It is common knowledge within the supply chain marketplace that hauling freight is hard work. This is not just due to the redundancy involved across many operations, but because of the interactions between multiple stakeholders who tend to perceive processes in a different light, making operations complex and often inefficient.
In the heavy construction market freight hauling of materials like dirt, rock, asphalt and concrete to construction sites can be up to 20 percent of the cost of a construction project – a percentage that might be lower if the inefficiencies in freight operations are reduced.
Ruckit, a startup that specializes in trucking management software for the heavy construction and materials marketplace, is bringing transparency to by networking the transportation management systems (TMS) and telematics systems of the stakeholders involved in a hauling process.
“What we’ve built could be the first collaborative TMS system, explained Tarun Nimmagadda, co-founder of Ruckit. “Just in the context of the heavy construction industry, you have contractors, trucking brokerage companies and bulk materials companies that move the material from the material yard to the construction site. One company might be using a TMS or telematics system, but there might be three or four companies involved that don’t, and there’s no simple view of all the trucks and their status to figure out who gets paid what.”
Ruckit has created a collaborative logistics platform that could be used by each stakeholder in the heavy construction industry’s supply chain. For instance, aggregator materials companies can manage all of their trucking logistics on the platform, trace where their trucks are in real-time, verify the trucks to be dispatched, and the trucks that need to be paid.
Quite surprisingly, Ruckit’s founders, Nimmagadda and Kyle Kinsel, hail from very different industrial background. Kinsel was working in the construction and oil & gas industry, while Nimmagadda comes in from the mobile and cloud technology sector. The idea for Ruckit came from combining Kinsel’s knowledge of the inefficiencies in trucking for bulk materials with Nimmagadda’s expertise in technology.
Ruckit started out as a load-board and brokerage business model. But then, based on the feedback they received on their first software version, the co-founders realized that the approach was not quite right. The transition led them to build their own trucking company.
The company was wildly successful, helping both Nimmagadda and Kinsel gather their thoughts about the industry and to know more of the “ins and outs” of the trucking world. Eventually, they sold the trucking company when it was making nearly $2 million a month, and pivoted back to building a software product that could improve operational efficiency in the heavy construction niche.
“We are now a company developing trucking management software. We are building out a dispatching and order management system for materials, something useful for materials companies that run their own fleets. On the other side, you have a contractor or a customer pushing out or receiving materials. They have to be able to verify loads and know how much to pay. What we’ve done is eliminate paper tickets by giving these guys an app,” said Kinsel.
As Ruckit is positioned in a niche segment within the logistics industry, it has not witnessed any competition yet, as businesses in the vertical have been around for decades and use technology that is archaic – like mainframe and DOS technology.
“Ruckit specializes in short-haul bulk trucking. These are things that move and in the back of a dump truck. The bulk products are usually short moves with trucks that haul them doing five to 10 loads a day,” said Nimmagadda. “We’re built to bill, invoice and optimize trucks that move a bit differently compared to the average long-haul freight trucks. There’s tons of room for optimization because they are making so many drop-offs every day.