FR8 Revolution receives investment from MAN Truck & Bus

MAN Truck & Bus AG has invested up to US $8.5 million in the US company FR8 Revolution Inc. The startup is based in Silicon Valley in the US and has developed a comprehensive ‘operating system’ that is designed to connect the whole of the US transportation industry that will be launched in the second quarter of this year.

At present in the US there are over 12,000 freight brokers in the US who act as intermediaries for free loading capacities between shippers and carriers. A similar system exists in Europe, creating massive inefficiencies in the process. The new IT system will provide shippers, carriers and truck drivers with a uniform and transparent platform for planning cargoes based on real time data.

At present the system is fragmented and inefficient, it is hard to compare prices, and the costs of mediation are high. In theory the FR8 Revolution system will support all parties involved in the ecosystem and will leverage existing potential as well as significantly improving efficiency.

MAN Truck & Bus AG will play a part in bringing the US system to Europe. The FR8 Revolution system will be launched in the US later this year but it is envisaged that this will reach Europe in fairly short order with MAN’s investment.

Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus AG said of the investment, “The logistics industry is not working as economically as it could. All parties involved still have limited access to real-time data. Where are the trucks currently located? Do they have free loading capacities? What are the current prices? What is the current driving period of the truck driver?

“To this date, almost 35% of the freight volume is not used at all or not used efficiently which is neither economical nor environmentally friendly. In collaborating with FR8, we can open up new possibilities for changing the system in Europe.”

This provides the opportunity to integrate apps for all target groups. Shippers, for example, can view current freight rates, locate the truck’s position, and manage invoices.

Carriers, for example, can view freight plans of all trucks on one screen only; in addition, they can enter free loading capacities on the electronic freight exchange or manage the drivers’ time behind the wheel and rest periods.

The drivers are connected online with the carriers, can view their route planning and change them if necessary; they also receive information on when the next visit to a workshop is due.

“Digitization is fundamentally changing the world of transportation. Connected services help our customers to be more productive and competitive while opening up completely new business areas. We will be changing more and more from a truck manufacturer into a provider of intelligent transportation solutions. Our partnership with FR8 will bring us one step closer to this goal. We would like to transfer our experience and ideas to Europe as well as to our brands,” said Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH.

Volkswagen Truck & Bus is at the forefront in Europe with far more than 200,000 networked trucks from MAN and Scania.

As of 2017, every new truck from the production line will be online. For this reason, Volkswagen Truck & Bus has announced that it will make a three-digit million investment into digital technologies. Today, more than 300 employees at MAN and Scania already work on digital innovation.