The Future of Freight is Digital: Insights from Cargobot CEO Fernando Correa
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This episode features Fernando Correa, CEO of Cargobot, discussing how he is using technology and innovation to simplify freight transactions between shippers and carriers in Latin America, North America, and Europe. He provides insights into market expansion, cultural differences, and his vision to create complete transparency in freight through digitalization. Listen to learn how data and relationships are transforming the industry.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SBI Logistics and I am your host, Blythe Brumleve. I'm happy to welcome in Fernando Correa, CEO and co-founder at Cargob ot, and we're going to be talking about freight data, AI, and the growth of shipping relationships within Latin America, which is a story that just keeps popping up in freight, so I'm excited to really dive into this topic with you today. So, Fernando, welcome into the show.

Fernando Correa: 0:35

Yeah, hello. How are you? Thank you so much for joining me, and it's a pleasure to share my experience and my story.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:42

Absolutely Now, for folks who may not be familiar with your journey, your career back story, can you kind of give us an insight into how you ended up in logistics, because I always think that's a fascinating story.

Fernando Correa: 0:54

Oh yeah, especially when you think as a media. At the beginning it was an accident, but I wasn't. I think it was a great decision. My background is in consulting. I have been working in implementing so many different software solutions, implementing ERP platforms and with an expertise in supply and chain, and I used to work for Microsoft, siemens, all big corporations. But the reality was an accident because my wife, she's running a freight broker and one of the reasons that she said to me why we cannot do something together, why we cannot get the knowledge that I know and your corporation and also the way that we can have different automations and create more efficient relationship between shipments and carriers. And that's the story, and I want to say that it was a love story, but I was a very entrepreneur, considering that you're working also at the same time with your wife.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:57

Yeah, because it's definitely one of those I think a lot of folks will say don't ever work with family, don't ever work with close friends, that kind of thing. But you guys just dived right into it.

Fernando Correa: 2:08

Yeah, I know that is true. If I have to be honest, that was my first negotiation that I had to explain to her, because we have different visions. Sometimes she's completely more organic and more digital. Sometimes you need to know exactly and you have to make sure that we are in the same page all the time, but it was a big challenge. But, if I have to be honest, I think it was the best decision that I ever had in my life and I had the opportunity to apply all the knowledge that I had in my background and analyze in opportunities, understanding what's going on also with the freight industry, especially here in the United States, and also operating a new market. That it was incredible as well. But today I have to say it was the most important decision that I ever had, especially in the last 10 years.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:02

And so what were those I guess those early things that your wife was talking about, that you said. I think I can find some digital solutions to this.

Fernando Correa: 3:13

Well, the reality, one of the decisions, that at the beginning I was all the time traveling because I was in Charlottes South American market, latin American market and I spent all my life traveling. And she said come to my company, we can grow the company together. That is the main message. And I decided to land to the company and I explained to her okay, if I am jumping to freight business, definitely first of all we have to grow the company. We need to apply a different concept in terms of corporate decision. And she said, okay, let's do it. And I was learning, I think, at the beginning, my first stage I need to learn is not when you are a consultant. It is a little different because you are creating efficiency, but you are detecting inefficiencies and talking with her, learning how do you need to sell? The way that you are moving the freight, for me was very surprising, because when you were trying to close a transaction, you don't know the carrier you have no idea really who is the carrier that he is moving the freight from the shipper side and you are closing the transaction by phone, by text message, by email. And it was for me it was very unusual, right, because everything that I am doing in my life, in my background, has to go through the flow, right. And that is and I remember working at the beginning with her we had one of the biggest, the important experience that I had I lost a track. Okay, I was in charge making phone calls, going through the tracking system for the track, and most of the time when you are trying to find where is your track, you have to go through a phone call but you don't have the answer. You feel desperate, right, and it was a very complicated weekend trying to find the track. I was updating the shipper, the shipper didn't get the real-time communication and for me, what's going on here Is something wrong. Right, is everything is doing manually. And now we are talking about, you know, relationship that it doesn't exist. You know, I think it's that we have an amazing opportunity to create innovation, and that's when my head was thinking how can we organize a completely different marketplace, how can we connect shippers and carriers? You know, because I detect a lot of things going on at the same time is a huge fragmentation, and why we cannot standardize the relationship between shippers and carriers. And this is when was my first initiative to say why we cannot organize completely tech company that is freight oriented, with a lot of services, that everything that you learn, give me your knowledge. I can put the technology and at the same time, we can create completely different vision and we can attack the business in completely different perspective, and that was the reason that we create Cargobot.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:26

And so did you ever find the truck?

Fernando Correa: 6:28

I found it.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:29

Nice. That's good. So eventually you found it. But through that problem the solution presented itself with Cargobot.

Fernando Correa: 6:37

But you know what? I found it. But two days later and two days later, because it was a fight between the driver and the dispatcher, and the driver left the truck in one truck stop and nobody can connect. Where was the truck? You know, after an investigation we found that again, this is too much for me, this is too much for the industry. I can't believe that shippers were trying to find the truck. So maybe, even if we are talking about brokers or whatever it's complicated, it's a lot of people in this industry. But at the same time, I think we have been learning a lot. I don't know exactly what happened today and most of the time when you want to apply innovation, I am completely understanding what is the vision. You know, vision is going farther right, so that you're creating the future. But sometimes we need to combine the future with the present, because we need to educate the people, and the educational process is long and costs a lot of money. But at the same time, we have the right combination of understanding what is the real present, that you need to apply technology. This is when you can be successful. Otherwise, you know, you can be super. You can think all the time in the future. But the future is never up here, right. Never come to you to say, ok, definitely, I want to adopt your technology moving freight, because it's complicated.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:15

And so how did you, I guess, make the transition from booking freight and trying to track these different shipments into building software?

