Modernizing Freight Brokerage Through Technology and Attitude

Sean Devine and John Labrie, both logistics industry veterans, have built an alternative to traditional freight brokerage that supports the varied needs of shippers by putting full automation and increased visibility directly into their hands.
CHICAGO - June 29, 2013 - PRLog -- Strategic procurement is all about leverage based on visibility: understanding how much something costs and why so it can be negotiated. The ultimate goal is to find suppliers that offer lower costs because they are operationally efficient or have better pricing leverage with their own suppliers.

Procurement has been able to apply this approach across a number of direct and indirect spend categories, but there exceptions to every rule. There have always been ‘white whale’ categories that evade us. Sometimes we are stopped by pushback from internal business owners, sometimes by dominant suppliers that resist the process.

Some categories of spend elude management because there are no economies of scale. If purchases must be made on a localized basis, most procurement techniques fall short of being able to increase visibility and leverage volume.

Brokered freight is an example of a category that has lagged because of fragmented supply and transactional operations. According to industry analyst Dan Goodwill (, “Many freight brokers still rely on faxes, phone calls and e mail to run their operations.  In this era of tablet computers, social media and smart phones, this industry would appear ripe for modernization.”

Sean Devine and John Labrie (, both logistics industry veterans, have built an alternative to traditional freight brokerage that supports the varied needs of shippers by putting full automation and increased visibility directly into their hands. Detailed carrier searches can be done at no cost and with no commitment. If shippers find a rate they like, automates the entire process – from booking and invoicing through milestones such as when a shipment moves or a delivery is made. Shippers receive emails at these milestones to save time and reduce headaches.

In order for this modernization of freight brokerage to become a reality, a sophisticated solution was needed: one that could handle the idiosyncrasies of unusual transit times, multi-stop loads, and short-haul versus long-haul networks. “Shippers can book dry-van, flatbed and refrigerated truckloads, as well as partial truckloads for dry-van and refrigerated shipments, the company said. The online tool also can price complicated requirements such as multistep loads and team-transit requirements” (Transport Topics, 4/8/2013 ( The results of these searches are real bookable quotes. allows shippers access to a database of 70,000 carriers. Enter your requirements using a simple form and see the cost, then make a change to your requirements and see if that improves your price. The opportunity to save is two-fold, by providing visibility into the cost implications of your requirements and by paying a smaller markup than with traditional brokers. The technology under the hood of costs less to operate than the salary of a freight broker’s sales staff (and it doesn’t take vacations or need health insurance). According to a recent press release (, ““Automated freight brokerage allows shippers to save an average of $100 on a typical load that costs $1,300.”

While the technology is key, represents a modernization of mindset as well as brokerage. Traditionally, suppliers have kept information about costs close to the vest, only exposing as much information as they are required to during the negotiation process. Devine and Labrie are so confident in their solution that they provide the same information about carriers and costs to everyone - whether shippers end up booking a load or not.

Shippers in a variety of industries have used to take control of their freight costs. In a May 2013 feature article in Material Handling & Logistics (, Andy Street, Transportation Manager at Rio Ammunition, discussed how he uses the site to manage costs at times of the year when carrier capacity is low due to competition with the produce market. “It [] guides the shipper through all the details that would be easy for an inexperienced shipper to miss, such as "Do you need a lift gate?" or "Is this shipment a hazmat?" Then it builds the load in the system and makes it evident for the shipper so there are no surprises later on.”

The good news about automated brokerage is that you can see the benefits at no risk. In fact, Sourcing Innovation’s Michael Lamoureux ( described the approach as “quick, simple, and almost obvious”. A free, simple registration is all that is required to run a search. 163K searches have been run so far, and as of June 26th, 13,467 loads were booked using’s ( modernization of freight brokerage.

About is based in Chicago, IL and was founded by transportation executives with extensive experience in freight operations, procurement strategy, and analytics. Their fully automated freight brokerage allows shippers to save without sacrificing quality or hurting carriers because there is no sales force adding to their markup. Approximately 4,000 carriers currently provide pricing and more are added every day. In addition to freight brokerage, offers a detailed carrier search, procurement assessment survey, and transportation themed cartoons, all available for free. For more information, visit or contact, (312) 674-7110.

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Tags:Freight, Truckload, Brokerage, Shipper, Logistics
Industry:Transportation, Technology
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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