Improving the logistics of trucking, San Diego’s Flock Freight raises $50 million
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“We want to change the way freight moves,” says Oren Zaslansky, the chief executive and founder of Flock Freight.
His company, which has been operating in stealth mode for the last two years, has finally emerged with a new solution for freight shipping that purports to bring in more money to shippers, remove inefficiencies in the current hub-and-spoke model for freight and offer better deals to shipping customers.
He’s also got $50 million in financing in the bank in what is one of the largest recent investments in a San Diego-based company.
For Zaslansky, the shipping business is a family affair. “My parents grew up in the moving business… I grew up around both entrepreneurship and freight,” he says.
Those twin passions led him to start his own trucking business out of college in the San Diego area. He also launched a brokerage business to support supply chain logistics. The exposure to both is what led Zaslansky to launch Flock Freight and its big new financing round, which closed earlier this week.
The company raised its cash to change the way shippers move small amounts of goods — those less-than-a-truckload-sized amounts that have to move through hub-and-spoke operations which increase the time goods are on the road and the possibility for breakage as they’re unloaded and reloaded onto different delivery vehicles.
“We want to disintermediate the infrastructure of hub and spoke,” says Zaslansky. “We want to carpool. We use our technology to change the way freight moves.”
Zaslansky isn’t talking about very small orders that can be delivered through a service like Roadie — the delivery company that raised $39 million from investors led by Home Depot back in February 2019.
This is still trucking — it’s a carpool in a 70-foot-long tractor trailer. Flock Freight works by reaching out to small and mid-size trucking companies and integrating their orders onto the shipments that these firms are already making. “We go to the carriers that are much more used to working with a third party to fill up empty trucks,” Zaslansky says.
Right now, that’s about 15% of the $110 billion freight and logistics trucking market, Zaslansky says.
The new investments into Flock Freight came from SignalFire and GLP Capital Partners in mid-February and they were likely drawn to the company’s claims that its service can eliminate damage claims, collect freight from multiple shippers and optimize route delivery for a 40% savings in fuel emissions, and the guaranteed delivery rate of 97.5%.
Companies like Tuft & Needle and Titan Supply Group are already using the company’s services, according to a statement from Flock Freight.
Flock Freight makes its market by having a window into the spare capacity of trucks and charging shippers for the exact amount of capacity that they’re using. “We want to go to a shipper and say — that [cargo] is 75% of the truck and we’ll charge you 75% of the truck,” said Zaslansky. For carriers, they can say that the price they’ve charged is for 100% of the truck and Flock Freight will add another 10 feet of freight and an additional $1,000 into a carrier’s pocket, Zaslansky said.