Fernando Correa: 8:24

Yeah, well, first of all, you know I had different conversations with different shipments. You know, because, for me, the most important for the first two years running in a traditional broker, for me, it was an amazing experience that I was all the time talking with them, understanding the pain points. How can we convert pain points in game points? But I would like to know, you know, if they really needed it. I think the most important, when you want to create innovation, you have to think all the time what is the value proposition that you're creating for the industry? Right In another side, I was all the time talking, creating different focus group as well, talking with carriers or operators. I was all the time with them. I, you know, I have been inside of the cabin of the track. You know understanding, you know what is the main goal that they're looking for, because they're looking for shipments, right, and they need to make sure. You know what happened next. This is never stopped. It's not the freight that they are moving or the shipment they are moving with you. Is the next shipment that they need to move, with you or with another place, another broker right, or another carrier, another shipper. Well, in that case, you know understanding, you know the all different realities. I thought the first version why we cannot trade the preferred world okay, and the preferred world is something beautiful because you can say, okay, I have the shippers pain points and also, at the same time, I have the carrier pain points. And also I understand that we have a lot of, you know, middleman in the middle, why we cannot create a marketplace that we can connect shippers and carriers to go direct right. You know the first version was in that direction but you know it, it, it, it, it, it would. I think at the beginning it wasn't working at my expectations. And this is when you need to learn because shippers were not using the technology. You know, carrier, they were updating. You know they're profiling the technology that they couldn't, you know, attend the way that I was. You know, drawing the process. And this is the first version. The second version was more flexible. Okay, it took me at least two years running the company. You know understanding what's going on. You know creating different. You know functionality adjustments. You know why shippers are not tagged, why carriers sometimes they have a little resilient to be into the technology and I was adding different options. And I think today, after seven years running the tech industry and the tech freight industry. I think I can consider that we have a lot of expertise but not knowledge, and I believe that we are going in the right direction.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:44

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches, sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom. There's a lot of tools that have been on the market for a while to showcase visibility, to showcase tracking shipments. You mentioned yourself how drivers and carriers are apprehensive to install another app. They don't want big brother watching them. So how do you balance what the shippers want versus what the carriers, I guess, maybe don't want at times?

Fernando Correa: 12:59

Yeah, and then I think it's a great question because that is the reality. I think seven years ago we had a lot of fragmentation there on the time of carriers. We had a lot of fragmentation of broker as well, and we had a lot of fragmentation of shippers. That is the reality and it was very complicated to stand right that process. Today I have to say, seven years later, that we had another component, and the component is a lot of fragmentation of technologies. There's a lot of companies where you're talking about $3.6 trillion in that differential capital in the last seven years invested in this industry, and it's a lot of technology. I think that is a little confused because you have a low board. You have like a TMS, you have a marketplaces, you have digital brokers, you have a. So we are trying to adopt what is our category right, but I think, in the way that we have been developed, we draw the right flow and that is the truth. How can we post shipments? How can we create connections with carriers? How can you verify the profile of the carrier? That is important for us because the disability is important. At the same time that you have a combination of a bidding process, contract liens is a lot of things going on in the process, but my question all the time was why? When I am thinking, why shipers are not tech? That was a very important question, right. Why shipers are not using technology. Why shipers, all the time that you're communicating, all the time with emails and because that doesn't matter, you can be overfraid, you can be, you know, you can be a convoy, you can be traffic, etc. All the typical companies that you're using. They have a great technology that the reality is shipers cannot be into the all different logins you know, using the main passwords to post a shipment, right? And this is the first time that I thought, okay, let me get one technology that is for shippers, not for me, not for myself, not for Cardiobot, not for my purpose that I want to be the main provider for that specific shipper. Let me understand that they need to move with somebody else at the same time that we can create only one platform that they can connect their contact, their relationship, that they have been doing for many years. At the same time that we are doing with us, we can connect our digital connections. We have a different partnership and, in the end of the day, today Cardiobot is more like a plugin. We have the main process and now we are connecting different plugins to our platform because we want to be smart. We don't want to be using the traditional way to go through the low boards get one shipments, get one track. No, this is not our main goal. Our main goal is okay, let's create the right network, let's connect different sources and different data, because we are manipulating a lot of data and we need to convert the data and information. This industry is a big data and that is big data. Sometimes it's complicated. How can you have the right interpretation of the data? And the shipments are a little. Sometimes they have no idea exactly why the fluctuation of the rate is going back and forth all the time and why. Capacity is a big issue and this is again one of the reasons that we are simplified in that process. It's one of the goals that we have today. For example, we have an API integration with a tracking platform and I'm not worried about it. It's more like okay, this is the goal, this is another technology. Let me connect that technology with my technology and we can guarantee the 80% of the digital transactions in terms of the tracking system. In another side, let me connect with a capacity tool. We did it. Let's go ahead and which one, which company is the right one that I can be important for our technology and we can connect digital capacity to our platform? Okay, at the end of the day, all different plugins are for only one purpose. How can we move the shipment to the shippers but in another side, create like a different algorithm and a different strategy? That is part of our recipe. That I cannot say what is the formula of my recipe, otherwise I will be in trouble, but that is the way that you need to understand, because it's an amazing technology out there. The problem is, it's impossible that you can think I am the only one technology and shippers need more than one provider. That is the truth, because we're fighting with the same capacity, all of them, right?

Blythe Brumleve: 18:36

And so with your platform you mentioned it almost being like a plug-in marketplace, where different you can plug in different technology systems into Cargo Bot and then the shippers have a resource that can simplify the data, simplify rate fluctuations and educate them on all of those different variables. Am I understanding it correctly?

