Supply chain volatility this past year has put tremendous pressure on freight brokers to manage the madness, pushing them to the limit as shipper requests multiply. It’s been equally frustrating for carriers looking to keep up with the fast pace of the industry.
Anthony Sutardja, CEO and co-founder of Parade, said it’s been challenging for some to build strong relationships and quickly find capacity amid such rapid growth. Worse, the exorbitant prices of FreightTech solutions have left many uninterested in adopting new technologies, exacerbating the widespread use of disparate systems.
Both parties desire to connect with each other. The only thing standing in their way: a growing technology gap, dividing the industry between the advanced and the old-fashioned. Advances in FreightTech have certainly accelerated in recent years, but the cutting edge in digital freight-matching solutions has only been available for those willing to write the biggest checks.
Parade, however, has flipped the script with a digital blueprint. The San Francisco-based software provider aims to eliminate the bottlenecks that make finding capacity difficult with its AI-powered truckload capacity management solution to digitally connect all freight brokers and carriers like never before.
You’ll find the desk of a broker using Parade a lot less cluttered than his or her traditional counterparts. That’s because Parade’s transformative software solution replaces the telephone, CRM, Rolodex and the dozens of Excel spreadsheets detailing lists of carriers and priority routes.
Parade’s dashboard helps freight brokers and 3PLs book more loads, increase truckload capacity and reutilize carriers to find trucks at the best time and price.
But what distinguishes it from other capacity management platforms is that it’s the first to bring together the entire trucking tech ecosystem into a unified workflow. Moreover, Parade’s capacity integrations enable brokers to connect to existing load boards for increased capacity options.
“There’s no other solution out there that has done this,” Sutardja said. “We have really led the way in defining digital bidding and digital booking across our syndication partners.”
Sutardja described how much easier it is to utilize one platform instead of several to handle a variety of tasks at once. “This unified workflow brings it all into one place, not only allowing a brokerage rep to focus just on one screen to find the best truck for every single load, it also means that we can drive API-driven interactions digitally for the first time.”
Using AI and natural language processing technology to read carrier emails and previous quotes, Parade helps brokers have more meaningful phone and email conversations with carriers. Brokers can then focus on prioritizing their top carriers using the software’s Smart Rules technology, which allows the broker to truly tweak for carriers’ preferred lanes and rates.
Sutardja saw intrinsic value in the software’s ability to simplify the load booking process when he set up shop in 2015 alongside Tony Wu and Preet Sivia. Originally establishing a digital brokerage to connect freight with carriers and owner-operators, the three quickly realized their mission to equip all 3PLs with the digital tools needed to automate certain workflows and compete in the rapidly evolving digital freight industry.
In just seven years, Parade’s capacity management now generates 10 times more capacity than other freight booking platforms. It has since become the software leader in truckload capacity management. In fact, digital transactions managed by Parade increased by more than 500% last year, which Sutardja attributes to the pandemic increasing demand for trucking capacity.
Regardless, a growing number of 3PLs are finding Parade’s carrier partner ecosystem beneficial in reaching virtually any size and type of trucking company in North America.
Parade’s digital-first approach has attracted digital carrier networks such as DAT, KeepTruckin, 123 LoadBoard, Trucker Path, SmartHop, project44 and CloudTrucks to become capacity partners.
Channel19 is the latest to join the partner ecosystem. The FreightTech provider helps freight brokerages and trucking companies, specifically carriers with 10 trucks or fewer, simplify the navigation, negotiation, booking and transaction execution process.
In addition to partnerships, Parade has received significant funding from a number of leading Silicon Valley investors. The company secured $12.7 million in series A funding earlier this month led by Menlo Ventures to further Parade’s vision for freight.
“We brought this extraordinary group together because truckload capacity management is a neutral platform that needs to collaborate with all industry participants in order to drive industrywide change,” Sutardja told FreightWaves earlier this month. “These leading practitioners enable us to better understand where the freight market is headed and build that into the solutions we provide for Parade customers.”
Steve Sloane, a partner at Menlo Ventures, said his team is excited to partner with Parade because he believes supply chain digitization is at a tipping point.
“Parade is poised to enable more resilient supply chains by empowering all freight brokers to go digital,” Sloane said. “Logistics service providers rely increasingly on more connected workflows, and we are excited for the vision the Parade team has to solve these growing needs.”
Sutardja added: “Our team is eager to use this latest round of funding to speed up tech enablement for all freight brokers so that they can optimize and grow their businesses. The team saw digital transactions managed by Parade customers increase by more than 500% last year. Customers continue to recognize and reward Parade for innovation and providing best-in-class freight brokerage software as the industry shifts towards more real-time and collaborative ways of doing business.”
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