Building the Freight Brokerage of the Future with Parker Holcomb

Future of Supply Chain Podcast, Episode 6

On Episode 6 of The Future of Supply Chain, we sit down with Parker Holcomb, Co-founder and CEO of Fraight AI. Parker discusses how he and the the team are leveraging differentiated datasets, applying data science, and ramping the development of a conversational agent, Archie, to build the brokerage of the future.

Parker is a repeat founder who began programming as early as middle school, went on to study computer science and evolutionary psychology, and then started his first business. He started his first company, All College, to provide summer storage and laundry to students. He ultimately sold the business in 2017 as he got more interest in the intersection of supply chain and technology, ultimately founding, Fraight AI. Highlights from our conversation are below.

Freight brokerage is repetitive and market structures tend to overlook the smaller trucking firms. The mega-brokers tend to focus their time on working with large fleets that can more easily handle volume and service levels of their shippers. As a result, smaller but still high quality trucking outfits get overlooked — these “mom and pops” are assets to the industry. Further, when Parker studied the industry, he noticed that nearly 80% of a brokers job is repetitive communication and data entry — ripe for thoughtful automation.

The majority of waste is contributed by poor communication between shippers and carriers. Questions, concerns, and miscommunication could be easily solved by automated responses. With most brokers, it takes at least an hour to receive a response, but with automation, Fraight AI is able to respond in nearly 3 seconds. Tightening the feedback loop around freight movements is a focal area for Parker and team which allows them to deliver a much higher level of service. Using their AI-enabled agent, Archie, they deliver proactive communication, quick responses, and reliability.

AI is able to help redistribute business to smaller trucking companies. Fraight AI‘s recommendation algorithms can understand a shipper’s needs and recommend the best trucking companies and individual assets to use. Conversational interfaces then allow Fraight AI to interact with shippers and truckers via their preferred channel (email, fax, text). Archie, Fraight AI’s agent, can simultaneously deliver insights while performing operational tasks. The lack of manual work allows for a more efficient freight brokerage organization — and over the long-run, seemingly better margins.

The Future of Supply Chain is a Dynamo podcast that brings entrepreneurs, investors, and industry veterans together to discuss their stories, views on the industry, and how we can collectively build the future of supply chain.