Fernando Correa: 18:59

That is correct, because we launched a new platform that is a master planning tool, and that master planning tool is an important. This is the first concept that you, as a shipper, can see your capacity in a calendar. That no capacity. Your shipments in your calendar will all different status. You can navigate. We are providing an amazing tool for requests, for quoting the RFQs, that you can lock rates for one quarter if you want, and the algorithm is doing everything by itself. And our focus right now is how can we help shippers to optimize their capacity with a master planning tool but at the same time, we realize guess what? Why we cannot give the same tool to move shipments with their actual brokers or carriers. Why not? Because they are doing it, and the only thing I will be another one but is their decision. They want to move with us or they can move by themselves making the decision? The only thing we are facilitating a lot of data, and that data is important for them. Let's do it. But at the same time, it's very important for us the digitalization I need to convert shippers in digital. That is the only way that we can optimize everything that we're doing with our back office operation, because on another side our back office operation is connecting with. Today, for example, if you post a shipment with us, we have the visibility for more than 400,000 carriers, just like that. At the same time, we are optimizing a parentee or pairing with carrier that we have in our network that they can be interested to move that freight because we know exactly what is their preferences, that they are looking for. On another side, we are matching with rates. Sometimes we are not the best one, definitely not. Sometimes we don't have the network to move the freight for the lowest rate. But sometimes, by the point is, we want to make sure shippers are tagged at the same time, that we have the opportunity to understand the freight that we can move with marker rates. We are not doing my recalls right. That is the most important. So we are trying to be responsible with the freight, with also at the same time, with the rate, with guaranteed capacity.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:54

Break it down for me from a workday perspective If I am a shipper versus a carrier. I am sitting down at the computer and I am getting ready to maybe create a master plan for my shipments, maybe for the holiday season or just the next month out. What does it look like from a workday perspective? Am I just having the cargo bot tab open? What am I doing from a shipper perspective and from a carrier perspective using cargo bot?

Fernando Correa: 22:25

It is important because you cannot be static in front of your computer because it doesn't work. We need to know exactly that. We have to open all different communication chains. Today we need to be communicated through email, through apps, through a text message. What's up all of the different traditional communication chain? I remember at the beginning we thought, hey, the future is the app. No, you know. Immediately realize the future is not the app. It is definitely a voice recognition, it is a text message. It is a combination of the real communication reality. We are moving all of our freight, the majority of them, using text message. It doesn't matter if you are using an email or a WhatsApp or if you are using a text message. The reality is shippers. They have a master plan. Master plan is a little more common. You need a desktop version, definitely because you need to open your calendar. You are going to assign everything. You have to do a couple of activities. The communication could be with whatever sort the important thing. Whatever interaction you are sending to the carriers, whatever interaction that you are doing with the shippers, the brokers, is in exactly the same way that you are doing. You choose your preference. When I do it with text message, send it with a text message. Right, in another reality we are applying different functionalities. That for us, definitely. As you know, artificial intelligence is extremely important in this industry as well. But chat GPD is revolutionary and crazy. Probably technology that we are a little scared about it because we are thinking we don't need people anymore. Right, because there is a lot of data, a lot of information. But the reality is it is a new advisor, it is a digital advisor that we are creating. For example, I am moving freight. I am doing with my people. They are not assigned. We realize we have another carrier that is optimizing the lane. We can give one recommendation. That recommendation is the way that we are activating the shipper. Guess what? We realize you are moving the freight. Why not? You can move with us or with somebody else that you can optimize your lane, because the reality is the majority of the shippers, the main driver decision is the rate. If we are talking about that, we have to guarantee very good customer service and the reality all the time. The most important reality is we need to find the best rate all the time for the shipment that we are moving, especially after the pandemic. Everything was crazy. Right, rates in the world are super high Right now. We are on a completely different perspective, but anyway, the reality is a digital transaction. You have your master planning and I choose how they want to communicate with them. We are connecting with our technology, our back office. Our back office is sending the shipment to our capacity that we have with different APIs and integrations and with different people. We are receiving a digital bid and we are sending the digital bid. We want to be digital. This is the main goal that we are looking for. We didn't create cargo for an organic or traditional way to move the freight. We want to do that completely different.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:24

More efficiently and it sounds like you are giving each of those different profiles from the brokers and the carriers and the shippers their own preferences and their own sort of you know, maybe personal AI that they can use to book their shipments. Is that a fair assessment?

Fernando Correa: 26:38

Yeah, that is the reality, Because I don't think shippers are really. They don't have enough time to create. They don't have time. I don't know why, if you see a shipper and you go directly and talk with them, the people behind of a big volume of shipment is nothing and they are not. And also, at the same time, they have differences on all of these, and that is they need an advisor and they need suggestions. They need to open their mind, trying to do something different. And this is a technology is if you apply the right technology with the right approach, and we need to simplify that information that we are collecting in all different sources. This is when we are getting the attention of the ship. I remember I saw many different platforms that they are. You know, honestly, they are showing you an amazing analysis about the predictions of what's going on with the price, but all the rates, but in reality, you need to be a you know, a Wall Street analyst to create that interpretation, and that is complicated. It's not easy. Okay, is the fuel affecting? Is not the fuel affecting? What is capacity? What's going on with when we have a big seasonality in terms of, for example, how is produce affecting the rates for drive achievement. That's what makes sense, right, but it's affecting the drive achievement as well, because the capacity is, you're reducing the capacity and if you combine everything that you put all together, this is when you have to give the right advice and in our case, we're thinking I prefer, we're a boutique service in the end of the day, creating, you know, more like a consulting interpretation of how can we optimize, you know, the volume of the shipments. You know how can you optimize your relationship that you need to have with your carriers. We are more like an extension of the shipping department and helping them. You know, with our marketing campaigns, we are activating a lot of things. You know only technology. We have social media announcing. We have, for example, one shipper that is moving three or four lanes of different regions and we are recruiting a carrier for them and we are adding to their network. This is when the algorithm is matching. But anyway, it's another thing going on at the same time and I think the way we build technology all the time with only one intention is digital transactions. We need. It's a long journey, believe me, with a lot of challenges that we need to understand, to learn about it, but I'm completely sure that we are close to the end of the journey, because digital wall is coming. It came seven years ago.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:06

And you had mentioned it briefly earlier. But with the rise of these large language models becoming more popular, more mainstream over the last year, it almost sounds like you kind of have already given that solution to shippers without them having to filter through all of their data through Claude or ChatGPT or Bard. It sounds like you kind of already have that solution for them.

