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August 5, 2020 1:45 PM, EDT

C.H. Robinson Tweaks Freightquote for Small Businesses

FreightquoteFreightquote by C.H. Robinson

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C.H. Robinson launched a series of tech enhancements for its self-shipping platform geared toward small businesses, the company announced Aug. 4.

The upgrades for its Freightquote service are intended to further automate and simplify the shipping experience.

“From a single online portal, small businesses can now get more shipping options than any other provider has ever offered for everything from a single package to a full truckload,” Mac Pinkerton, president of the North American surface transportation division at C.H. Robinson, told Transport Topics.

Freightquote was updated to provide instant shipping options and real-time visibility to track shipments across all modes. The technology platform now lets users compare shipments and terminals. It also lets them hire freelancers to help assist with those shipments.

“When first launched, users were able to book LTL and truckload freight,” Pinkerton said. “But now with the newly launched features, they have more shipping options with small parcel freight and temperature-control truckload.”

Freightquote now lets shippers select whether a shipment is to be picked up or dropped, and from what terminal through the online portal. It provides real-time insights and costs for terminal locations. Shippers also can compare small-parcel and LTL rates side by side.

“No one else is providing the breadth of shipping options for small businesses that we now are,” Pinkerton said. “And these options provide needed flexibility for B2B small businesses focused on e-commerce as they face increased pressure to fulfill growing online orders.”

TaskRabbit partnered with the platform as part of the update so shippers can hire independent contractors through that service. Pinkerton noted his company approached the online and mobile marketplace because of its unique model in finding freelance help. The service immediately matches freelance labor with local demand.

“We saw a real opportunity to drive value for small businesses through our partnership with C.H. Robinson,” Diana Rothschild, director of strategic partnerships at TaskRabbit, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that they are our first shipping partner and look forward to working together to maximize TaskRabbit’s capabilities for small businesses as we continue to grow our services in the B2B space.”

TaskRabbit has never partnered with a shipping company in the B2B market. The new integration allows shippers to hire a freelancer to correctly package or palletize shipments. They also can move shipments to a convenient location for carrier pickup and help with moving and unpacking shipments.

“Our first-in-industry tech solution offers multimodal shipping options and allows the user to instantly compare competitive rates from high-quality carriers 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Pinkerton said. “Users can access it online with their phone, tablet or computer to book freight, track shipments, get proactive notifications and pay with a credit card.”

Pinkerton noted the new features were specifically created to fulfill needs the company was hearing about from small-business customers.

“C.H. Robinson often receives requests from our small-business customers asking if we have services to help them package their shipments for transportation,” Pinkerton said. “Many of them do not have the resources to properly pack shipments and avoid unnecessary costs or carrier rejection when not done correctly.”

C.H. Robinson ranks No. 7 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

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