Peer-to-peer shipping platform puts control in the hands of drivers and small businesses
In an age of apps catering to on-demand services like Airbnb and Uber, dispatched and scheduled shipping tactics seem as antiquated as the gramophone. Traditional large-scale shippers remain unresponsive and logistically inefficient options for smaller, localized deliveries. Because of this, drivers often sit unscheduled for long periods of time while companies struggle to respond to incoming requests. Cincinnati-based Frayt is utilizing this available capacity to better respond to dynamic, small-scale shipping needs.
“We’re like a dating app for your local B2B company,” said chief operating officer and co-founder of Frayt, Clancy Boyer. “We connect independent owner-operators with small-to-medium sized businesses that do a lot of daily shipping. Currently, trucks aren’t available, or if they are, they aren’t aware of delivery needs that are happening real time, meaning companies and customers are losing out on transactions. We’re improving that by allowing shipping requests to be made on demand.”
The idea is simple: drivers sign up with Frayt and choose which deliveries they take. Frayt, like Uber or Lyft, performs comprehensive background checks on their drivers and then organizes the itinerary and shipping details. Frayt’s system also offers a way for brick-and-mortar businesses to stay competitive in a world of e-commerce. With an on-demand business model, Frayt can charge less for their shipping and delivery options, putting money back in the pockets of business-owners.
“Our team comes with 25 years in the transportation industry. We believe that people in business are going to find new ways to ship things because of the internet and smartphones. We want to respond to their changing needs,” said Boyer.
Frayt’s strategy also allows the company to avoid traditional delivery pitfalls like underpaid drivers and scheduling headaches by streamlining the process on their platform. Drivers and shippers alike respond to changes in itineraries in real-time and aren’t dependent on scheduling multiple shipments on one truck. This reimagined shipping structure is Frayt’s way of revitalizing the industry’s traditional processes.
At the center of Frayt’s success is community, particularly the support of Cintrifuse and The Brandery, both partners of Ohio Third Frontier in Cincinnati. Within their cohort at The Brandery, Frayt met potential partners in the labor industry and continue exploring how to combine their services. Plans are also underway to expand Frayt to Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Louisville and Columbus in 2018.
“The community has been excellent,” said Boyer. “People love to promote and share what you’re doing here— they want to see you succeed. The difference between when we tried to go it alone before discovering the resources here is night and day. Now I feel it’s pretty essential to be a part of a place like this. We learned so much by being involved with the Cincinnati network.”