Emerge enhances its freight logistics platform

Freight logistics platform Emerge is moving up the ranks. Emerge took the No. 14 spot in the FreightWaves FreightTech 25 awards, up from No. 18 last year.

“It’s an honor to be named to the FreightTech list for the second year in a row,” said Emerge CEO Michael Leto, who leads the company alongside his brother Andrew, the founder. 

“To be listed with such amazing organizations that are paving the way to positive change within our industry is a major accomplishment,” Michael added.

Emerge’s freight logistics platform was founded in 2018, offering a private marketplace connecting shippers to direct carrier quotes. Shippers can put their vendors on the platform, but that private network is also connected to a larger marketplace. As a result, participants can share excess capacity. Emerge also offers users dynamic RFP, a spot tool and intelligent route guides.

As Andrew Leto explained to FreightWaves earlier this year, “It’s not that we’re changing the carriers you’re using. We’re changing how you tender to the carriers you are using.”

Busy year

It has certainly been a busy year for Emerge.

In February, the startup closed on $20 million in Series A financing. The financing round was led by NewRoad Capital Partners, with other investors including Greycroft and 9Yards Capital.

The domestic freight market looked strong when that funding deal was done. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck. Lockdowns hit the freight market.

Presciently, Andrew predicted the rebound during an interview with FreightWaves in early May. “I’m an optimist. I am confident that most of the country will be back to work by June,” he said at the time.

He was right. The freight market recovered — and then some.

Book It Now

Meanwhile, work on the platform continued. Last month, Emerge unveiled a feature called Book It Now that provides immediate tender acceptance functionality. This allows approved carriers to see increased available loads.

According to Kyle Jepson, Emerge’s vice president of technology, “This feature is one of the major steps in Emerge’s product strategy of connecting shippers and carriers in real time.

“When trying to secure loads for their available drivers, carriers need feedback in seconds, not minutes or hours. Our platform helps to improve the driver experience during these times when driver retention and satisfaction are top priorities for carriers,” he said. 

Long history

Emerge is just the latest in a series of startups from the Leto brothers, who have a long history in FreightTech.

In the early 2000s, they developed GlobalTranz, one of America’s largest software-driven third-party logistics companies. GlobalTranz was sold in 2016.

The brothers then started a second company, 10-4 Systems, which they sold in 2018. Andrew said in a previous interview with FreightWaves that the brothers could have retired after the 10-4 sale, but they didn’t. “Challenge is what draws me,” said Andrew.

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