Billions of dollars of freight move across the United States, Mexico, and Canada borders every month. Not billions per year. Billions per month. Trucks alone carried $38.6 billion in freight across North America’s borders in April 2020, and that was amid economic upheaval due to COVID-19. Trucks, quite literally, keep the economic wheels turning. So it only seemed fitting that we check in with Jaclynn Kutzura, Forager’s Carrier Relations Manager, to talk all things supply-side of the cross-border logistics industry and what game-changers Forager has in store for its specialized carrier network.
Carrier relations talent with an eye on tech
Kutzura is another relatively new addition to the Forager team, but she’s a logistics veteran. She’s led teams at both Coyote Logistics and One Point Logistics, and earlier this year she brought her carrier relations acumen and start-up energy to the world of logistics technology. For Kutzura, it was in fact the tech that piqued her interest.
“What drew me to Forager is that we’re reimagining the cross-border logistics industry. We’re not just another brokerage with 200 to 300 carrier reps. We’re a tech company that’s thinking about the whole cross-border equation. What shippers need, what carriers need, how we can make the entire cross-border experience easier.”
“There’s a gap here”
“Easy” definitely isn’t a word shippers or carriers normally associate with cross-border logistics. Moving one load can involve 7+ parties, hundreds of emails, and headaches galore for everyone involved. There’s also a serious lack of expertise available from brokerages, despite the complexity and how much freight moves across North America. Kutzura has seen and felt those frustrations firsthand.
“Very early on in my career I was trying to book the US leg of a US – Mexico lane. The carriers had a lot of cross-border specific questions. ‘Is it being transloaded? Where is it being transloaded? Do I have to have x, y, z paperwork?’ At the time, I didn’t have the specialized knowledge to answer their questions, and it took a while to find those answers from other people on my team. It was frustrating for me and for the carriers. It really planted this seed that there’s a gap here.”
A specialized network for a complex industry
Forager is bridging that gap (or what feels like a chasm somedays) through purpose-built technology and exceptional service. In October 2019, Forager launched its innovative new platform, SCOUT by Forager. SCOUT by Forager allows shippers to price, book, track, and manage all their cross-border freight without the emails, calls, and delays that traditionally stymie these processes. But, as Kutzura said, Forager is focused on improving the whole cross-border supply chain. And you can’t do that without carriers.
Kutzura’s team is quickly building a specialized carrier network across the United States, Mexico, and Canada to ensure cross-border freight is handled by cross-border experts.
“Carriers are excited to work with us because we’re specialized. They know they’re going to get great service and great support. They also know they’re going to get consistent freight which is huge.” Why is consistent freight so important? “Carriers are professionals. They have a huge responsibility and they want to be as prepared as possible. It’s helpful to know the shipper, know the pick-up facility, know the route, etc. Consistent freight on a dedicated carrier means less uncertainty. The haul goes more smoothly, the shipper feels more confident, and everyone has a better experience. We’re making that happen by exclusively focusing on cross-border. We’re making the whole supply chain better.”
Next step, the carrier portal…and then a full digital marketplace
That’s where the next phase of SCOUT by Forager comes into play: the carrier portal. Soon carriers will be online with the shippers. They’ll be able to join the Forager network, see available loads, and begin handling freight with less interaction from Kutzura’s team. “Carriers are just as busy as shippers, and they have as many administrative inefficiencies. With the new carrier portal, carriers don’t have to sit on the phone for 20 minutes talking to Forager. They can complete their onboarding materials themselves. It’ll be a lot faster and a lot more convenient for them. That’s a game changer.”
So, what happens when both the supply side and the demand side of cross-border logistics are online? Forager puts the two pieces together to create the first cross-border marketplace. Shippers will enter their loads and enjoy full visibility on their carrier options, while carriers will be able to select lanes that meet their criteria. Both parties will also experience transparent, market-driven pricing (without the broker padding).
Setting the standard, leading an industry
Kutzura hit the nail on the head. What Forager’s imagining, building, and executing is a far cry from a brokerage. It’s setting a new standard and transforming the cross-border industry with deep logistics knowledge, smart tech, and diverse talent. It’s why Kutzura joined, and why she’s excited to stay. “We have a lot of expertise and a lot of passion, and that’s what I look for. This is where I want to be, to contribute, and to grow. Forager is leading it all.”