Fernando Correa: 30:29

Yeah, I think it's how we have one of them. That is, we launched, you know, three months, two months ago, and we are in the soft launch. But Is that cargo?

Blythe Brumleve: 30:41

pool. I think that's what I was reading.

Fernando Correa: 30:44

Is cargo pool pool. Yeah, we have a cargo pool pool. That is another one. That is really good. That is completely different concept. I want to talk about it right now. But the solution that we create is something very unique for shippers. Very unique and because, again, I remember when I decided to create the cargo bar technology, thinking that I was the king of the shipping industry and organizing, at the same time, the preferred world for shippers and carriers. Guess what? It wasn't what I expect, and this is the best. You know, the best decision that I did is why? What's going on? Why they want to go through this preferred world, because preferred world sometimes in technology take time and it's a lot of Learning, learning.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:43

I think for a lot of these folks, like you said, they don't have a lot of time. They need to be educated, but what's the incentive for them to continuously learn and expand their knowledge? But it sounds like you're within the platform. It's providing that context to the rates and what's affecting them and, ultimately, their shipments.

Fernando Correa: 32:04

And also it's and again with the reality that you're trying to create something new for the industry, there's a lot of people that want to do the same. I probably don't know how many at the beginning is that when I was in the tracking show? I remember that we were the same digital provider, the native, that we were fighting at the beginning, 2016, 2017. And in 2017, it was a completely different perspective, but the main goal was I want to use, I want to create a technology for cargo, not for shipments. You know what I'm saying? Yes for carriers, because all the time, we were considering carriers more like in the partnership, but we needed it. Definitely. They were extremely important for us. We believed you need to protect the carriers, curriers they need to be happy working with us. But, at the same time, the technology that you were creating is only for our purpose. Shippers login, everything is happy. But if you don't login because we never thought why they don't login, and this is the reaction, because there's a lot of people doing the same and this is when you're creating this evolution. With this master planning tool, I think we are more flexible, more open mind, more generous in terms of data and technology and functionality and network and efficiency that we are creating Because we know exactly what happened with carrier. What is the reaction? What is the trend? What is the you have? Today? You have a new mode, that is digital dispatcher. Okay, let's go and connect with this digital dispatcher. We have API with a lot of ones, but in another side, we need to solve the problem with the shipper, and this tool that we create is very useful. We're not breaking relationships, we are adding a new one and, the most important, we are collecting data and we are putting that data in front of them in an extremely easy interpretation to make the right decisions.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:18

And so I want to switch gears a little bit to focus on sort of the growth of Latin America shipping solutions, the growing relationship. I think I just saw a news article the other day that shipments from Mexico are now the US as number one trade partner and it just overtook China, so there's a tremendous amount of growth going on. Can you give us a little bit of a sense of the history and what led us to this moment where we're now? You know Latin America is becoming the number one trade partner and realistically, you know, for North America it's the benefit to everyone.

Fernando Correa: 34:57

Absolutely. Yeah, we in reality, our technology right now is not only US. We localized our technology in Mexico, we are operating in Mexico. That is part of our strategy. But I think we did it from the beginning, you know, because our company is completely bicultural. We have like a different combination, but, you know, everybody is using different languages because we have a lot of fragmentation of languages as well in this industry. But the reality is, you know, north America is Canada, united States, and you know Mexico. That's a main. You know inland trade strategy. I'm not talking about you know what is the connection with South Latin America, colombia, chile, peru, brazil, all of them. Because in reality, that is true that we are increasing the import and export transaction between South America and North America, right, but you know, 125 or 150 miles away from the borders in Mexico, all warehouses are sold out, sold out. You cannot find any space down there. Okay, and that is again you know one strategy, because the cargo world right now is running operations in countries that we are very interested to move, right, okay, and then that is Mexico, that is United States and that is Canada. Today we're moving from Canada to Mexico City. We never did in the past. That is the reality. But today we're moving from Canada to Mexico City. We are moving from Mexico City, you know, or Monterey, or 150 miles away from borders, to different locations in the United States, and that is the reality. It's an amazing opportunity we have, it's very important, but you need to localize. You need to talk a lot with what is the cultural aspect for carriers in Mexico. That is nothing compared with the United States and you have to do to understand the same situation with, you know, mexican shippers. Okay, it's not the same. You have like a different rules.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:22

What are some of those?

Fernando Correa: 37:24

No, I think it's a, for example, you know, carriers are not, you don't have, you know, carrying insurance, for example. Okay, that is a complicated right and you have to go through the shippers. Do you have the policy of that? They have, like a, you know, for example, for security, the maturity of the carrier. They never drive during the night. Okay, that never happened in the United States, right? Because you want to drive during the night? Because then this is when you can go faster.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:53


Fernando Correa: 37:54

Yeah, and it's a lot of things going on that you need to understand.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:57

Oh, that's interesting.

Fernando Correa: 37:58

Yeah, yeah, for security. For many we activate. One of the options that we are activating is like a panic mode for carriers in Mexico and it's, you know, the way that they can feel and observe in. You know, observe for our people, the chasing case. They have a situation on the road that we can help them. You know it's more like a geolocalization. Using the carrier app is affecting a better interaction. I remember you know one of the cases that was very surprising for me. We have our technology running in Colombia as well. Right now we're moving freight domestic in Colombia with our technology and the carriers are using the app extremely well. They are super happy, you know, with the geolocalization because you are not having the interaction. You know that they are never receiving phone calls. You know they feel protected and at the same time, they are adding and uploading all documentation and for them it's a very, very usable right that is every country has like.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:05

So Colombian drivers are really excited about using this technology versus, like you know, us based carriers which are like no, no, we don't want any more technology.

Fernando Correa: 39:14

Yeah, or maybe they have a lot of one Right.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:16

Yeah, or we have too much, and it's that's interesting that that Colombian drivers are just 100% or not 100%, but just much more engaged and enthusiastic about it.

