Chattanooga-based FreightWaves, in a tap of the horn to Earth Day, on Thursday launched a new product for trucking and other companies to benchmark, monitor and forecast their carbon footprints.
The data-driven platform is aimed a offering shippers and motor carriers with automated carbon footprint calculations on a load-by-load basis or across an entire transportation network, said Craig Fuller, FreightWaves' chief executive.
"People want things delivered as soon as they possibly can," he said. "The problem is that the faster you ship goods, the more carbon emissions you're going to emit. The industry is under a lot pressure."
Called FreightWaves Carbon Intelligence (FCI), the new carbon monitor can provide daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual benchmarking reports, according to the freight data and analytics company. Shippers and carriers can see their carbon footprint reduction efforts against historical patterns and other industry participants.
"It will help them manage their carbon footprint," said Fuller, who founded the privately held startup in Chattanooga in 2017.
He said transportation companies are under the glare of the public coupled with increasing demands of regulators and government as well as investors and banks.
"Is the company doing more than maximizing profits?" Fuller asked.
For example, Chattanooga-based trucking company U.S. Xpress recently published its first corporate responsibility report, which it intends to do annually moving ahead.
Brad Carmony, a company spokesman, said the report shows the trucker's desire to improve in such realms as environmental responsibility, community engagement and corporate leadership.
The document highlighted U.S. Xpress' reduction in carbon emissions in its fleet of more than 6,500 trucks, in its maintenance facilities and at the company's headquarters.
Fuller said FCI is integrated into FreightWaves' SONAR supply chain intelligence platform. It can compare modes of transportation and make recommendations to mitigate carbon emissions and cut costs.
"It will help them monitor how they performed versus goals and forecasting," he said. "A lot of companies are really intentional to wanting to manage their carbon footprint."
Fuller said that while there are companies providing analysis to figure out their own emissions, they may not know what vendors and other businesses are doing.
"There's not a lot of visibility and transparency to it," he said. "We believe we've created a solution set that helps address this."
According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, freight transportation is responsible for at least 7% of global carbon emissions and expected to increase.
"Eventually, technologies such as electric and hydrogen vehicles will allow for carbon-free transportation," Fuller said. "But until that day we are forced to live with a paradox — how do companies cut their carbon footprint while responding to consumer demands?"
Danny Gomez, new company managing director of emerging markets, will oversee FCI, according to FreightWaves.
FreightWaves last year secured another $37 million in investment, vaulting it into the top 10 in venture capital raised in Tennessee. Fuller said the new investment put FreightWaves' total at about $76 million, with the latest infusion helping to fuel the company's growth initiatives.
The business had "a stellar quarter," he said, adding that "people are looking for real-time data."
In early 2018, FreightWaves won a Rise of the Rest venture capital competition for $100,000 headlined by AOL founder Steve Case.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.