Freight transportation markets are at their tightest capacity in years, but thanks to improvements in process automation, U.S. trucking fleets are handling the extra loads, if not at the low fees that shippers desire, according to the logistics technology and load board vendor Truckstop.com.
In a move to speed up the complex task of booking, moving, and charging for loads, Boise, Idaho-based Truckstop on Monday acquired Registry Monitoring Insurance Services (RMIS), a firm that provides automated onboarding and monitoring services and software to the freight transportation industry.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company said it planned to maintain the RMIS brand and to continue employing all 160 employees at its Westlake Village, California headquarters.
“Carriers use a multitude of brokers every month, but getting a carrier onboarded is the second biggest challenge for brokers—after finding them in the first place—and it’s the same for carriers working to get onboarded with a new broker,” said Brent Hutto, Truckstop’s chief relationship officer.
“Our mission statement is to help all the participants in the freight transportation sector, so we knew we needed better automation. The more efficient the brokers, carriers, and truckers who use our platform are, the faster freight moves, and the more profitable they are.”
Before the acquisition, Truckstop had previously offered workflow tools for onboarding, but the company knew it needed to improve that service as it saw the extraordinary forces hitting U.S. freight markets, including a changing workforce, driver turnover, skyrocketing e-commerce volumes, and an emergence from coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Together, those turbulent pressures have forced three capacity crunches in the last six years alone (hitting in 2014, 2017-2018, and 2020-2021), after the sector took 33 years to hit its first capacity crunch (2003-2005) since its 1980 deregulation, Hutto said.
So the company has invested in multiple layers of automation in recent years, buying the software vendor Grizella LLC with its SaferWatch carrier monitoring and research tool, as well as the freight bill financing firm D&S Factors LLC in 2018, and selling off a majority stake of itself in 2019 to raise funds from a venture capital firm.
In sum, those steps are intended to help Truckstop move toward its ultimate goal of creating a Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform that supports an overall automation of the freight process while helping customers stay up to date with regulations from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other groups, Hutto said.
“Carriers had their best year ever in the market in 2020, and so did logistics companies, but not shippers,” he said. “Now transportation companies—both brokers and carriers—have to collaborate on how to solve this problem together, so that both sides can stay profitable, or at least stay within their pricing metrics.”
We're excited to announce @trckstopdotcom's acquisition of @RMIS_Ins. RMIS' best-in-class carrier #onboarding and #insurance monitoring will help to further solidify our mission to provide solutions that strengthen broker, shipper and carrier relationships.https://t.co/mjrPUixzPw— Truckstop.com (@trckstopdotcom) March 22, 2021