Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 80

going to the movies, and instead turned to online shopping. This prompted a stimulus check-led e-commerce binge, leading to an explosion in shipping, knocking the pace of the industry five to ten years forward.” 

However, this uptick in online shipping and demand created new issues, notably extreme congestion in shipping ports, a lack of drivers to transport goods, shortages, and other supply chain issues. Shippers needed data to manage the insanity of transporting goods in such a disrupted environment.

“Like most companies, we were terrified through the first few months of the pandemic,” Pickett admitted. “However, customers quickly realized how much they needed our shipping data and forecasting. They needed to know where demand was falling, where it was spiking, what the data was saying. This year beat our expectations as we learned that a change in past trends does not diminish the desire for information.”

This sought-after information comes from FreightWaves' flagship SaaS product, SONAR, a powerful freight market analytics tool and dashboard gathering billions of data points to provide a wealth of data in the transportation and logistics sector. The platform compiles time and geo-based data from all-things freight, including truck, rail, ocean, air, and warehouse. This data, collected instantly, helps companies decide timing, pricing, shipping routes, and logistics.

FreightWaves' data and forecasting tool wasn’t the only way the company showed resilience during the pandemic. The company’s online news site, FreightWaves.com, also pivoted the type of content they served to fit readers who found themselves with more time on their hands. 

“We started doing video news,” added Pickett. “When people went home, our video content and virtual events took off now that people had time to watch video stories. We found that video content resonated with people and was an effective way to condense and explain things in an understandable manner.” The news site is the leading provider of news and commentary for the freight space, serving up over 2.5M page views a month and over 1.5B monthly impressions.” 

Additionally, FreightWaves, like many companies, shifted from in-person event models to completely virtual events. They made events free to attend virtually, thus removing the cost-prohibitive nature of events and supercharging attendance. This led to more networking and satisfied sponsors.

Looking ahead to 2022, FreightWaves is hyper-focused on new environmental responsibility initiatives, reducing carbon emissions, and ethical shipping.