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The trucking industry has remained relatively unchanged since the advent of gasoline-powered engines. For over a hundred years, trucks have moved goods between centers of commerce and from logistical hubs to delivery points spread out across geographic areas.
As it turns out, this model is both costly and inefficient in many cases. Thanks to advances in technology, shippers no longer have to own their own trucks. They don't even have to have a contract with a carrier.
A software application like Cargo42 makes it simple for shippers to schedule cargo deliveries, on-demand, with the click of a few buttons.
Miami Herald reporter, Nancy Dahlberg, explains the C42 technology in the quoted article below.
Francine Gervazio worked in the logistics industry in her home country of Brazil and Australia, and she saw first hand how inefficient the industry could be. In fact, she says, one out of every five trucks on the streets is traveling empty. While at Babson College in Massachusetts studying entrepreneurship, she came up with concept behind Cargo42.
Cargo42 is a B2B marketplace for local trucking. It helps shippers find lower rates, access quality service and have their goods delivered on time by matching them with pre-verified trucks with empty space in them. At the same time, trucking companies enjoy an additional revenue stream and maximize the trucks’ productivity.
“Our goal is to bring technology to local trucking in South Florida, making trucks more effective and offering affordable rates to shippers by connecting them through a very simple app,” said Gervazio, who co-founded the company with Babson classmates Murilo Amaral and Alfredo Keri.
Cargo42 was a triple winner in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge. It won the judges’ vote in the Community Track for its solid idea leveraging the sharing economy in a a traditional industry and a strategic plan for execution; Cargo42 was also crowned the People’s Pick for attracting the most online votes. Because of its results in both the judges’ vote and the People’s Pick, it was also named the Challenge Champion, the overall contest winner.
"THE BEST PART IS THAT OUR COMMUNITY ENJOYS TRAFFIC AND POLLUTION REDUCTION BY MAKING USE OF TRUCKS ALREADY ON THE ROAD." Afredo Keri, co-founder of Cargo42
The team says its concept has a triple benefit. If trucks were to travel at capacity, they could potentially generate additional revenue of more than $60 billion. At the same time, shippers would be more efficient with their orders, conserving time, money and manpower. Finally, and perhaps the most important, is the environmental impact: “By maximizing the use of trucks already on the street we could eliminate thousands of underutilized trucks. It creates a positive impact on pollution and traffic,” the team wrote in its plan.
The team brings logistics industry, sales and startup experience to the new venture. Gervazio managed operations for a taxi startup that operated in Asia and Latin America. Amaral started a fast-growing printing company in Brazil that was acquired; then the larger acquiring company hired him as COO. Keri has experience in sales, brands and trade marketing in the consumer goods area.
Once the classmates developed and tested the concept, they looked for the best place to build their company. Miami, a hub for trade and logistics, ticked all the boxes.
After graduating, the trio rolled into Miami last year with a big dream and a strategic plan. They quickly made it a point to meet the players in the trucking and logistics industry as well as the tech community.
They went to local tech meetups and Chamber of Commerce events as well as industry meetings, trade shows and conferences. They presented their company at a meeting of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the county’s economic development agency. They took advantage of local resources, such as Mentor Day, an organization that pairs entrepreneurs with mentors, and mentoring organization Enterprise Development Corp.’s “Meet the Investor” days. They met industry leaders such as Nabil Malouli, a vice president at DHL, who has become an adviser. They exhibited and competed at SUP-X: The Startup Expo, a homegrown conference held in Fort Lauderdale annually. They applied and were accepted into the second cohort of StartUP FIU’s Empower accelerator, part of the university’s community initiative to help startups.
For the past year, the team has developed an app with a simple user interface. So far, more than 130 shippers and 450 carriers have used the Cargo42 platform, Keri said. For every transaction, Cargo42 retains a percentage.
Gustavo Michael, operations manager of Kannoa, an outdoor furniture manufacturer, has used Cargo42 for 10 to 15 deliveries within the Miami metropolitan area this year, mainly for deliveries to warehouses or pickups from vendors. He learned about the startup through word of mouth. “Service has been great and they always follow up on deliveries. We will continue to be a client,” he said.
Cargo42, now with a team of eight, is in high sales mode to find more clients. But how does a startup afford a sales team? That’s where community resources come in.
Startup FIU has a Sales Lab staffed with trained interns available to member companies; Cargo42 has been a big user. “We’ve been getting some nice traction with their help,” Gervazio said. The startup is also working on improving its search engine optimization to attract more customers online.
"FRANCINE IS GOING TO MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN IN THE LOGISTICS WORLD — YOU CAN BET ON IT. ALFREDO AND MURILO ARE NO SLACKERS EITHER. IT IS A REALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT TEAM." Jennifer Robertson-Ahrens, RFC Logistics president
RFC Logistics, a longtime Miami-based boutique freight forwarder, was one of Cargo42’s first customers and still is, said Jennifer Robertson-Ahrens, RFC’s president and certified U.S. exports compliance officer. “This industry is so old and when you meet young intelligent people like the Cargo42 team you can’t help but be inspired. Francine is going to make big things happen in the logistics world — you can bet on it. Alfredo and Murilo are no slackers either. It is a really sound management team. To meet them is to be impressed.”
More change is likely coming to the traditional trucking industry, with self-driving technology now in development. Cargo42 does not see this as a threat to its business because it’s already technology based. “We are helping the industry get integrated with technology,” Gervazio said. “By the time the technology comes, our customers will be used to technology. It’s all part of the tech transformation.”
Gervazio hopes a year from now, Cargo42 will be well known among truckers and most shippers will be using its app in South Florida. After that, there’s a big world out there.
