Banyan Designs Technology for the Long Haul

When you order a product online, your work is done once you’ve checked out. You’ve placed your order, spent your money, and now it’s time to sit back and relax until it appears at your doorstep. But your purchase is only the beginning of the product’s journey from its origin to you. For most of goods transported in the U.S., that happens by truck. It remains the most prevalent form of moving goods in the United States, and it’s grown to a $726 billion industry employing nearly ten million people annually. Banyan Technology in Cleveland, Ohio, makes the ride smoother for businesses by saving them money moving goods from Point A to Point B.

“Trucking is a massive industry. It accounts for about 70% of all freight transport in the U.S., much more than rail, barge and other modes. So, there’s a lot of money in it,” said Lance Healy, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. “Like in any industry, businesses are trying to keep shipping costs low to maximize their profits. We’ve built technology to help them find the most dependable, low-cost transport option available to them—like a personal Kayak or Expedia for freight.”

Banyan makes it easy for customers to communicate with carriers through a single interface. Freight service providers, who are tasked with planning the complex schedules and routes of carriers, can access a wealth of information through Banyan’s software to make informed decisions. Comparing costs per mile, service ratings, driver data and more allows shippers to keep costs low and optimize their return on investment. This communication between the carrier and customer has set Banyan Technology apart from their competition and enabled their growth.

“Sixteen years ago, people were still popping AOL discs into their machines to get online. The idea of an internet business was scary to most people, but not us. We got in early and, as a result, we’re more experienced and understand the space better than our competitors,” said Healy. “We started out just trying to build a solution to an issue we faced in another business. Now we’re a key player in this massive market. Three of the top five largest third-party logistics companies rely on our software every day, and we’re connected with over 1,300 carriers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”

Banyan Technology accidentally introduced carrier connectivity to the transportation industry in 2001. Healy and his partner, Jim Walborn, were running a construction materials company that required transportation planning. They couldn’t believe the runaround required to compile relevant carrier data and contact shippers directly, so they decided to build the solution with the help of the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE) and JumpStart, both northeast Ohio regional partners of the Ohio Third Frontier. They’re now the leader in live connectivity with carriers.

“This was supposed to be a solution that would make running our construction business simpler. Instead, it became a whole different business. I credit GLIDE because early on, we were struggling to build Banyan and run our other business. They communicated very clearly that we should pick one and be great at it,” said Healy. “That was invaluable advice we needed to hear. They were there from the earliest days to support us, and JumpStart provided the funding we needed to grow. Now we’re providing huge value in this industry.”

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