Fernando Correa: 39:27

Yeah, that is the true. That is the true, and that is another thing that you need to learn a little bit. And, by the way, you know, for new announcements, we sign on amazing, amazing. You know, acquisition, for you know, for operation in Europe, we are opening in operation in Europe. Okay, that is. I feel extremely happy about it. Probably I'm not thinking right now that I am starting the process, that we need to localize our technology and then we have to make sure that everything working well from the European Union regulation, but the truth is, I'm originally from Spain, by the way, and that is probably one of the reasons that I am. We're starting the operation in Spain, but, you know, with different customers in different locations in Europe, and I would be amazing and very important strategy for us, especially for the, you know, the coming future, and also with the combination that we have with, because moving freight in Europe at the same time that you can move freight in United States, north America, and you have, like, a different location. We are opening Peru as well in October and that is our big expansion that we are having right now and that is interesting. I'm super in love with this industry, by the way.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:46

That's amazing. I went to Peru. It was my first international trip ever and I fell in love with the country. I think I have a couple of mementos hanging up on my wall behind me, so I would love to hear you know what kind of freight facts do you have about Peru, Because I am all ears.

Fernando Correa: 41:02

Yeah, no, everything. Definitely every single in-land freight is in-land freight. We never. We have to make sure that we are covering the majority of our strategy up in operation with a partnership in a country that is not big too much, for example, peru, they have. We close an important, you know agreement with an important freight order. That is the partnership. They're using our technology. We're selling that transaction as a business model, but the important thing is that they're using the technology, that it was exactly the same strategy that we're doing in Colombia. We did in Colombia, but in the case that you know Mexico, united States, and you know Canada, this is the next country that we want to operate and also Europe is a country, is the regions that we want to operate. It's more like the main business that we want to create. But we have six business units in the company. It's not moving freight and that's it. We have you mentioned it before that you know. Another announcement that is a cargo ball pool. That is a cargo ball pool is a great technology that gives the opportunity to shippers to move consolidated refrigerator shipments and that is very unique. Right, it's complicated, it's not easy, you have a lot of restrictions. Okay, that technology it connect, you know, the agriculture department, in terms of the commodity, that they are compatible, and we regulate an algorithm and then you can pose for example, I need to move three or four pallets of avocado and then immediately the system is matching with another commodity that is compatible for that temperature. Okay, and what I mean, something that I'm thinking is important, when I was thinking that why we are creating cargo pull is for two main reasons, you know. The first one is cheaper. We're requesting hey guys, do you move LTE refrigerator shipments? Nobody want to use it. Right, it's complicated. But on another side, I thought, if, why we cannot, you know, create a virtual warehouse? Okay, because if we create a virtual warehouse, we have the opportunity to, you know, organize very well the transit time. You know the way that you're manipulating, you know the commodity. You're not going through cross docking warehouses, breaking the the temperature of the commodity, and I think it's that we can optimize that, creating very good value proposition In another size. I realized as well that a lot of shippers for different commitment that they have with their customers maybe they have five pallets and they need to hire a full truck, though, right, and they're paying a lot of money only for five pallets and this is why, if we are not doing something different, you know probably again I think that is the you know the reality of cargo pull that we love challenge and we are going on the top right. Yeah they're complicated, right? Is that why you cannot go through this? And the easiest part, right? But anyway, I think it's a lot of things going on, but learning, learning you know, and also applying strategies. And we're very conservative in terms of you know, the way that we're I am a consultant. I don't believe, you know, in transactions that we, that we are, that they are without profit, right, I believe in a company that you know. This is the goal, this is the focus, and we have to go straightforward for the goal that we're looking for. And this is objective, Everyone. They have the need of objective, right? But the important thing is, you know, value proposition, If I, if that is the only way that I believe in business, and sometimes we have different alternatives, that they are not working well, we need to adjust and we have to replace for another one. Okay, that's interesting. I think today we live in a complicated moment for a lot of companies. They're struggling, right, For many reasons, because they have been growing a lot. You know margin are too short right now in comparison with seven years ago and, at the same time, you know the, the, the, the strategy were more. You know market share, right, If I have, if I want to, if I want to buy the market. In terms of the Maya strategy, you know, sometimes I can organize my business in a different way, but I think it's. It's complicated, there's a lot of things going on in this industry and now we have to support each other. I have to be and I am the I'm completely open collaborative guy. I love strategies, I love partnerships, I love you know, how can we support each other? If we are trying to get digital transactions, Okay, I think it's, that is something that we're, this is the commitment, you know, not only for Cargobog, for all the companies. We need to be more efficient, Okay, we need to optimize so many different things because, in the end of the day, that is the only way that we can, you know, reduce the numbers of claim that we can reduce. You know a lot of scams that we have today. I don't know what happened in the last, last year. Everything is crazy and the weird. A lot of fraud, yeah, A lot of fraud. I mean you, but you have no idea they. If they apply their smart way to create a fraud, maybe they can create a much successful business. You know, because they're very smart right away.

Blythe Brumleve: 47:21

But anyway, that is Well it sounds like the, so that the common denominator really is because you have experience. You have unique experience where you're operating within the United States, but you're growing in Mexico, and so you have all of these different, these different components from a cultural perspective. You mentioned Columbia as well, and then now Spain. It sounds like there are some common threads, though, to pull from for all of these different regions of the world, where it's open communication. You know, adopting technology and trying to improve inefficiencies. Is that fair yeah?

