Abtin Hamidi has a background in brokerage. Throughout his career, he said he noticed that many in his field were doing a lot of the work that he felt could be automated. He also noticed that shippers and carriers were getting hit the hardest because of it.
One day he ran into a colleague, Russell Jones, and the two began talking about the inconsistencies and the capacity crunch within the transportation industry. So they came up with something to fix it.
Enter their solution: Cargo Chief, a technology that leverages a network of 500,000 available trucks/carriers to locate hard-to-source capacity for shippers. The two developed Cargo Chief to find capacity for loads that most brokers can’t – or won’t – source, Hamidi said.
“Nearly 30% of trucks are running empty at some point in a trip, so our goal is to make finding available capacity as easy as searching for vacancy in a hotel,” Hamidi (pictured right) said. “Our carrier search is designed like Kayak—whether it’s a full truckload or just a pallet, we give shippers the three lowest priced options ranked by premium, preferred and value carriers, instantly. After the load is picked up, we can track the shipment in progress, showing its location on a map within our application.”
When it comes to verification, Cargo Chief conducts a pre-load check and uses several sources to verify carriers just before booking and again two hours before pickup. Hamidi told Fleet Owner that Cargo Chief verifies auto insurance, cargo insurance, safety rating and performance to ensure a smooth transaction.
LTL quotes are approved online instantly, according to Cargo Chief, and truckload quotes often can be provided instantly, but sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes due to market conditions.
“We are applying high-tech stuff, and we’re starting to apply all of that to make everyone’s life easier,” Hamidi said. “I think all of a sudden everyone is much more engaged in technology, and we are creating a nice marketplace to try to find creative technology solutions in the capacity crunch.”
With Cargo Chief, users can link to its locator program, Cargo Locate, which involves plugging information into a driver’s cell phone so they can track and trace their own loads internally.
“Our position is a little different than the other folks out there,” Hamidi said. “At the end of the day, the consumer is getting hit the hardest and we’re trying to alleviate that situation down to the store that the final product is eventually at.”
When it comes to payment, Hamidi said Cargo Chief has been paying its small- to medium-sized carriers in five days rather than making them wait for prolonged periods of time.
“As long as we have some sort of evidence that the load is delivered, we start processing the payment,” he said. “It helps the carrier that way. We benefit, they benefit, everyone’s happy.”
Recently, Cargo Chief entered into a partnership with TruckerLine, an app that enables drivers to build complete profiles with essential paperwork and then provide interested parties one-click access to that information. It enables drivers to scan copies of their professional documents with their mobile device, while tamperproof documentation such as MVRs and driver-initiated background checks can be ordered and delivered to their TruckerLine profile.
"Cargo Chief will be available to be accessed from the TruckerLine platform, giving owner-operators the ability to haul loads within the Cargo Chief customer network,” Hamidi said. “Both pieces of technology are great examples of how the industry is changing for the better now that technology is available for smaller carriers to compete by using readily available technology, without big TMS software installations."