CargoLinx Inc. aims to provide freight matching without threatening carrier-shipper relationship

by Canadian Shipper

The newest entrant on the freight-matching scene is Toronto’s CargoLinx Inc., which has introduced a service for shippers and carriers across North America with toll-free telephone access, Internet connectivity and monthly subscription rates for members.

The service, can be accessed at www.cargolinx.com.

For shippers, CargoLinx provides a load posting service for a flat subscription fee per month. Such loads can be posted either via the Internet or by calling the CargoLinx service representatives. Shippers using the Internet can also access additional load management tools developed by CargoLinx to help them keep track of loads posted and matched through the system.

For carriers, the service aims to provide a solution to the empty back-hauls that plague almost every carrier in North America, said Peter Hebb, president of CargoLinx.

"Industry estimates of such empty vehicles suggest up to 20 percent of all truck trips may be made without a paying load or having available capacity. This causes considerable hardship to truckers and trucking companies, particularly during this period of high fuel prices. Yet many manufacturers are having difficulties getting their products to market during busy periods due to a lack of available trucks and drivers. CargoLinx is aimed directly at addressing these inefficiencies and improving the return to truckers while improving service to shippers."

CargoLinx subscription rates are $10 per month for shippers ($15 in Canada), Rates for carriers start at $10 per month for independent owner-operators with one to two vehicles and range up to $100 per month for trucking firms with up to 100 vehicles. In addition, CargoLinx charges carriers a flat-rate "success" fee for each load successfully matched and picked up by the carrier. This flat fee is a maximum of $45 for a long haul truck-load ($65 in Canada).

Hebb also said, "CargoLinx does not intend to act as a broker. We will not get between the shipper and the carrier all payment arrangements are directly between the two parties. Typical brokerage fees are straining the economics of the industry by reducing the amount a carrier can earn on a brokered load. By using this very low flat-rate fee, we can improve the return to carriers."

"We will not attempt to replace the ways carriers and shippers are currently working together, nor do we intend to threaten existing contract situations", continued Hebb. "Instead, we believe we can be an affordable ‘insurance’ provision for carriers and shippers when existing arrangements don’t work or are being stretched."

CargoLinx also announced that it is providing a free trial month of service to shippers and carriers who enroll before the end of the year. As a part of that trial, users not only get free access to the system for load posting and searching, but CargoLinx service representatives will actively seek matches for both carriers and shippers; when a carrier registers it can request loads on particular lanes where it is having back-haul difficulties and the CargoLinx reps will begin calling shippers in that area to find loads. Similarly, when new cargo is posted by a shipper, service reps begin actively seeking carriers for that load.

Internet access is provided through a standard Web browser and sophisticated Java software developed for CargoLinx to permit simple posting and searching tasks. For clients using Internet access to use the system, CargoLinx provides additional software (at no cost) to speed-up access. The service is hosted on a number of Web servers to ensure speedy response and to enhance reliability. Internet access is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Registration for CargoLinx can be completed by toll-free telephone at 1-866-474-9494 or directly via the Internet at www.cargolinx.com.

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