I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Leto, CEO and founder of Emerge, a company reinventing freight procurement. Andrew has an impressive background as a serial entrepreneur in logistics and technology.

Andrew has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and curiosity about business. As a young man serving in the Navy, he voraciously read every business book he could get his hands on. One book that had a profound impact on him was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It introduced him to ideas that helped propel him to start his first company without any money after leaving the Navy.

In the interview, Andrew shared insights into the traditional freight procurement process and why it is ripe for reinvention. Most shippers rely on emailing Excel spreadsheets to a limited number of carriers when procuring transportation. This locks out the vast majority of capacity from even bidding on the freight. By bringing more carriers into the bidding process through an online platform, shippers can achieve 10-15% lower pricing simply due to increased competition.

Emerge is tackling this problem by providing an online marketplace where shippers can run procurement events to source truckload, intermodal and drayage transportation. This benefits both shippers through lower rates, and carriers by accessing new freight opportunities that better fit their networks. Andrew is passionate about increasing efficiency in the highly fragmented trucking industry.

The interview also delved into opportunities around more efficiently utilizing private fleets and dedicated capacity. A significant percentage of private fleet trucks travel with empty backhauls, representing underutilized capacity. Emerge's vision is to connect this capacity to other shippers' freight needs through the marketplace. This could drive down transportation costs even further across the industry.

It was fascinating to gain Andrew's perspectives on reinventing an area as fundamental to supply chains as freight procurement. Emerge is pursuing an ambitious goal that could transform how transportation services are procured for the benefit of all players. Their efforts showcase the potential of leveraging technology and marketplace forces to increase efficiency in logistics.