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Executives at C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., the biggest broker of freight services in the U.S., said their large-scale shipper customers are looking for more than just good technology.
“We continue to invest in technology, but the experience we have, the scale we have, we think that’s the competitive advantage for us,” Bob Biesterfeld, chief operating officer at C.H. Robinson, said in an interview.
Venture capital investors are increasingly gambling on upstarts including Flexport Inc., Convoy, Haven Inc. and others, arming them with new funding to take aim at global freight brokers like C.H. Robinson, XPO Logistics Inc. and other top shipping-services firms. According to PitchBook Data Inc., venture capital firms invested nearly $1.2bn in freight-related firms in 2017, up from $200m five years ago.
In their race to upend the shipping industry’s establishment, freight startup Convoy has attracted funding from such celebrity investors as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and members of the rock band U2.
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