LaneAxis vs. the “Competition” – an Assessment
The LaneAxis team is often asked how we compare to this product or that platform or how we match up against giants like Uber Freight.
The answer is generally the same: we don’t compare. That’s because we don’t have any true, direct competition out there.
Here’s why we’re comfortable making that bold statement: LaneAxis is building the first-ever completely brokerless Shipper-to-Carrier direct freight network. No such network exists today, which is precisely why the freight transportation industry is so badly broken. Independent truckers remain in a state of near-revolt against freight brokers who continue to tighten their stranglehold on trucking, all at the expense of efficiency and fairness.
LaneAxis is breaking new ground.
But What About all the Apps & Trucking Tech Out There?
After spending decades stranded miles behind the technology curve, the trucking industry is finally catching up. A glut of trucking-focused apps and software “solutions” have flooded the market – each aiming to solve disparate pain points.
Make no mistake, “legacy” companies like Fourkites, Convoy, Macropoint, and yes – Uber Freight – provide valuable tools and services for the freight industry. But it’s more than reasonable to consider all those companies similar enough to each other to warrant being lumped together under the same categorical umbrella. Whether offering freight matching, load boards, “track and trace” visibility, or supply chain analytics, these ambitious companies are duking it out on the same playing field using similar tech and tactics.
Most notaby, they all work closely with – and actively seek – the business of freight brokers. There’s simply too much money to be made. Freight brokering (aka “managed services”) is a roughly $200 billion industry in the U.S., and is expected to grow another $41 billion by 2024. Convoy and Uber Freight in particular are, in principle and practice, digital brokerages that take a healthy slice off every shipment. Considering that many of the loads posted on those platforms are actually submitted by traditional freight brokers, you’re now looking at double-brokered loads, which means even more money snatched away from Carriers and drivers.
Even blockchain-based supply chain platform such as Uship, ShipChain and TradeLens are not focused on building a direct brokerless network. And certainly they are not focused on connecting shippers with the 97% of U.S. trucking companies that are small “mom and pop” shops. These companies are far more focused on chain-of-custody, logistics planning, and document management vis-a-vis the blockchain. Valuable services to be sure – but all services that LaneAxis also offers. LaneAxis can do everything they do – but they cannot do what LaneAxis does – or at least they’re not trying to. We are well ahead of the game.
Ultimately, broker-reliant tech may streamline some processes and add varying degrees of load visibility, but in the big picture freight brokers are more of a hazard than a help for the trucking industry. Carriers are the ones feeling the most pain from this largely inequitable process. Despite this, trucking tech is loath to untether itself from the behemoth brokerage industry.
Shifting the Focus
The LaneAxis focus is strictly on Shippers and Carriers – and leveraging blockchain technology and smart ideas to empower both sides to deal directly with each other and kick brokers to the curb.
LaneAxis is creating the first freight-direct network backed by patented Intellectual Property (IP), which many companies are likely in violation of. Our database, containing hundreds of thousands of Shipper contacts and one million+ Carrier contacts, creates limitless opportunities for compatible Carriers and Shippers to create their own personalized freight networks, sans brokers. Shippers can search for optimal Carriers – and vice versa – based on any number of queryable attributes such as preferred freight lanes, freight types, real-time driver location and availability, performance history, and more.
The FreightVISION Driver App and freight management tool – which is tied directly to the backend shipment portal – handles the contractual side of managing loads, an often frustrating and time-consuming process that historically has been a top reason Shippers sought out brokers in the first place. Now LaneAxis is on the scene to manage and automate most of those cumbersome tasks. Shippers and Carriers can now negotiate rates directly, transparently and equitably. FreightVISION then provides automated shipment management including real-time GPS tracking, geofence entry and exit notifications, and instantly uploaded and archived shipment documents including proof-of-pickup and delivery.
How Will LaneAxis Compete with Self-Driving Trucks?
First, it’s important to remember that while autonomous trucks are creating lots of buzz, there will always be a need for independent drivers to haul freight – and by extension the need for a freight direct network. Even once autonomous trucks hit the road with regularity, which is likely a decade away, this will almost certainly account for just a fraction of overall freight transportation movements. This technology, after all, is not cheap. Having said that, LaneAxis is developing the ability to connect to any Electronic Logging Device (ELD), which is now government mandated equipment in all cabs. This will make the LaneAxis solution compatible with future technology like autonomous vehicles, drones, and more. With or without a driver, the core LaneAxis software will confirm the pickup, delivery and all KPI data sets, as well as continuing to track all movements in real-time. When the network moves to autonomous trucks, it will not affect our future growth as we are a software company, not a hardware company.
A Holistic and Unrivaled Solution
LaneAxis is quite literally reinventing the way freight transportation operates in the U.S. Creating a network environment for direct connectivity is the starting point. Optimizing and automating all aspects of the actual freight movement – while providing critical internal and industry-wide data – injects cost-savings into the operations of both Shippers and Carriers. Integrating blockchain technology amplifies these benefits by orders of magnitude.
Partnering with the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO) and Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) also gives us a unique advantage over others in the space.
Niche tech solutions abound in trucking – and many do a fine job.
But simply stated: no one is tackling industry challenges in the holistic and groundbreaking way LaneAxis is.
To learn more, visit LaneAxis.com.