Managing a fleet of freight trucks can be a difficult, complicated job, but one Ontario company is hoping to make the process easier.
RoadLaunch provides cloud-based digital management solutions for freight companies across North America, using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor trucks and their drivers. The company works through partners, usually small to mid-sized freight carriers, and uses its flagship product, FreightFlex, to solve capacity issues and increase partner visibility by renting out their unused equipment and exposing them to more business opportunities as a result.
What sets the software-as-a-service company apart from its competition, however, is that its business is almost entirely hands-off. It has automated around 95 per cent of its customer acquisition system, digital marketing, and customer outreach program, for example, and is looking to automate the rest to accelerate its business.
“We’re now in the process of bringing on customers literally every single hour of almost every single day, so we’ve automated almost 95 per cent of that process,” Cory Skinner, founder of RoadLaunch, tells ITBusiness.ca. “Our platform itself is easy to use and the tools make signing up fast so that our customers gaining great exposure to stay competitive and make more profit quickly, and we become a better-known brand.”
RoadLaunch’s platform not only tracks driver data, and truck location, but also freight load and trailer information as well, which Skinner says will be important for when autonomous transport vehicles become mainstream.
“Most companies out there have information on the driver and the truck, but we have all of that plus information on the truck’s load and trailer as well. That’s important because when it comes to autonomous trucks, which will be on the roads within a couple years, we’ll be one of the first to collect and monitor all that data. We’ll be the first platform in North America with the complete holy grail of digital freight,” Skinner laughs.
He says that in North America alone, there’s roughly 18 million trucks with roughly 60 million trailers, and of those 60 million trailers, at any given time, “up to 50 per cent are sitting empty and idle, which is not good for anyone who owns them.”
“With RoadLaunch, autonomous trucks would have all the information they needed to sense which trailers have full loads and where they are, and then help alleviate some of those burdens by distributing the loads. That’s significant from a market-readiness position,” Skinner adds.
RoadLaunch was one of nine startups to be chosen for Infiniti’s first Toronto smart cities and IoT accelerator program, where it participated in the luxury car brand’s inaugural four-week pre-accelerator program. The program, which began at the end of May, gave them education, mentorship, and access to technology from corporate and tech partners, including IBM Canada and the City of Toronto. While they were not the startup to be selected to continue on to a global accelerator program in Hong Kong at the Infiniti head office, “no one came out of that a loser,” Skinner laughs.
Looking forward, the company is looking to expand into Europe and Australia next with the help of new strategic partnerships currently in the works.