Bentonville startup FR8relay pitches logistics tech to DOD officials

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 461 views 

Bentonville startup FR8relay presented its logistics technology at the Operational Energy and Logistics Summit 2023 in Honolulu. Representing the company at the event were, from left, COO Deme Yuan and CEO Aayush Thakur.

Bentonville-based logistics technology startup FR8relay was recently selected to pitch in the Energy and Logistics Challenge at the Operational Energy and Logistics Summit 2023 in Honolulu.

The pitch provided an opportunity to showcase the startup’s logistics technology to Department of Defense officials and make connections. FR8relay’s technology is expected to improve supply chain performance and reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. FR8relay pools shipments and matches capacity and freight in a relay model that ensures equipment and cargo keep moving while returning drivers to their homes daily.

FR8relay CEO Aayush Thakur said the federal agency is looking to reduce carbon emissions as it works to meet the U.S. government’s emissions goals by 2035. He noted that the U.S. Army has some of the highest emissions in the agency because it moves freight for all six of the U.S. military branches.

“We can use our technology to find efficiencies within the Army’s logistics network,” he said. Thakur added that the Department of Defense hires carriers and works with freight brokers to haul equipment and other cargo across the United States. “Using our optimization approach you can try to get the same amount of freight across the country wherever it needs to go but driving less number of miles.”

The pitch led the company to receive an invitation to attend the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army in October in Washington, D.C. FR8relay will be set up at a booth with Navistar Defense, a division of Navistar International that manufactures military vehicles.

“We are hoping to be there, meet people within the Army, represent Northwest Arkansas and see how we can grow our company further with those contracts,” he said.

In 2022, FR8relay received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation. FR8relay has five employees and four contract workers.