Local company helping to unravel supply chain, getting products to you faster & cheaper

QUINCY, Mass. — Cargo on ships delayed, a lack of truck drivers and warehouse inventory issues are all part of a supply chain problem that’s holding up Leah Sauter’s furniture.

“We did order a couch in June and it was supposed to come in September, moved to October, and now it’s December,” said Leah Sauter from Quincy.

And then there’s the cost of everyday items.

“Milk and bread. Everything has gone up, oatmeal,” said Derek Hartshorn from Weymouth.

Consumers are now caught in a COVID container back log. And that’s delaying products and driving up prices.

“It’s truly something we’ve never seen before,” said Jill Clifford, who is the president of Freight Plus, a transportation management company in Quincy.

Clifford said they help businesses free up freight stuck in the supply chain.

>>>MORE: Thanksgiving meal up 14%, grocery stores offering deals later than usual

“So, we’re giving them time to plan, and with that plan comes the right carriers in the right spots at the right time.”

Jill’s background is consulting for Fortune 500 companies in transportation, which is where she got her start.

“After high school I went to work at a trucking company,” Clifford said.

That job has grown into a business that now uses consulting and technology to find the best routes for freight, saving businesses and consumers time and money.

“It probably sounds crazy in 2021, but a lot of the logistics systems are running on legacy style technology,” said Stephen Aborn, who is the CEO of FreightPlus.

Aborn said it’s common for clients not to know where the product was while in transit.

“They don’t know where the inventory is in a lot of cases.”

Aborn said they are bringing transportation to the 21st century.

“Because of the relationships and the technology that we have with carriers, we can actually track physically where those goods are while they’re in transit,” he said.

And their technology allows them to find routes to deliver things more quickly.

“So now what you’re seeing is a massive bottleneck, and it’s layered, it’s not just ports, it’s not just warehouses, it’s not just truck drivers, it’s all of it,” Clifford told Boston 25.

>>>MORE: Thanksgiving travel set to peak as traffic-filled week expected

Because of that, companies like Chex Finer Foods, a food distributor in Mansfield, jumped on board.

“It allows them to sell more, it allows their brands and companies they work with to occupy space on those shelves.”

FreightPlus dials in to where product is and finds a quicker way to get it delivered. So, when most companies’ products now occupy 70% of shelf space at the local supermarket, Chex products occupy 95%.

“And that ends up being the stuff that people bring home and cook with and feed their family on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Aborn said.

That’s good news to consumers like Hartshorn.

‘Yeah… definitely,” he said.

As for Sauter, she wants just one thing for Christmas.

“Really just the couch. I want the couch,” she said.

FreightPlus is one of just a handful of companies doing this, and while they’ve helped get some goods here faster, they won’t solve all the holiday delays. However, they do expect, once the holidays are over, that supply chain backlogs should start to loosen up.