New WHMA Supplier Member Puts a Spin on Logistics
By Joe Tito
We attend a lot of trade shows, and I inevitably run into folks who are in the business of logistics. The term itself puts me off a little, but I suppose it’s a lot shorter than saying ‘movement of goods in and out of your facility’. Inevitably a conversation ensues where I hear phrases like, “We collaboratively initiate out-of-the-box benefits on the 3PL and 4PL agile infrastructures.” Huh? Corporate doublespeak is a pet peeve of mine, and it seems pervasive in that industry. I think they do it just to mystify the whole process of inbound and outbound shipping.
That’s why I was so enthralled to have a conversation, in understandable English, with Chris Nadeau, CEO and Co-Founder of Haversack. The company describes themselves as a first party consultant. They work with companies to set up systems to handle their own logistics. It’s probably best to understand what Haversack is not. “We’re not a third or fourth party logistics company (3PL, 4PL), so we’re not a broker or freight manager. We’re a true partner who teaches companies to do it themselves,” Chris described.
Understanding how Chris and his business partner Wade Rogers came up with this truly unique concept in logistics will help you understand how it works. After a career in the Army, Chris met a VP from Conway Freight at a hiring conference. He decided to give it a try and was extremely successful for seven years. Then the company was sold, and Chris’s position was eliminated. He was doing some consulting when he came up with the concept of Haversack. “I found this incredible void with industry knowledge, and discovered that shippers were pretty much at the mercy of carriers and logistics companies,” he revealed.
Chris literally formed a company around the notion of giving companies the insider aspects of the logistics world so they can manage the task themselves. In addition to the knowledge, he brings along some dashboard tools for companies to use in their endeavors. “What we find is that if we take our knowledge, park it with them, and give them the right tools, they will be successful.”
(Haversack’s Software Dashboard)
Chris and his experts do an audit at no charge, and come back with a benchmark for savings. “Because we are a gain-share model, we get paid on the savings, so I don’t make any money unless you save money.” That seems to be what differentiates Haversack. “When a 3PL company says they’ll save you money, it’s counterintuitive because they get paid on how much you spend – the more you spend, the more they make,” Chris explained. “There’s really no incentive for them to reduce your spending.” Haversack has their own base tariff and fuel surcharge and they negotiate with all the major carriers.
That lack of transparency in the logistics world is a big part of what led Chris to create his unique approach. “We give you the same exact tools the logistics companies use and it’s all on your dashboard. We don’t manipulate the numbers – it’s all right there at your fingertips.” Haversack generally works on a 30 % gain share as their fee. Those charges adjust to any changes in savings. And they don’t require a contract. It’s all month-to-month. “A lot of people and thrown off by that, but I don’t need a contract – the system sells itself.” Chris seeks long-term relationships and he wants clients to see Haversack as part of their team.
Chris and his team help companies at all levels with truckload and LTL (less than truckload) shipments, but most of their work is with LTL. “Whatever the size of the company, we can help and advise. We have some small companies that may only have 30 LTL shipments per year, and we just handle those on a per-transaction basis.” For companies this size, Chris maintains it’s more about helping people than making money.
“When you start a business, you hope your model works and to date, it’s been pretty successful. We’ve had some amazing wins for companies in a lot of areas of logistics.” Chris says they’ve been called disrupters but he sees Haversack as innovators. “We are looking to upset the industry because we think if companies can learn how to manage their own logistics, they can gain an incredible competitive advantage.
So, if you are looking to “aggregate your alliances to collaboratively functionalize deployments,” then maybe Chris and his group at Haversack aren’t for you. But if you are looking to demystify the art of shipping, and learn to do it like the pros, I suggest you give him a call. Haversack is a supplier member of WHMA and has worked with harness manufacturers. Chris can be reached at 704-743-7825, or by email at . Visit their website at www.gohaversack.com.
Chris Nadeau, Founder and CEO of Haversack