Startup TextLocate Seeks to Improve Freight Tracking

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In today’s digitally connected world, the status and location of most freight shipments can be immediately determined by GPS trackers, phone apps or simply making a cellphone call to the trucker hauling the package for delivery.

But not every trucker has the software or the desire to respond to phone calls en route to track where they are.

To help fill that void and still allow freight brokers to keep track of their shipments, Chattanooga businessman Ryan Rogers and a pair of local programmers have created a text messaging service that allows truckers to quickly verify their location and more easily communicate any problems in their deliveries.

The new venture known as TextLocate is the brainchild of Rogers, a 20-year veteran of the trucking and logistics industry who developed the new technology and business since leaving his post as chief transformation officer at Covenant Logistics in January.

“We launched this a month ago and we already have freight broker customers ranging from $50 million to $500 million a year,” he said. “We’re really growing rapidly and see a lot of opportunity for this service.”


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Rogers bills the text feature as a “superpower for check calls” and is marketing the product to freight brokers and logistics companies across the country with a variety of monthly pricing options for the service. There’s no app to install and the text link is simply a one-time location check-in to see where the freight item is moving on the truck route.

Rogers said his goal with TextLocate is to help solve the challenges of the modern supply chain.

“We want to be the solution to what has become the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the logistics industry — quickly and easily locating freight without the hassle of expensive technology,” he said.

Rogers says TextLocal reduces the frustration of making call updates with truckers, who may be unable or unwilling to answer their phones or be bothered with repeated calls.

The process allows a logistics operator to load the driver’s phone number into the ID network to allow for a one-time location update using proprietary developed workflow as a text message to the driver. The message includes the company name, unique load ID along with a message requesting a one-time location update.

“If you look at the current landscape of logistics providers, over 80% of them are using outdated processes and phone calls to receive location updates,” Rogers said. “These check call methods are often inaccurate because of lag time and unknown location data and general location updates — not precise GPS. TextLocate’s workflow utilizes text messaging to a driver’s mobile phone to obtain a one-time location ping so that logistics providers can make better-informed, real-time decisions.”

Although there is still no guarantee that all of the independent truckers will participate, Rogers said the simplified process makes it easier and less obtrusive for truckers to respond. All the driver has to do is click the hyperlink within the text and approve the one-time location update.

Rogers has worked at both of Chattanooga’s biggest trucking firms, serving as chief operating officer for U.S. Xpress Enterprises from 2012 to 2015 and as chief transformation officer at Covenant Logistics from 2018 until earlier this year, and also previously worked for Amazon, Trucker Path and Transcard.

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