Interview: Betty Liu, Operating Partner @ Maersk Growth

Hot on the heels of our recent funding announcement (more on that here), we sat down with Betty Liu, Operating Partner @ Maersk Growth, to discuss the story behind the financing and…

  • What Maersk hopes to achieve in starting a venture fund,
  • The challenges facing the freight brokerage industry (… and how today’s technologies hold the potential to make it radically more efficient),
  • What made Maersk move from meeting Loadsmart to leading our latest financing just four months later, and
  • How Maersk can now leverage Loadsmart for FTL services.

betty-maersk-v3

About Betty:

Betty is an Opeating Partner at Maersk Growth and is helping our invested portfolio companies to grow. She has spent over two decades in the shipping and logistics industry, with much of her career spent at A.P. Moller – Maersk, the world’s largest shipping line.

Betty holds an Executive MBA from the Copenhagen Business School and graduated from Maersk’s International Shipping Education program in 2002. In 2012 she was nominated as Denmark’s Top 100 talent by Berlingske business. You can learn more about Betty here.

The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve the Shipper / Carrier Experience with Erik Malin

Recently, our vice president of operations, Erik Malin, spoke with the “Logistics of Logistics” podcast host, Joe Lynch. Joe interviews senior level 3PL providers and business professionals in the logistics and transportation industry. In this episode, Erik and Joe discussed how innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the freight brokerage space. The two also talked about Loadsmart’s dedication to its customers, and how the company’s use of strategic partnerships has made it a leader in the industry.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

logistics podcast

Loadsmart Crowned as Technology Innovator as part of Inaugural Freight.Tech25 Awards

Loadsmart was recently named to the inaugural FreightWaves Freight.Tech25 awards at MarketWaves18. The award recognizes the most innovative and disruptive companies in freight. The original list of 100 companies was paired down to 25 after being evaluated and ranked on a 1-25 point basis. The panel of judges  – 60 in total – included industry executives, academics and investors.

Felipe Capella, co-founder and chief product officer of Loadsmart, said: “This accolade is a further testament to Loadsmart leading the way in technology for this industry.” Between the award nominations, analyst recognitions, and our most recent funding announcement, it’s fair to say that it’s been an exciting time here at Loadsmart.

Freight.Tech25

freight25

This isn’t the first time Loadsmart has been recognized for innovation in the supply chain industry either. Loadsmart was recognized by CB Insights for supply chain disruption, and by Gartner as a Gartner Cool Vendor.

2018 has been a big year for us, and we’re excited to see what 2019 will bring for us.

Loadsmart Announces $21.6 Million Series A round led by Maersk Growth, Connor Capital SB and Chromo Invest

NEW YORK, NY – October 9, 2018 – Loadsmart, a digital freight broker, today announced it has raised $21.6 million in series A funding led by Maersk Growth, Connor Capital SB and Chromo Invest. This brings the total investment in Loadsmart to date to $34.7 million following previous seed investment and a convertible notes round. The current investment will be used to scale Loadsmart’s operations team while doubling down on product and engineering.

Loadsmart leverages artificial intelligence to automate the truckload booking flow in the United States. It provides instant prices to shippers with capacity guaranteed on all U.S. lanes. Through its automated platform, shippers can book a truck in seconds manually or integrate via an API to have a server-to-server booking with no human intervention.

Shippers have been able to reduce their spot exposure by 50 percent after integrating with Loadsmart, while reducing procurement execution time up to 90 percent. Carriers keep their trucks full and reduce empty miles as Loadsmart’s machine learning algorithms match loads with their available trucks.

LS_TimesImage
Loadsmart co-founders Ricardo Salgado and Felipe Capella

Maersk Growth is joining Loadsmart as one of its leading investors. Maersk Growth is the launchpad for new ventures at A.P. Moller – Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. A.P. Moller – Maersk serves 343 ports in 121 countries with 18.3 percent market share in container capacity worldwide.

“We see huge potential with Loadsmart. Forward integrations between ocean shipping and over-the-road services can create incredible synergies and eventually provide a full service to shippers,” said Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth.

Loadsmart also signed a strategic partnership with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), with a broad goal of collaborating in ways that are mutually beneficial to both organizations.

Emmett McCann, managing director and co-portfolio manager, Oaktree, said, “Loadsmart has a solid company strategy and exciting distribution plan. They have built an outstanding team with advanced technology that can be deployed alongside our investment portfolio to digitize and accelerate supply chain and transportation logistics execution.”

Chromo Invest also joined as a lead investor. Marcelo Ferreira, managing director, Chromo Invest, said, “Chromo focuses on investing in companies leveraging AI in different industries. We have been very impressed with how Loadsmart leverages huge data sets to predict future outcomes and automate tasks. We’re looking forward to scaling the technology and driving this forward.”

