- Transflo, a telematics company, has acquired Microdea, a Canadian document management company that services about 400 carriers, Transflo announced on Monday. Transflo declined to release the terms of the acquisition.
- Microdea has 70 employees and Transflo has 200. Microdea specializes in same-day billing, cash flow, driver recruitment processing, onboarding and driver file-management. Microdea's main software is Synergize, which it uses to manage documents and automate processes, according to its website. Frank Adelman, Transflo CEO, said the acquisition was made to grow into the Canadian market and expand Transflo's offerings within its own platform.
- Transflo's customers include shippers, carriers, 3PLs and drivers. The company has 2 million drivers as customers, servicing about 400,000 a week. Transflo processes about 800 million transport documents a year, related to about $84 billion in freight, said Adelman.
Digital processing of documents was in demand when COVID-19 arrived. The pandemic has accelerated shippers' desires to accommodate numerous carriers and their need for paperless transactions, Adelman said.
"The pandemic exposed a pinch point: signing the proof of delivery (POD) and bill of lading (BOL)," said Brian Fielkow, CEO of Jetco Delivery, speaking to Transport Dive in June. "Normally signed by the shipper and the driver, keeping a social distance between the two put a new spin on how that's accomplished."
Queries about digitizing paperwork are coming more from shippers, because the carriers and drivers don't want to manage multiple programs and paperwork from shippers, Adelman said. That paperwork includes BOL and POD documents, he said.
Transflo uses artificial intelligence to manage the digital process, recognize common forms and data, and get virtual paperwork to drivers and carriers. Drivers and carriers then return the paperwork to get paid and to get reimbursed for expenses.
The more paperwork that Transflo processes, the better the AI system understands what to look for, Adelman said. The convergence of so much data helps Transflo process and cull trends and information.
Transflo picked up Schneider's business in April, when the carrier said it would use Transflo and TriumphPay to speed up third-party carriers' pay.
Digital processing companies may see more growth, not just because of paperwork needs but because of data growth. Supply chains and carriers, sometimes overwhelmed with data, are handing off document filing, scanning and approvals to machines, said Matt Bernstein, CEO of HubTran, which focuses on using AI and automation for back-office work.
"What's happening is that the machine is learning organically by seeing all these different documents, and seeing how these companies are using these documents," Bernstein told Transport Dive in July.