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FR8relay Gets $100K Grant for Testing of Relay Trucking System

2 min read

Trucking logistics firm FR8relay of Bentonville announced it has received a $100,000 matching grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to support a pilot program for the company’s relay scheduling system.

The funds complement a $649,998 federal grant the company received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

FR8Relay’s pilot program aims to showcase the practical application and benefits of the company’s technology in real-world logistics operations, emphasizing the potential to significantly reduce shipping times, enhance operational efficiency and lower environmental impact, the company said in a news release. The pilot is being conducted in collaboration with a “large Arkansas-based freight brokerage company.”

FR8relay said the test aims to validate the system’s effectiveness in optimizing load pooling and asset utilization, and to highlight the system’s role in promoting sustainable logistics practices and supporting the integration of alternative fuel vehicles.

FR8relay’s idea is to create “relay nodes” in rural communities where a truck driver headed in one direction can swap his or her load with another driver coming from the opposite direction. The drivers would then take their new loads back to where they had come from.

Federal regulations restrict long-haul truckers to 11 hours of driving before a mandatory 10-hour rest period. As a result, many long-haul drivers are on the road weeks at a time, one of the obstacles the industry faces in attracting and retaining drivers.

CEO Aayush Thakur has compared the relay system to the Pony Express mail system used in the 1860s. Riders would ride horses from one station to the next, transferring either the mail or changing horses, before continuing on.

FR8relay has received more than $1 million in grants in recent years to develop the system.

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