COVID-19 generates white knights in freight industries

Several companies are going all out to help in times of COVID-19 (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a tsunami of supply chain issues never before seen. As countries shut down borders and as people quarantine themselves at home, the men and women in logistics continue to pull long hours at their workplaces, making sure essential commodities reach people on time.

Amidst this chaos, companies in the freight space are doing their bit by opening up premium subscriptions and introducing new services to make the lives of logistics personnel easier. FreightWaves highlights some of these good samaritan efforts.


On-demand warehousing startup Flowspace is offering companies one month of free storage and inbound transportation to nonprofits and organizations that are helping with COVID-19 relief efforts. Flowspace has built a system that allows companies to quickly find warehouse space without the need to be locked down with long-term contracts. The startup expects this service will help companies mobilize a fast and reliable supply chain that allows them to expedite storage and shipping. 


Predictive logistics platform FarEye has made its proprietary solution SERVE free to use for a variety of organizations, including delivery companies that supply essential goods to houses and hospitals, and other non-government establishments that act as first responders to the situation. FarEye leverages data and uses machine learning to optimize logistics operations by providing real-time visibility, driving seamless communication, and implementing single window workflows. 


ELD provider Konexial has announced a new telemedicine service called GoMedRx, which is designed to help its customers receive immediate access to medical advice. GoMedRx is an open platform service available to all drivers no matter which electronic logging device provider they use. The company believes that this service can help drivers determine their symptoms quickly and get immediate medical help if tests turn out to be positive. Drivers on the platform can ask for a telehealth physician to consult, with the average waiting time being 23 minutes. 


On-demand precision delivery startup Dolly has introduced a “no contact service” feature to protect both its workforce and the customers. This will allow customers to specify a prearranged location outside their house – like a garage, porch or a building lobby – where helpers can load, transport and drop off shipments. Several delivery companies have adopted this service, especially food delivery startups like DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub. 


Supplier discovery platform scoutbee has launched an online service that provides free help to organizations performing emergency sourcing of critically needed medical equipment and supplies, including surgical masks, hazmat suits, swabs and tubes, and hand sanitizers, among others. scoutbee uses real-time analysis of terabytes of global supply chain data to speed up the request for proposal (RFP) process. This has enabled companies to find suppliers 75% faster while keeping resources for the search to a minimum. 


Driver recruiting software company Tenstreet has announced free driver onboarding services,  enabling fleets to help drivers prepare quickly by shortening the time spent at orientation. Apart from quickening the pace of integration, eliminating the need to sit in class will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The services include a solution that allows drivers to access forms, training videos, and tests on their phones, an application that reduces back-and-forth exchanges for updating driver details, and a tool to upload documents and images via smartphones.