Fernando Correa: 48:01

The only thing that I think maybe the, the at the beginning, definitely because we are an innovative company that we are is that we are a tech company providing freight services is probably something very different. We're not a freight company moving freight, no, we are tech company providing freight services. Okay, but the reality is I, it's, it's, it's. It's a long journey. In seven years we learned a lot of things, but today, with the, the curve of experience that we had in the last seven years, I am ready to attack new market because I don't want to repeat the same problem. Right, because the first of well, first of all, I had something in common that the majority of the market are running the business in the same way. You know, okay, that's perfect. But in another side, we have the positive problem. You know, knowledge that we can accelerate our strategy in one country. That is completely new. So I don't need to repeat my, my, my. I don't want to say my mistake, I want to say my, my, my, my experience, right, I don't want to repeat my bad things that I did. I want to replicate my good things that I did, okay. And then, when we're doing something like that, for example with operation I, when I am detecting a market, I have a very important vision. Now, how is the technology working? What is the cheaper expectations, how is the transaction going? What is the volume of the market? It's a lot of things that you need to analyze, okay, but then when we're landing to the country, we're prepared to do a lot of things. We are prepared, we are trying to, to be the top five, you know, digital company with innovation and the, and the majority of the shippers are super happy with that. They need it.

Blythe Brumleve: 50:03

And it almost sounds like that it collaborative mindset of what you're talking about, where you come in from the, you know, from the consultant experience, where a lot of it is initial Learning and then you apply the solutions. It sounds like that's exactly what you're doing from the freight experience experience as well.

Fernando Correa: 50:20

Yeah, that is a, yeah, that is a is a great, great comment, because you know we are creating technology with our own experience. We are not, we're not, we're not competing to get the best solution, tech solution in the world. No, we are Running the business and we are creating technology that we are completely sure Shippers and Kerry can adopt and the industry can use. And this is another concept that we have a right now, an important campaign, and you know I explain Shippers and Kerry, we're, we have the minimalist of tech. Our technology is like a simplifying Everything. Right, this is one of the goals and we need to simplify Absolutely everything. I don't want to have like a huge TMS with a lot of functionality because I need to have a lot of options that you know ship is required, because this is not our interpretation, because the reaction in the ship, in the users time point, is completely negative, and this is it again. We want to create a healthier relationship between users and technology, and Healthier is the way that you can have simplicity and we are simplifying. You know everything is not only in data. I'm simplifying the. You know the way that I you can have the access to your shipment, the way that I, you can Organize or reassign a new carrier, because the carrier call you and I have my, my tribe broken right and that this is the. This is our best practices. We are doing every day and that is the reason that we are an innovative company or tech company offering freight services, but I don't want to say I am a Tech company, that's it. No, with freight services.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:29

You're simplifying those freight decision-making and I think that that's that's a perfect segue into our last segment, which I have affectionately called the relatable eight, and so these are. I used to call this sort of the the rapid-fire questions, but they're they never really have like a simple answer to them. So I have this set amount of questions that I like to ask each guest that comes on the show now, and so a first question that I would like to ask and it's complete, well, not completely separate, but it's in addition to everything we just talked about, because I just looked up and we have been talking for 52 minutes so far flew by with all the insight that you've been able to share with us, which is super great, or which is a super great, which is fantastic from, you know, a podcast perspective, because there's a lot of value, and so, as we sort of, you know, close out the show, I have this eight questions that I would like to ask, if you're okay with that, and I am okay, I don't know.

Fernando Correa: 53:28

you have to say yes, yes, yes.

Blythe Brumleve: 53:31

Oh no, these are. You can definitely give a you know as long of an answer as as you feel is appropriate. So for this first area and you know, I imagine you don't have a hard out Within a couple minutes, right, Do you have a little the little flexibility? Yeah, yeah no okay, perfect, all right, good, okay. So first question in the relatable eight is how do you think about marketing when it comes to you and your company?

Fernando Correa: 53:55

Marketing. I think marketing is everything right. I Think it's show. It is what I'm talking about. Marketing. It's a. It's the only thing. It's. It's complicated sometimes with that as a see-of. The company I am all the time looking for results Immediately, immediately, is not connected with marketing. Marketing is they have like a different methodology, but honestly I think it's a. Marketing is extremely important. I don't If I have to be, and I think we spend a lot of money in marketing and also at the same time, you know, we're taking care of our image, our communication. You know it's everything is. You cannot give a very good you know presentation to the market if you're not taking care the marketing perspective. But it's super tactical and they are. They're getting a lot of you know inside Exactly from there. You know the strategy of the company, right?

Blythe Brumleve: 55:00

Especially if you're expanding to all of these different countries. I imagine you're doing something right.

Fernando Correa: 55:05

I want to say that I always, always in my Marketing director that he's all the time asking me Fernando, okay, let's do it, but uh, kill him every day. The only thing that I am happy is he's exactly the same like me completely bald. I don't think the stress is affecting his hair, right, but anyway, that is.

Blythe Brumleve: 55:29

That's a good thing, though, that you understand it from the the, I guess the level of the patience you got to have, patience when it comes to marketing, especially when you know you're founder led and you have great stories to tell. So over time, I'm sure those stories are just Impacting cargo bot and and help you guys continue to grow.

Fernando Correa: 55:48

Yeah, and especially when you want to talk hey, I have a new idea, he's, he's, are you serious? Yeah, and now we need to create a new name and we need to create a new, new communication study. And this is completely different. But I agree with you 100%. You have to be patient, you need to understand the time. Timeline is important, you know. If you want to be success, you have to understand that you need time and time is and. But you have to be focused in the study and the marketing Is extremely important for the study at the company.

Blythe Brumleve: 56:21

Well said, and so the next question in the relatable eight is what is your favorite social platform and why Is it LinkedIn?

Fernando Correa: 56:29

Is it Twitter? Well, depending of my my if I am resting, probably, is completely different if I am reading, for business, right and. But I have to say you know, I'm not, honestly, a lot very social media fanatic I'm. I'm I'm not very active in my posting, by the way, because I think it's I prefer to keep my Personal life a little. I don't need to say everybody if I prefer to send a picture directly to the people that I want to write a picture. Yeah, but I think it's. You know, instagram is. It's funny sometimes because the only thing I love sports, I love bicycles and low cars, you know, and when I am With my subject, I'm receiving a lot of posts with my subject, right, and this is the way that they can be relaxed, because they are automating the you know the algorithm. Right, they are sending to you exactly the information that you are familiar with or you are looking for and you feel comfortable. Anyway, I think they have to like it. They are all different social media the traditional Instagram, facebook, twitter, all them that they have like a specific, probably focus by. Yes, you know I like LinkedIn as well. You know, for professional career, I have a lot of articles that they're very, they're very good, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed when they want to contact in you because they want to say something else. Right, it's convenient, it's complicated, right.

