Freight-tracking startup FourKites focuses on innovation, global expansion

On any given day, FourKites, a global leader in supply chain logistics, is tracking approximately 600,000 loads in 55 different countries through its multimodal real-time visibility platform.

Since its founding five years ago, the Chicago-based startup has landed more than 200 of the world’s largest shippers and counts Kraft Heinz, AB InBev, Land O’Lakes, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and ConAgra among its impressive client list. 

It’s no surprise that FourKites ranked high on the FreightTech 25 list again this year, securing the No. 8 spot on FreightWaves’ list of most innovate and disruptive companies.

“When FourKites was first founded, we were hyper-focused on solving the problem of real-time visibility for shippers wanting to track their freight movement, wanting to know where their trucks were and when they would arrive,” Priya Rajagopalan, chief product officer of FourKites, told FreightWaves.

Once the company was able to develop an effective solution to help shippers in the trucking space, she said FourKites set its sights on developing its real-time visibility platform for other modes, including ocean, rail, less-than-truckload and parcel delivery.

“With the huge volume of freight that moves through our platform, we are able to make proactive recommendations to shippers on what lanes are experiencing congestion, what facilities have the highest dwell times by the time of day or by the day of the week,” Rajagopalan said.

Startup FourKites continues to expand its supply chain platform to provide real-time data to its shipper and carrier networks. 

“In every industry, the largest shippers that transact inside the network are all on FourKites,” she said. “As a result, our network continues to grow as shippers want to add their suppliers on the network too. Not only do they want to have visibility of the freight they control, but also what freight is coming in from their suppliers.”

Since its launch in 2014, FourKites has secured more than $100.5 million in Series C funding to grow its global supply chain visibility network. 

The company now has more than 300 employees and continues to hire more engineers and data scientists to continue its global expansion plans. 

“We are now in Europe, Latin America, South Africa and are expanding into the Asia-Pacific region,” Rajagopalan said. “To be able to provide best-in-class multimodal tracking anywhere in the world is our top priority.”

The company is also investing heavily in data science as it expands its supply chain platform. 

“Data science is our fasting growing team within FourKites’ product development,” she said.

FourKites plans to expand its “zero-deadhead” initiative to help shippers share unused truck capacity, the company said.

Companies named to the 2020 FreightTech 25 were judged by an external panel of industry experts, with voting conducted and overseen by accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller (KSM).

Each member of the panel ranked their top 25 companies on a 1- to-25-point basis. The companies generating the most points make up the FreightTech 25.