family owns a logistics company and she saw employees constantly working the phones to cover loads, calling drivers in a quest to get the lowest price possible. Secondly, she saw a truck driver arrive at a warehouse one day with only a number for the load.

“It took our warehouse three hours to learn the load was not there, simply because there was a single number wrong,” she said.

Yan knew there had to be a better way. NEXT Trucking is out to find that way with a focus on solving issues facing drayage drivers.

“Forty percent of [product] on shelves is imported,” Yan said. “Drayage is very important because it represents the first mile. If [drayage fails], 40% of our shelves are empty. It’s extremely important, but also extremely difficult.”

Yan pointed to the customs process, chassis providers, warehouses, navigating the ports, and finding and paying drivers as just a few of the challenges that make drayage so difficult. “There are over $315 million in wasted costs, so there is a big opportunity,” Yan said.

NEXT has doubled its headcount to over 200, and Yan said that represents challenges for any company.

“People say when you get over 100 people, the company culture changes,” she said. “The challenge right now is to establish consistency across the board.

To meet this challenge, NEXT is looking for people who are innovative and not set in old-school ways. NEXT encourages its research and development team to spend time on the road learning first-hand what challenges drivers face.

“You have to be in it to learn it,” Yan said.

The company’s growth has resulted in it securing contracts with six of the top 10 shippers in the world and allowed it to introduce products designed to meet that $1,000 a day goal. In January 2019, NEXT announced a $97 million Series C round of funding led by Brookfield Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Sequoia led the company’s $21 million Series B round, announced in January 2018, and total funding to date is now more than $125 million.

The funding is being used to accelerate product development, including its Relay offering. Relay, NEXT has said, could increase driver revenue by at least 20%.

“We combined the traditional drayage routes with over-the-road routes,” Yan explained. Drayage drivers pick up containers from ports and haul them to drop yards, where they pick up an empty container and bring it back to the port. At the yard, an over-the-road driver picks up the loaded container and hauls it to a warehouse, where an empty is picked up and brought back to the yard.

This set allows drivers to haul more revenue loads and ensures empty containers are located where they are needed.

As part of this, NEXT is also acquiring facilities to expand this operation. It recently opened an 18-acre facility about 10 miles from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Relay also utilizes another eight-acre facility near the ports.  

Yan said the future remains bright for NEXT.

“We are looking to bring the same solutions to multiple ports,” she said.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

2 Comments

  1. Dear NEXT, the problem today in trucking is to find GOOD DRIVERS, THERE aren’t many left out there. Drivers that care about freight and being on time with pick ups and deliverys. There are alot of accidents in trucking today, alot more than when I was out on the road. People just Don’t care about others equipment. They don’t take pride in their job. Good luck with your company and some that do the talking, should drive a truck

  2. Let me know when you get around to Atlanta and Savannah! Your idea sounds good but there’s a big difference between your idea and the reality of whats really going on out here in the transportation part of intermodal. O/O’s make up the bulk of the driving force out here and yes JB Hunt, Hub and other big fleet companies have a large foot print also but O/O’s are the majority. The money is the first thing that needs more transparency because we are getting screwed out of alot of it off the top! We don’t see the break down of the numbers from the shipper to the carrier and all the assorials that go along with it such as the pay for going to get the equipment and bringing it back. Chassis split come into play quite often and we don’t get our just do if the either! Like my outfit only pays $43.20 to the truck for a chassis split. $43.20? Really? We don’t get the correct pay for Hazmat or over weight loads. And most don’t provide the correct equipment (tri-axle chassis) you need to haul these heavy’azz loads! The container yards in Atlanta have bankers hours but freight rolls 24-7 right? Have you ever tried to leave at rush hour traffic in Atlanta? And don’t get me started on these out dated inner tube tires on these chassis that the companies make us pay for! I could go on and on but i hope you get the just of what I’m saying. Hauling Intermodal containers are brutal on a truck and we need all of what we’re supposed to get paid to keep these trucks in top condition and also be able to take care of ourselves and our family. So that $1000.00 a day you speak of just ain’t gonna happen the way things are structured right now. Waaay too much three card montey style of business going on. We (O/O drivers) need more transparency with the money. We pay 70%! Yeah but 70% of what?

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