Blythe Brumleve: 58:01

Yeah, LinkedIn DMs are a challenging place in order to manage that as a whole. Others is a whole other set of issues.

Fernando Correa: 58:09

Yeah, but probably if you wake up every day at the same time, 345 in the morning, and you say I cannot sleep. This is the question what is the, the social media that are you often in that period of time and I want to, I want to say the truth is Instagram, because I want to see something that I can Immediately, that is boring, that I don't have to be worried about it and I can sleep again.

Blythe Brumleve: 58:31

Yes, exactly. I know there's a lot of a lot of people that say you know, don't sleep with your phone next to you, or don't you know? They don't want you looking. The health advisors say don't look at your phone, you know if you're trying to fall asleep, but my phone helps me fall asleep a lot and I think it's to your point of what you just said. It's stuff that interests me and it's you know. I'll look at it until I'm too tired and to just fall asleep. So it's almost like over consumption in a digital format. All right, next question is what is your favorite sass tool that you use every day? That's not your own.

Fernando Correa: 59:08

Wow, my sass tool that I'm not using every day. Okay, if I have to be honest, I Think it's at the majority of the time I'm using our tools and not creating. you know, maybe maybe like a slacker if the question is what is your the most useful corporate Corporate tool? I have to tell you Excel, right, because I have to analyze numbers all the time and then I have to see projections and who is the gold and what's going on. You know we have everything on the cloud and we are more in the Google perspective, and then we have a Google Drive and we have everything on the on On the cloud. But I don't really I use our technology a lot, so most of the time on my technology, you know I'm using the typical Office suite that they can combine your, your life with analyzing data and interpretation, but I Don't want to say that I'm using Another tool, if I have to be honest.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:15

Yeah, I mean a excel is definitely. I think it's probably the original sort of sass Best of tool, if I'm thinking of it, out of all the platforms that exist. Maybe email you can technically consider as a sass tool, but for getting things done and analyzing what's been done, I think Excel is still at the top. There there's.

Fernando Correa: 1:00:36

You know, until something can dethrone it, which I doubt, you know anything even Even if Google thing that because I am, I love Google, right, and now we have a lot of things and a lot of going on with Google, but if I have to be honest, I prefer the excel in comparison with the Google shit.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:00:53

Oh yeah, you know.

Fernando Correa: 1:00:56

That is no personal. Maybe it's interesting why.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:01:00

The formulas, the ease of creating those formulas and sheets. I fully agree. I am. 90% of my businesses run through Google Drive, but that 10% is run through Microsoft Excel. Exactly Okay. Next question Favorite freight business that isn't your own?

Fernando Correa: 1:01:22

Well, favorite freight business in terms of, because I think the favor is everything that you can accomplish as a dream right and, for example, you know, the first time that I saw my first cargo pull shipment, it was like a dream right. It's complicated and I think and I have to say you know, I love everything that we are doing in terms of freight. That I love it's more full track load probably this is more my, when I can detect the fragmentation. I think it's LTL is more regulated because you have a lot of it's more than my contract right and it's not. It's probably more better organized. I don't want to say it is a little more organized and I like the unorganized things because we need to organize and I have to say that a full track load and the LTL refrigerator shipment is something amazing and this is the, you know, the top of the freight that I love Is a lot of challenges that we have in this industry, especially with Rage that is a lot of. For example, you were talking about what's going on with, you know, latin America, and Latin America and also Europe move a lot of rage in the United States because they are sending a lot of containers and that we have a lot of problem with capacity. It's complicated because it's something that we need to think about, and then the next step is I'm running right now my mind how can we solve, you know, the trade ecosystem?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:07

So finding, finding more of those tough problems to solve. I think that's your, that's your MO so far. It sounds like in the interview.

Fernando Correa: 1:03:16

Maybe I need to simplify my version.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:03:20

No, it's good, we need people that want to tackle the tough things. So that's you know. Freight is always changing, it's always challenging, so we need the folks to tackle the tough things too. All right, last few here. What's one task in your current job that you can't stand doing? You cannot stop doing or you can't stand it, you hate it.

Fernando Correa: 1:03:41

You hate it, jesus. Oh my God, I think I'm super passionate and I love everything I'm doing. You know, I don't think. I, yeah, I awake every day with a super happy I don't know why, Even if we are running startup, that is, you have a lot of challenges. You have no idea how many times I have been with. Oh, my God, I think I don't have any of money for the next month. Let me go ahead and we have to organize. You know what happened, but I'm there. But no, the reality is, I think, as I am in love with what I am doing, Sometimes, you know, I, I, I. All the time I explain to my people that I don't want to have employees, I want to have believers. I want to have people that believe in the vision of the company, Even if I am very passionate or not. My point is that I think it's that we have to do and everything. If you are in carcass, it's because you want to transform the business. If you want to move afraid, go to another one. This is not the way that we are moving our freight, but maybe sometime. Hey, what's going on with when I have different committees and I have a lot of one, by the way and sitting in front of the different leader of the business unit? Hey, you're the CEO of your business. What's going on with your results, why you are not accomplished. Now, that conversation is not. It's part of my, my job, right, but but I am doing it in a in a positive way and I'm creating best practices. What is not working well? What do you think we can have together? How can we organize a different strategy? I like the people that are consistent. That is my goal at the time To be consistent. And then you have to, you know, to be completely loyal to your journey. Otherwise, I cannot go through different strategy and apply in different strategy and say, hey, I'm here because I want to be different. No, but I think I'm in love with my life, if I have to be honest.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05:45

So passion and positivity and challenging and solving those challenges, challenging freight problems.

Fernando Correa: 1:05:52

Okay, Probably because I am at my. I have been 25 years in consulting Right, and if you are a consultant, you are solving challenges right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:02

All the time.

