The creator of the 'Bloomberg for the trucking industry' reveals why being based in a city in Tennessee played such a crucial role in his company's success
- Craig Fuller is the CEO and founder of FreightWaves - a data and news provider on the logistics industry.
- Fuller discussed FreightWaves' strategy during Business Insider's flagship technology and media conference, IGNITION.
- It's key that FreightWaves is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fuller said.
FreightWaves was founded only two years ago, and it's already the top logistics news site in the world by page views and unique visitors.
Craig Fuller, the founder and CEO of FreightWaves, credited part of the site's quick success to the fact that the trucking scene is becoming rife with startups. For new entrants to logistics, information on the $1.45 trillion industry is scarce.The logistics industry is made up of tens of thousands of trucking companies, more than 20,000 of which annually pull in $5 million in revenue. The fragmented nature of trucking makes it challenging for new or small trucking firms to find the information they need to succeed.
"[The startups] were trying to provide better transparency on freight market systems, knowing that we can track pizza, we can track Amazon goods, but it's very difficult to track trucks," Fuller said on December 3 at IGNITION, Business Insider's flagship technology and media conference.
"They kept on focusing on transparency," Fuller said. "The idea that they were going to build up these digital marketplaces and disseminate a very old industry was core to their business model."
That led Fuller to the idea of creating a Bloomberg- or Reuters-esque service for the freight market. FreightWaves has since aggregated about $260 billion of freight transactions and provides editorial commentary along with analytics to bolster that.
And as for getting access to that elusive information, Fuller credits FreightWaves' base in Chattanooga.or us, it's access to what I call tribal knowledge," Fuller said. "You have this really deep organic knowledge base of how the industry really works."
Chattanooga is a hub for trucking companies. Massive trucking firms like U.S. Xpress, which Fuller's father founded, are based there, as well as startups like WorkHound, a driver retention firm.
Other trucking startups have set up in more typical entrepreneurial hubs. Convoy, another freight brokerage app, is based in Seattle. Silicon Valley, meanwhile, is home to Trucker Path, Peloton Technology, Terminal 49, and Otto.
And Transfix, an app for truck drivers to connect with shippers, is based in New York City. CEO Drew McElroy previously told Business Insider that he and his co-founder thought it would be easier to attract logistics folks to Manhattan, instead of having to lure techies to the Midwest.
But for Fuller, it's all about operating in a logistics nerve center.
"We are able to provide tribal knowledge that's authentic and backed up with data," Fuller said.