After a heavy haul fleet owner couldn’t find the kind of operating software he really needed for his small business, he decided to find a software developer to create one. The resulting company, FR8 Revolution, has launched a fully integrated booking and dispatch platform for open deck loads at www.fr8star.com.
With a focus on heavy haul and open deck, FR8Star offers a marketplace where carriers can bid on loads, book directly with shippers, and manage their fleet, all in one free cloud-based platform.
The open platform software is free, but carriers and shippers each pay a small fee per load.
Users directly access FR8Star's load marketplace, which includes a patent-pending rate calculator for pricing oversize/overweight loads, including up-to-date state permit fees and escort costs. Shippers can also access the calculator for free. No commercial software provides a similar tool, according to the company.
To use FR8Star's free software, a carrier goes to www.fr8star.com, sets up an account and begins operating. The carrier can submit quotes for loads in the FR8Star marketplace and track those quotes.
When they book a load, it automatically appears in the carrier's Dispatch Cockpit display. Carriers can also enter loads manually to manage freight from sources other than the FR8Star marketplace. More free software features include document management and databases of customers, relevant locations, and company equipment.
The company says FR8Star brings shippers and carriers together without a broker middleman. The company charges a conservative fee only when a load is booked and the fee is clearly displayed beforehand. That cost is significantly less than typical broker fees and is split between shipper and carrier.
“We believe the United States truck freight market operates most efficiently when carriers and shippers work directly with one another,” said Matthew Kropp, CEO of FR8 Revolution. “Given our patent-pending heavy haul rate calculator and our experience in the heavy haul market, focusing on this underserved space was an obvious decision.”
Originally planned as a general freight marketplace, the company realized after feedback at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show and through other channels that "heavy haul genuinely needs / wants these tools," says Mary Fox, head of product marketing. "With our experience and the heavy haul calculator, we've seen that we're really able to add a lot of value here. So our direct shipper loads will be exclusively open deck loads."
The company’s fleet management features are designed for small-to-medium sized
carriers (between two and 200 trucks), including driver schedule optimization,
load tracking, document management, and other features designed to optimize driver
retention and customer service. There is a fee for premium fleet management services.
This is an upgrade to the company's FR8.guru cloud-based platform launched last year. “We took all of the successful fleet management features from and added them to FR8Star,” Fox says. “This means booking, scheduling, dispatch, tracking and document management. We're working closely with the community of carriers running heavy haul and legal open deck loads to make sure the product continues to serve them well.”