Just two years ago, the FreightWaves news site was essentially a one man show. Now, FreightWaves employs about 40 reporters across the globe, produces 10 podcasts and has launched the first streaming TV network dedicated to freight.
FreightWaves LIVE Chicago kicked off Day One on Tuesday, November 12. The first session, "Future of Freight Media," delved into FreightWaves' evolution from a humble blog to a media powerhouse.
"This is a story about expansion. We started out in trucking, and what we quickly realized is the story of freight is much bigger than trucking. It is all connected," FreightWaves General Manager of Content Ellis Smith said. "We want to cover trucking, rail, ocean, air and all the intermediaries that bring it all together."
FreightWaves' reporters come from various professional backgrounds, including logistics media, local news and academia. FreightWaves News Director Emily Szink asked Smith what he considers when hiring writers, especially when they are coming from outside the logistics space.
"It is all about the storytelling. In talking to people who are doing this successfully, I realized it is all about finding the story and building out from there. Our story often starts with data," Smith said. "It is looking at the news differently, often looking at it from a market perspective."
FreightWaves' powerful data platform, SONAR, gives its media team a unique advantage when it comes to garnering stories from data. The platform enables the FreightWaves team to provide valuable real-time market insights to carriers, shippers and brokers alike. These insights are delivered via articles on the site, daily emails, podcasts and television shows.
The company's newest media venture, FreightWaves.TV, became available for download on Apple TV, Roku, mobile phones and desktops last week. The streaming TV network is the first network dedicated entirely to logistics and freight.
The network covers many of the stories that FreightWaves already writes about, but the platform allows watchers to dive deeper into the topics. Shows include Fuller Speed Ahead, FreightWaves Now and Off the Supply Chain.
FreightWaves' suite of podcasts has rapidly grown from one show, "What the Truck?!?," to 10 shows. That number will keep creeping up as FreightWaves continues to grow.
"It all started with one podcast and a passing idea. Then there was a bang of a cowbell and a flash of light, and suddenly, it has grown into 10 shows," FreightWaves Director of Audio Tim Dooner said. "We are just trying to democratize the information and make it something you want to listen to when you're getting jacked at the gym or walking your dog."
All of FreightWaves' podcasts are housed under the FreightCasts banner, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or your favorite podcast player.
FreightWaves' events, like FreightWaves LIVE, build off the same storytelling component that makes its online content so compelling.
"A lot of conferences feel like someone talking at you. They're very academic. Our hope [for our conferences] is that people get deep insights and have fun," FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller said. "We want to be about depth. Our demos are to immerse people in technology and our talks are to immerse people in the conversation."