Freight brokerages who want to benefit from technology solutions like Parade must first be willing to give their technology partners access to data about their carriers and load opportunities. Doing so can help freight brokerages automate unnecessary grunt-work, streamline operations, and scale carrier engagement.
However, in sharing your data with a third party, there are concerns about 1) How they will use your data, and 2) Who they will share your data with. The main fear: your data could end up in the hands of other brokerages or parties who will use it to poach your carriers and customers.
So, in this post, I outline Parade’s approach to securing your data and ensuring your privacy. The content shared in this post will also serve as a framework you can use to properly assess and vet all your third party technology vendors, existing and future.
Your Data is Yours, and Yours Only.
At Parade, around 10 Terabytes (TB) of data pass through our systems daily. We pride ourselves on maintaining separation of data amongst our customers, protecting their privacy, and securing their data. To do this, we have a clear definition of what type of data is attached to your brokerage and what is not.
Any data we derive from a brokerage customer is tied to that brokerage and is not shared nor used for any other purpose except for applications serving that specific brokerage. This data includes (but is not limited to):
Customer load data— available and historical loads.
Capacity data— email capacity, user-entered data, and engagement data collected via brokerage-carrier interactions.
Pricing data— quotes from carriers on specific loads, customer rates, start rates, and booked prices
Carrier lane preferences requested on behalf of the broker.
For example, let’s suppose a carrier opens one of our brokerage customer’s emails and clicks on a button related to booking a load opportunity— that engagement data is still attached to our brokerage-customer. We will only use that data to enhance that specific customer’s application logic or Machine Learning (ML) algorithm.
When building out ML algorithms, we maintain strict rules in our code to ensure that our algorithms only permit that data to be used exclusively for that particular customer. For example, we use over 20 different types of data sources to help calculate the optimal carriers for a specific load— data that is broker-specific and will never be used to train another brokerage’s matching algorithm.
While this means we have fewer overall data-sources to train on a per customer basis, our solution tends to work especially well with larger brokerages because they have sufficient network data for us to perform Big Data analysis and develop effective ML solutions.
Who Can Access Your Data?
While data derived from a brokerage customer is tied to that particular brokerage, several stakeholders must have access to it.
First, internal company employees that you (the client) specifically authorize to access your data may do so from our cloud web portal and data analytics tools. With the permission of a client user, you can share restricted information with your business partners, such as a carrier. Brokerage data is typically shared via a secure email or webpage. All data sharing with external parties is closely monitored and controlled by your employees.
Second, our engineering, quality assurance, and support teams may, from time to time, view your load and capacity data to maintain, improve, and support our cloud software services.
Can Parade Use Our Data to Start A Freight Brokerage?
We will never start a freight brokerage. Technology design and development is our strength, and our goal is to democratize our technology for the freight brokerage industry.
To minimize risk of your data being used for another brokerage's benefit, we strongly advise against working with any technology partners with close ties to brokerages, or those that might own a brokerage arm.
Parade does take general learnings from across our customer base to improve our algorithms in service to everyone. For example, let's say that we discover that customers that receive real-time quotes through our platform are seeing increased success. We will encourage our other brokerage customers to ask their carriers to submit quotes via Parade to improve their algorithms.
What Happens to My Data if I Decide to Stop Using Parade?
Upon termination of our service, we delete all customer specific data from our managed servers within 30 days of receiving first notice either by email or letter. Furthermore, at any point in time, the client may request to perform a data audit or hire a third-party to conduct an audit on their behalf.
Data Not Attached to a Customer
Parade uses data from external sources for analysis so that we can deliver our customers better solutions. This data is not attached to any customer, and is typically useful data our customers can’t collect and analyze themselves:
Data we obtain from other technology partners. For example, we are working with Electronic Logging Device (ELD) companies to provide real-time location data on truckers. We share this data across all our brokerage customers because it helps everyone and does not come directly from any brokerage.
Any data we directly derive from carriers that are not specific to any customer. Sometimes, we conduct anonymous surveys on carriers to gather market intelligence to serve our brokerage customers better. For example, we might conduct surveys to ask carriers what their preferred lanes are.
Data we obtain through third-party sites. We either buy or gather data from third-party sites such as census data, insurance data, and safety-rating data. Doing so helps us gather general info about trucking companies, such as their total truck count, areas of operation, etc.
Secure in Transit, Protected in Storage
All data is stored in our secure private cloud, protected by NSA-grade encryption plus two-factor authentication. Our engineers and security experts protect your data from unauthorized access.
Communication between all users to our application servers, and from our application servers to our database systems, is protected by SSL/TLS. All data exchanged is protected when transmitted over these channels.
Furthermore, all our cloud software services operate on the Google Cloud Platform. Google Cloud provides additional security services such as active monitoring, service to service access control, system logging, exception management, and other physical security measures. For more information, please read Google’s Security Whitepaper.
Any data we derive from you is yours and yours only— it is not shared or used for any other purpose than serving you, the specific customer. We may take learnings from across our customer base to improve algorithms for everyone as a whole, which aligns with our mission to democratize our technology for freight brokerages, not develop technology to replace them.