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Matt Silver launches cross-border brokerage Forager Logistics

( Photo: Forager / Jim Allen / FreightWaves )

The Silvers are at it again, founding Chicago-based freight brokerages with unique approaches to the market. This morning CEO Matt Silver and President Jordan Salins announced the launch of Forager Logistics, a brand-new, tech-focused shop focusing on cross-border freight into Mexico and Canada. With their investors’ backing, Silver and Salins founded Forager Logistics this past November and started moving freight in the past two weeks.

Matt Silver “grew up” at Coyote Logistics, the brokerage his father Jeff Silver founded in 2006 and sold to UPS in 2015. The early part of his career at Coyote was spent in carrier operations and software testing, but over the past four years, Silver focused on sales and pricing strategies in Mexico and Canada. Silver spoke to FreightWaves by telephone, and told us he wants to bring his expertise to a kind of freight that has not been served very well.

There is not a big provider of logistics services that excels at cross-border, Silver said, and he’s seen potential customers with multiple issues dealing with crossings into Mexico and Canada. Forager sees a unique opportunity in the automotive and aerospace supply chains, which require complex, specialized solutions.

“There’s a lot of freight out there that isn’t being serviced very well – we had customers tendering us loads the day after we got our authority,” Silver said about the opportunity Forager had.

This week, Forager has five employees: old Coyote hands who know the Mexican market, business development people from outside the freight industry, Silver, and Salins, whose role is focused on business administration and finance. Next week that number will double when Forager’s first training class of five brokers begins on Monday.

Explaining the company’s name, Silver said, “We forage for people, solutions, and capacity.” The dictionary defines “forage” as “a wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions,” so Forager’s name emphasizes its brokers’ tenacity in solving problems and searching for capacity that no one else can find.

“I developed a healthy obsession with going after the most complicated freight and foraging for opportunities and solutions,” Silver said in a statement. “We’re hyper-focused on the level of service provided to shippers, as there is a high demand for perfection when it comes to the operational details of cross-border truckload. Our job is to change the way freight moves throughout North America.”

Silver said that it’s too early to share revenue or headcount projections for the rest of 2019, but he gave aggressive guidance on both metrics.

“Through some relationships, we were able to bring on strong strategic investors in supply chain and distribution that will allow us to be able to grow significantly. Right now, our focus is on building the business – we’re going to move every load we can. We’re not going to give back loads just because we aren’t making money on them,” Silver said. “We’re trying to hire people quickly; anybody that can work hard, [especially] if you can speak two or three different languages, particularly Spanish and French.”

Forager plans to build out its own “digital freight marketplace” platform that will connect via API to shippers’ and carriers’ TMS. Silver said that he spent a lot of time evaluating the transportation management systems available on the market and did not find anything that fit exactly what Forager was trying to do.

“There are certain things that are involved in brokering freight that don’t need to be manually handled, so that operations people can focus on solving problems, helping the shippers, and providing better visibility,” Silver explained.

Forager could not be getting started at a better time for freight brokerage, and its team is combining decades of experience with deep pockets. The team even had a little bit of luck. We asked Silver what we always ask brand-new brokers: “Have you had any trouble covering loads with a new motor carrier number?” Silver said that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has started recycling numbers, and Forager happened to get a number beginning with 1.

“We’re really excited for 2019 and anxious to get going. We had a flood of opportunities today alone,” Silver concluded.

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.
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