Don’t you love it when there’s a fragmented market with many different actors and outdated tech products? French startup FretLink is using all the tips in the startup handbook and applying them to a neglected industry — the trucking industry.
FretLink a software-as-a-service marketplace connecting companies that need to send big piles of stuff with thousands of transportation companies. And the startup just raised $6.4 million (€6 million) from Daphni, Elaia Partners and Breega Capital.
If you’re like me, you don’t know much about the transportation industry. Sure, you know the names of a few big logistics companies that bring you your Amazon packages. But it’s a bit more mysterious if you think about the pallets that move from one warehouse to another.
And it turns out that it’s a mess. Warehouses use warehouse management systems and transportation companies use… transportation management systems. But many of those tools are outdated, complicated to use and expensive. And then you have to manually scan marketplaces like uShip to fill up the rest of your truck.
FretLink has already selected 2,500 transportation companies in Europe for its online platform. The startup then needs to fill up all those 60,000 trucks as much as possible. It means that FretLink can connect you directly with multiple clients and optimize your route.
FretLink can even find you new clients on the way back so that you don’t drive back with an empty trailer. It’s an easy sell for transportation companies. FretLink wants you to transport more stuff with the same number of trucks.
As for clients, transportation companies have been screened and you get updates about your shipment in real time. You don’t have to work with logistics intermediaries so you also end up paying less. FretLink takes a cut on each transaction.
By centralizing everything on one platform and adding more transparency, FretLink optimizes and standardizes the process for everyone. This way, everything becomes more predictable.