Fernando Correa: 1:06:03

And then you're in front of the problem and you give the solution. Probably a solution, probably a solution have been part of my life, all my year, all my, all my life, and that is a but. Anyway, again, positive things is important. Yes, I got it, no way.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:17

Right, so that's good. That's a great answer for that one. All right, we got a few more. If you didn't have to worry about money, what would you do for the rest of your life?

Fernando Correa: 1:06:28

Oh, my God, for the rest of my life, I think probably traveling, and I love to travel, but important thing maybe I need to add, traveling with my bike, because I love my bike and that is something that I really did in the past many years. I have been, you know, taking my bike and climbing the mountain. Because guess what I think it's, I have something is is you have a great comparison where you're climbing a mountain, you feel by yourself, I cannot do this. I cannot, you know, get the top of the mountain. I feel I want to abandon, I want to say goodbye, and this is more the thought of the entrepreneurs, right? So you're all the time I cannot. Sometimes, you feel you feel by yourself that I hey, what is next? I have no idea, and that is probably my, my consistency is connected with my, the way I am suffering with my bike climbing a mountain. That sometimes is not really happy. I'm not really happy, yeah, but I think, definitely traveling, having experiences with. I love motorcycles, I love, you know, cars, but definitely traveling around the world.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:07:48

But, but to your, your point about climbing that mountain is as soon as you get to the top, you're so glad you did it and you're looking for the next one, which I think is a perfect, you know, sort of comparison to the entrepreneur journey. Okay, last two. What's something that you believe in that most people don't?

Fernando Correa: 1:08:09

Okay, I think it's probably I don't know, I don't if they don't dump, because that is very personal, but I believe in in the, in the, in a dream. I think it's. If you have the power of the intention that you put a dream in your mind, you can. You can that that dream could be real, probably. I have to say that I'm living American dream. I'm not sure you know, but probably yes, I'm living my American dream. By the way, and and I believe in the dreams, I am super. That is the way. That is the most important. Maybe you know, learning that I had in my life Everything that you put in your mind as a dream. You have to follow your dream and that sometimes people are not, for whatever reason. You know they don't believe in the dream, they're negative. The way that you express yourself, the way that you use your vocabulary. That is extremely important. You know you have to be positive. We are energy right. If you're not creating good energy, I don't think that you can do something good.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:09:22

And you definitely want to attract good people around you if you have a lot of bad energy. And so final question what is your favorite supply chain or logistics fact?

Fernando Correa: 1:09:35

Wow nice.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:09:38

You did give us some good ones earlier about, you know, mexican drivers not being able to drive at night versus US drivers. We were going to, you know, probably find every way to be productive in order to, you know, get the freight there faster. So what are maybe some other logistics facts from you know, building offices all around the world?

Fernando Correa: 1:10:01

Yeah, I think it's a I want to. Probably I want to have the real. When you're talking about digitalization, you're thinking that you have you don't have a lot of people behind, right, and most of the time, a lot of companies. If you compare with the numbers of employees that they have. A lot of companies. It's not connecting very well that the digital transaction is coming with 500 employees, right, and I think my dream in terms of everything that we're doing is a real, real, real digital interaction. You know she proposes shipments. Carriers can have the visibility and they can accept, they close it, they can chat, they can. You know. Finally, the carrier shipments can try the shipments with the people observing. You know I love the way that we are observing. We're observing that everything is going fantastic and that is my dream. You know, like and give it, get collecting data. You know, organizing a lot of dashboard and giving them the alternative to, for example, that is amazing that all different shippers that have been in front of all biggest, you know, smaller shippers. They don't have, if I have to be honest, a performance review or performance indicator. You know, by carrier right, they don't have dashboard, dashboard that are completely dynamic. You know, and given the right information and understanding what happened, what's going on with their capacity. I saw many different shippers that hey have. My CFO is asking me for the for the you know the budget for next year in shipping and I have no idea, you know. And again, I would like to have more transparent visibility about the real industry, with data that we can provide great information for shippers and also great information for carrier too. Both are extremely important, but I would like to more transparency. I would like to have more transparency between shippers and carriers in both sides. It's not only in this one side, because I think you know the way that you have in the carrier side that they have to be more transparent. And anyway, I think my goals and with all different countries, when you can see the map, I would like to see all cargo bottles everywhere. But the next step is the connection that created our own network to move inland and domestic freight in the all location that we have. You know this is the next revolution. I am, for example, europe moving freight in the United States, united States moving freight in Europe, but only in freight.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:04

And so that that's a pro's answer right there, because you tied in the logistics facts of you know for the customer perspective, and how you get to there is by listening to your customer, providing that, that data and that transparency. So great answers, great conversation all around. Fernando, where can folks follow more of your work, follow cargo by? You know all that good stuff.

Fernando Correa: 1:13:27

You can. What do you say?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:28

again sorry where can folks follow you follow, you know cargo by social media platforms.

Fernando Correa: 1:13:34

I think I have some social links. Yeah, we have. Everything is a wwwcargoio in and out, by the way, is not a traditionalcom is in and out. I also. We have LinkedIn, we have our profiling car go that. We have social media and Instagram, that we have Facebook. We have Twitter, we have I think we are everywhere.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:59

I think you're right. Yeah, because I see Instagram, facebook.

Fernando Correa: 1:14:02


Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:03

LinkedIn YouTube.

Fernando Correa: 1:14:05

Yeah, Mark, and the marketing perspective. I think I have a great marketing director that. I think we have been working together for many years and he's doing an amazing job with the company Awesome.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:17

We love to give the shout out to the marketing directors on this show. So, fernando, fantastic conversation. Thank you so much for joining the show and we'll be sure to link to all of those social media platforms and the website in the show notes so folks can check out more insight. But thank you again.

Fernando Correa: 1:14:34

Yeah, no, it was my pleasure. I enjoy a lot with this conversation. It was very, very interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:14:39

Likewise, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digital dispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan.

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.