Small and independent truckers are absolutely fed up – especially with freight brokers. As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, freight rates have plummeted, all while drivers literally put their lives on the line to keep their families fed and store shelves stocked.
Anger boiled over last week when large groups of drivers staged highway protests in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston. Drivers at all three locations were cited for obstruction of traffic, with one Houston protestor charged with inciting a riot.
“The brokers are the ones who are breaking the economy and breaking truck drivers; they are killing us, literally,” independent driver Addiel Santos told FreightWaves. “Brokers [were] paying for trips from Houston to Midland-Odessa like $1,800 to $1,900 before. Right now they are paying $700.”
The drivers are accusing many freight brokers of price gouging during the pandemic. A petition has been set up on change.org, calling for the government to crack down on the largely unregulated freight brokerage industry. Most notably, they want to require brokers to disclose what their shipping customers are paying them per freight movement, thus revealing the profit margin between what brokers are bringing in and paying out to drivers/carriers. Currently brokers are allowed to keep that a secret.
More protests are scheduled for Friday, May 1, in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and elsewhere under the banner and hashtag #MayDay.
These protests dramatically underscore what LaneAxis has long advocated – and is now building: a shipper-to-carrier direct network that cuts out the need for freight brokers altogether.
As we’ve all seen first hand, the direct model works and is ingrained in our current way of life. Think of Netflix cutting out Blockbuster, or travel sites like Orbitz cutting out travel agencies. That’s precisely what LaneAxis is doing to intermediary “managed freight services” such as brokers. Bypassing freight middlemen creates transparency and trust between shippers and carriers, while eliminating inefficiencies and unscrupulous behavior.
LaneAxis shareholder Richard Moore recently posted a comment to our StartEngine page (unsolicited), describing his recent experience with the U.S. Postal Service losing THREE of his packages, then informing him they had no idea where those packages were. This is another example of bungled brokering.
And it’s not just the USPS. What Richard and many others may not realize, is that many organizations such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS, Walmart and other huge companies outsource excess loads to freight brokers as well – and once they do those millions of daily truckload shipments also go largely untracked.
The LaneAxis platform represents a fundamental shift in the way freight movements are managed and monitored. By connecting shippers directly to drivers/carriers, as well as providing real-time tracking, electronic rate confirmations, instant proof of pickup/delivery, e-docs, and much more, LaneAxis is paving a better way forward for the U.S. freight industry.
We invite you to watch the below video, posted just a few days ago, to get a true glimpse of the anger and frustration drivers are facing with the current freight market – particularly with freight brokers. LaneAxis is not affiliated with this driver, but we found this to be a powerful expression of what’s happening out there.
PLEASE NOTE: The video contains several expletives by the driver as he discusses his frustrations. We chose to share this anyway because we feel this driver speaks from the heart and from a place of knowledge. We don’t want to censor his passion, and we think you’ll agree why when you watch his message. Please take this into consideration as you choose where (and how loud) to watch the video.
To learn more about LaneAxis – and invest in the future of transportation – visit our campaign page at startengine.com/laneaxis-inc.