A fledgling London, Ont. company is shaking up the logistics business and changing the way goods are shipped.
Digital Freight Group, about two years old and still a home-based business, developed software that streamlines the shipment of goods, said co-founder and partner Rob Sunstrum.
“We are proud of what we have done,” he said. “We are not the first to market, but when we call into the U.S. we are hearing a lot of businesses have never heard of this. It makes it a lot of fun.”
Sunstrum worked in logistics for about 10 years and was often frustrated by the way businesses requested quotes for shipments.
A manufacturer or reseller would send out a blast of emails to different logistics companies and wait for quotes. When the quotes came back, the business had to go through each one separately.
It struck Sunstrum as inefficient and time-consuming.
“I worked at smaller logistics firms and the idea of asking for quotes and waiting for emails was ridiculous,” he said. “There had to be a better way. The entire supply chain relies on one email account. It is insane to have your profitability rely on one person.”
He developed software called Digital Freight Quote that allows businesses to log on to the Digital Freight Group site and send out their requests to shipping businesses in its database. When the responses come in, the sender is alerted.
“When a shipment needs to be booked, they log on to our platform and within an hour can have five rates based on transit and pricing. It saves them time and money,” Sunstrum said.
The technology can be used for road, ocean and rail shipping. Digital Freight Group has about 50 customers that pay a monthly subscription to use the software.
“We looked for a while to find a platform to help us. This is a one-stop shop,” said Victoria Jones, Director of Logistics with Genuine Comfort in Toronto, a reseller of air conditioning units.
“When we are booking trucks, it lets us send a blast message to all of the trucks we use in one place so we don’t have to constantly check emails. It is very helpful. Rather than send 12 emails for the same thing to different carriers, we hit one button and send it to all of them.”
In London, the Digital Freight Group platform is used by 3M Canada and OES Technologies. It expanded into the U.S. about two months ago where it has a handful of clients.
“A lot of business is about shipping to the U.S. and we realized these businesses probably had the same problems,” Sunstrum said. “We showed them the platform and the reaction we are getting is that it is a no-brainer.
“The future is limitless. We can likely go into many markets.”