“The best part is that our community enjoys traffic and pollution reduction by making use of trucks already on the road,” Keri said in the team’s Challenge elevator pitch.
In case you haven't joined the Cargo42 Team. What are you waiting to Ship or Drive with us? Join us!
We're adding new features to our platform on a monthly basis. Some of our latest improvements include real-time delivery tracking, dynamic pricing algorithms, and electronic paperwork processing. Check our blog, social media, and "How it Works" page to stay in the know.Read More
For the past year, Cargo42 has been quickly building its network of carriers and shippers in South Florida. Having now reached a critical mass, our next focus involves expanding to new carrier/shipper demographics (e-commerce businesses and manufacturers, for example) and targeting additional Florida cities before heading to other states.
In this article (below), Nancy Dahlberg from The Miami Herald interviews the Cargo42 team to learn more about our history, challenges, and vision.
Startup Spotlight: Through a simple-to-use app, Cargo42 provides companies an option to ship locally for a lower rate with trucks that have empty space in them. At the same time, trucking companies enjoy an additional revenue stream and maximize the trucks’ productivity.
COMPANY NAME: Cargo42
Headquarters: CIC Miami, 1951 NW Seventh Ave.
Concept: Through a simple-to-use app, Cargo42 provides companies an option to ship locally for a lower rate with trucks that have empty space in them. At the same time, carriers (local trucking companies) enjoy an additional revenue stream and maximize the trucks’ productivity.
Story: The truck-sharing economy concept came from Francine Gervazio’s professional experience in the logistics and tech industries. She frequently saw trucks driving nearly or completely empty, and her company was paying the price for that empty space. Once Gervazio came to the United States in 2015, she confirmed this was not only a problem in her home country, Brazil, but a global issue.
She decided to spin the opportunity into an actual business during her Babson College MBA program in 2015. That’s where she met Murilo Amaral and Alfredo Keri, who were essential pieces to make this happen. After having performed a pilot test in Boston, the Cargo42 team moved the operations to Miami last summer because of the big opportunities as a result of inefficiencies in this important U.S. logistics hub. The decision was also based on a competitive analysis and strategic positioning for future expansion and market growth, the founders said.
“We knew already that Miami was a very big logistics hub, but we were really impressed when we saw the numbers and said, yea, that’s where we are going,” Gervazio said.
Before attending Babson for their MBA degrees, Cargo42’s co-founders had diverse experiences and backgrounds, including logistics, supply chain and operations as well as e-commerce and marketing and sales.
IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, 20 PERCENT OF THE SMALL TRUCKING BUSINESSES HAVE CLOSED THEIR DOORS IN FLORIDA. WE ARE CHANGING THE RULES AND LEVELING THE FIELD TO GET THEM BACK IN THE GAME.
Cargo42 co-founder Murilo Amaral
Gervazio managed new operations for Easy Taxi, a Rocket Internet company, in Southeast Asia and Latin America, after working in logistics in Brazil and Australia. Amaral founded a packaging company with 250-plus employees, which acquired 6 percent of the Brazilian market share. Keri worked in sales and marketing for multinational companies, including British American Tobacco in Latin America.
Last summer, the founders spent their summer going door to door in the South Florida territory to build their initial truck base. That was followed up with online marketing, cold calling and lots of networking at trade shows and industry events. Today, the company has 85 shipping companies and 380 carriers using the service. Its goal is to partner with a large company so it can expand much faster.
Gervazio participated in the WIN Lab, Babson’s accelerator program for female founders, in Boston, and the whole team is part of StartUP FIU’s Cohort 2 now in progress.
“With Cargo42, we are sure we can help carriers reduce their empty miles and get more customers, as they have limited resources to acquire new customers. We also support their cash flow problems, issuing payments three times faster than the industry. For shippers, we provide a lower price, increasing their tight margins. Also, our platform saves their time giving real-time quotes and online tracking even when using a small trucking company. Finally, we also play an important role to help to reduce the traffic and pollution in communities and cities, by making more effective use of the trucks,” Gervazio said.
“In the last four years, 20 percent of the small trucking businesses have closed their doors in Florida,” Amaral said “We are changing the rules and leveling the field to get them back in the game.”
Launched: July 2016.
Management team: Co-founders Murilo Amaral, Francine Gervazio, Alfredo Keri.
No. of employees: Eight team members, including interns.
Recent milestones: 85 shipping companies and 380 carriers are now using the Cargo42 platform.
Biggest startup challenge: Customer acquisition. The trucking industry is very traditional, and it takes time for people to accept and embrace the changes to the process they have been doing for years, Keri said. “But once they give it a shot, they immediately see the benefits.”
Next steps: Closing important strategic partnerships that could lead to exponential growth and begin the company’s geographic expansion.
Adviser’s advice: Nabil Malouli, vice president of Customer Solutions and Innovation at DHL, said Cargo42 has developed a model that can be flexible at this stage. “I have recommended to use a multi-channel approach, such as partnerships with established companies that have complementary products and solutions, and to focus on the big deals. The sales and implementation cycles of small and big deals are very similar, and you have to focus on the big deals that will truly help you grow the business.” He also recommended that the team focus strongly on Cargo42’s first customers and have them become the indirect sales team. “First customers need to have an amazing experience so they can help you grow the business much faster,” he said.
Malouli believes Miami, already a global logistics hub, has the potential to become a global hub for logistics innovation. “This is a huge opportunity and we have to keep promoting entrepreneurship in the logistics industry in Miami, as Cargo42 is doing.”
As the transportation and logistics industry continues to evolve, our entire Cargo42 team is hyper-focused on the role technology will play in streamlining trucking operations, especially at the local level.Read More