Home CompaniesB2B To the Top of the Inc 5000: How Logistics Optimizer FreightWise Remains Bootstrapped In High-Growth

To the Top of the Inc 5000: How Logistics Optimizer FreightWise Remains Bootstrapped In High-Growth

by Muriel Vega

The logistics industry is historically opaque, as analog systems prevent the decision-makers in a company from gaining transparency into the shipping, transportation, and freight processes. Managers often don’t have visibility into the status of shipments or the total cost of a transaction until they receive an invoice, for example.

This was one of the many issues Chris Cochran saw during his time on the transportation team at Oracle and later, at his now-exited company TracBack Solutions. No tracking mechanism for total costs, antiquated transportation management systems, and the lack of access to smaller load shipping were others.

Cochran co-founded FreightWise to provide a modern, technology-driven freight solution to enterprises.

“We collect information about something that needs to be moved. Then we tell the customer what carrier it should go on, what’s the cost before invoicing, and make sure that we’re making the best decision possible for their supply chain network,” says CEO Cochran.

The company essentially acts as a third-party outsourcer to direct the shipping process. Once the bill is in from the carrier, FreightWise’s platform reviews all invoices, audits them for accuracy, and present them to the client in a single bill that meets their own accounting standards.

The goal is to streamline the process, making for an overall better user experience.

“We built our code from the ground up to be very nimble, not only to integrate with large enterprises, but also to make more intelligent decisions using better data,” he says.

The platform also helps solve those problems of small freight loads, also called ‘less than a truckload’ (LTL).  In those cases, FreightWise matches clients to the right shippers to ensure an optimal cost.

We have “the knowledge, the data, the carrier relationships, and extra volume to be able to leverage rates if they buy through our platform that are better than what a customer can get themselves,” says Cochran.

The SaaS platform has a strong client list, with Facebook, American Cast Iron Pipe, and Great Plains Manufacturing on its roster, among others.

Cochran claims that clients save up to 40 percent annually in transportation costs thanks to the rates and discounts they access by using FreightWise.

To-date, the Tennessee company remains entirely bootstrapped.

As a metrics-driven company, FreightWise leadership publishes revenue results on a weekly basis for all employees to see. Cochran sees this as a way for the team to understand the full picture and where they are in the overall company road map.

They have done this since their first week in business in 2016, when Cochran says they brought in just $150 in revenue.

“We succeed together and we fail together. Everyone needs to see where we’re trying to go, what our goals are, and how we’re going to get there. And if we don’t hit that metric, I don’t think there’ll be a huge morale issue because together we failed,” says Cochran.

And the company is growing fast — FreightWise took the number two spot on the 2019 Inc 5000 list last month. They saw $33.4 million in revenue in 2018.

Cochran and his team continue to focus on top line growth, new client acquisitions, and identifying new features and markets that would make their existing products more profitable.

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