Major logistics and shipping firm C.H. Robinson has added a parcel option to its Freightquote self-shipping tool to better service small-to-medium-sized businesses, while also partnering with project crowdsourcing provider TaskRabbit to give them access to ecommerce fulfillment services.
At the same time, C.H. Robinson is adding a number of features and capabilities to Freightquote, including instant shipping options and real-time tracking across delivery modes. The cutoff weight for the parcel service is 150 lbs. Freightquote was a privately held freight brokerage business C.H. Robinson acquired in 2014 for $365 million.
Mac Pinkerton, president of North American Surface Transportation at C.H. Robinson, said the company had been receiving requests from SMB customers for help with the proper packaging of online orders to avoid unnecessary costs or even rejection by carriers when done wrong. Adding a services provider like TaskRabbit is an industry first.
“We wanted to find a way to solve this problem for them, so we approached TaskRabbit because of their unique model in providing trustworthy Taskers to help people with specialized tasks,” Pinkerton said, referring to TaskRabbit’s network of professionals. “It happens that at this same time TaskRabbit was seeking to expand its B2B offerings, so we both saw benefit in the partnership.”
Pinkerton said the new version of Freightquote with TaskRabbit was piloted this for a few months and received positive feedback. “TaskRabbit has been a fantastic partner and even in these early stages, it’s clear we have listened to our customers and created solutions they need,” he said.
A new location service in Freightquote lets shippers preemptively confirm to carriers whether an area is residential or commercial, while helping them avoid surprise service issues or additional charges while the shipment is in transit. And an interactive map feature uses satellite images to validate their location.
The tool also gives shippers access to temperature-control truckload services, and they can compare small parcel and LTL rates side by side to book the best option.
“We saw a real opportunity to drive value for small businesses through our partnership with C.H. Robinson,” said Diana Rothschild, director of strategic partnerships at TaskRabbit in a release. “We’re thrilled that they are our first shipping partner and look forward to working together to maximize TaskRabbit’s capabilities for small businesses as we continue to grow our services in the B2B space.”