The Evolution Of the Freight Exchange

In the current haulage panorama, the freight exchange can be considered one of the most useful and valuable resources. By bringing customers and drivers closer together with the help of technology, this type of platform helps both parties achieve their objectives in speedier and more streamlined ways. Overall, it is easy to understand why this particular resource has been capturing the favour of both clients and hauliers, and why professionals expect it to play a significant part in the future of the industry.

What many of the parties making use of the capabilities of a freight exchange may not be aware of is that systems of this type have been around for far longer than anyone might imagine. Despite having been potentiated by the rapid technological developments of the last 20 years, this type of service is actually far more steeped in the history of the haulage sector than might at first be thought. Below is a brief overview of how this type of platform evolved over time, from its beginnings to its current state and position within the industry.

From France With Love

The type of system known today as a freight exchange had its origins in France, in the mid-1980s. At the time, the platform was named Teleroute, and it was part of the Minitel system, one of the most successful pre-Internet worldwide communications systems. Curiously enough, the company itself still operates today, under the same name and within the exact same field – only the service itself has changed, with the advances brought about by the last two decades of communication technologies.

The principle behind this early incarnation of Teleroute was simple, and continues to govern this type of platform to this day; basically, freighters and companies needing transport services would advertise on a communal board, which could then be accessed via a special Intranet. In this way, drivers could pinpoint business opportunities in their area and, if they so desired, respond to the ad and vie for the job.

In subsequent years, this model became popular in other countries, with some of the more centralised European countries using it as a tool to ensure the State continued to control the economy. As technology progressed, so too did the system, until the advent of Web 2.0 eventually morphed it into what we understand as a freight exchange nowadays.

It is clear, then, that this type of system has a far more storied existence than most people would be led to think – and, to judge by their current success, that trend seems likely to continue in the near future.

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