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Flock Freight’s Software Pools Truckloads

SHIPPING: Reducing Diesel Emissions

Flock Freight is a company on the move.

Based in Encinitas, the freight shipping and logistics firm, founded on the premise of creating a cheaper and cleaner way of shipping freight, has grown at a rate that would be the envy of many.

Pat Dillon
CFO
Flock Freight

“We have really taken off in the marketplace,” said CFO Pat Dillon. “The reach of our work, where we serve, continues to get broader as we add more shippers.”

In April 2022, the company, which does business throughout the lower 48 states, opened a satellite office in Chicago with a staff of about 100, Dillon said.

“When you think about freight, Chicago is an important city,” Dillon said. “It was a logical next place to expand our presence.”

Flock Freight doesn’t own trucks, but its proprietary software allows shippers to pool loads on trucks that would otherwise be only partially filled, dramatically reducing diesel fuel emissions.

“There is a huge opportunity to reduce the environmental footprint,” Dillon said.

In 2022, the company arranged the shipment of more than 751 million pounds of freight, saving more than 31,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – about the same annual carbon emissions of 11,000 gasoline-powered vehicles.

Eco-Savings

Since it was founded, Flock Freight has prevented more than 53,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of 793,684 trees grown for 10 years, according to the company.

Carbon emissions are reduced because there are fewer trucks on the road.

“We have thousands of shippers that are utilizing our service today. That ranges from mom-and-pop, small local businesses to some of the biggest companies that utilize our technology,” Dillon said.

The company in 2020 was awarded B Corporation status for its environmental initiatives.

“B Corp is a high bar and it’s a really important credential for us,” Dillon said. “It’s a nice external valuation of a combination of all the things we’re doing here.”

Traditionally, when a company had something to ship by truck, they’d go to a shipping company that would use one truck to transport it, often leaving the truck partially empty.

Companies would wind up paying the full cost of using an entire truck even though they weren’t using all of it.

“With the Flock rate, we can give you a discount versus paying for the whole truck,” Dillon said. “The environmental stuff is really important to some. It’s not a factor to others. The economics is what carries the day-to-day, but the environmental value is a nice benefit. Different customers value that differently, but the economics have to be there.”

By coordinating shipments among different companies, Flock Freight fills the truck.

Changing Behavior

The idea behind Flock Freight’s business was a simple one, but executing it is a challenge that others have been unable to master.

“It’s a very complicated problem. I have to have data and machine learning to be able to know what the profitability is, that I will be able to get the assigned shipment, and that the second shipment and the third shipment have comparable delivery times,” Dillon said, adding: “We have the data. We have machine learning that allows us to do this.”

When Flock Freight raised $215 million in a Series D financing round in 2021, the company talked of going public. Dillon said that was the plan until the recent economic downturn. For now, the company is sitting tight.

“It’s still our base case to go public,” Dillon said, adding that the company hasn’t raised any new financing since the 2020 infusion.

“When the capital market environment turns, that’s something we’ll think more seriously about,” Dillon said. “We’re just going to do it when it makes more sense for Flock.”

Dillon said Flock Freight could grow even faster if more companies opt to break from the past.

“The only thing that really holds us back is that there are established ways of doing things, of shipping freight,” Dillon said. “It does take a while to change behavior.”

Flock Freight

Founded: 2015
CEO: Oren Zaslansky
Headquarters: Encinitas
Business: Freight shipping and logistics
Employees: 400
Website: www.flockfreight.com
Contact: 855-744-7585
Notable: Flock employees are called flockers.

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