“We are at our core a data company. With the highest ratio of engineers in the industry, we were the first to introduce truckload instant pricing and booking, and the market’s first server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via our API. This tech-first approach has allowed us to set in place a fully scalable and automated distribution model,” said Felipe Capella, co-founder and chief product officer, Loadsmart.

Ricardo Salgado, co-founder and CEO, Loadsmart, said, “Our strategy has been to focus exclusively on product development and technology. Now we are ready to grow. This round of investment will enable us to increase the business exponentially while maintaining high-service levels. It will also enable us to scale without losing the edge on innovation and technology.”

Loadsmart is headquartered in New York and has partnered with several Fortune 100 companies. The company was recently named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Intelligent Supply Chain Execution Technologies by Gartner and featured at CB Insights’ Startups Disrupting The Supply Chain & Logistics Industry.

 

Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Loadsmart named a Cool Vendor by Gartner in Intelligent Supply Chain Execution Technologies

New York, NY, Loadsmart, a technology company that specializes in full truckload shipping, was named by Gartner as a Cool Vendor in Intelligent Supply Chain Execution Technologies.

The note addresses how “embedded intelligence is becoming an essential competency of emerging supply chain execution technologies. Supply chain leaders can use this research to learn how emerging supply chain execution vendors commercialize innovation.”

Loadsmart was recognized as one of five companies providing emerging supply chain execution technologies.

“We are at the forefront of technology innovation when it comes to executing truckload shipments,” said Felipe Capella, co-founder and chief product officer, Loadsmart. “We were the first company to provide an instant pricing and booking experience for truckloads in the United States, enabling shippers to access live rates via their own system via an easy-to-implement API. We believe Gartner’s recognition is the result of hard work from our multi-disciplinary team.”

Loadsmart-cofounders crop
Loadsmart co-founders Ricardo Salgado and Felipe Capella

Over the last five years, Loadsmart has been focused on helping shippers and carriers execute their truckload shipments in a much more efficient manner. This effort includes creating better experiences for both parties, as well as improving and automating back-office processes to reduce internal costs and provide better rates to all involved. Recent innovations include fully-automated server to server truckload booking (without human intervention) capability, accepting 100 percent of tenders and guaranteeing capacity; a load management mobile app for its internal team; and a tool to auto-classify shipment documents (BOL, invoices, POD, etc.) with machine learning technology.

Ricardo Salgado, co-founder and CEO, Loadsmart, said, “At Loadsmart, we are obsessed with automating full truckload shipping. Our success is based on the fact that our technology optimizes the booking journey of a truck as well as our capacity to dramatically enhance our service levels and reliability, which is the number one concern of our enterprise customers.”

Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Intelligent Supply Chain Execution Technologies research note can be found here. (Gartner subscription required)

###

Recent Loadsmart mentions in Gartner research include:

 

Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

CB Insights selects Loadsmart as Startup Disrupting The Supply Chain & Logistics Industry

The prestigious industry research company CB Insights has selected Loadsmart as one of the startups disrupting the supply chain and logistics industry.

In its brief called From Tracking Food To Last-Mile Delivery, 125+ Startups Disrupting The Supply Chain & Logistics Industry, Loadsmart is mentioned in the ‘Trucking Marketplace & Fleet Management’ category.

We couldn’t be here without the hard work of our whole team.

cb.png

Felipe Capella is Loadsmart’s Co-founder and Chief of Product.

How We Help Our Clients Reduce Spot Market Exposure by 50%

On May 15, 2018, we wrote about the first fully automated intelligent routing guide with dynamic rates in the US. That powerful tool enables shippers to automatically book a truck before the shipment turns into a spot load and has reduced spot volume for Fortune500 Shippers by as much as 50 percent. Loadsmart accepts 100 percent of tenders received from the dynamic routing guide, guaranteeing capacity. This feature helps shippers avoid the same-day/next-day markets, which are known for steep prices and service failures. Given the huge interest and questions we got from the logistics community, we decided to expand and explain the reasoning behind it and how it actually works in a granular way.

At Loadsmart, our mission is to do more with less. That’s why we innovated with a major customer to help them drive down their spot market exposure by 50 percent. We worked with our customer to help them do more with less by pushing market-based truckload rates into their TMS for every load that goes through their routing guide. Simply put, we do three things:

  • Provide real-time pricing on every load in the routing guide via API;
  • Auto-accept every tender we receive;
  • Guarantee capacity for all of those auto-accepted tenders.

This explains how we went from participating in a daily spot auction via email to a full-fledged integration with our customer to reduce spot volume.

Read More »

Loadsmart Launches Jarvis: a Load Management Mobile App For Its Internal Team

Much like death and taxes, there are two immutable laws in logistics. It will always be a 24/7 industry, and issues will always arise.

For that reason Loadsmart must be able to address any shipment events day and night. At the same time, great service also requires a great team who are performing at their best. This level of performance is not possible if team members can only contribute to exception resolution when they are in front of a computer.

So we built Jarvis – a mobile version of Alice, Loadsmart’s internal TMS. By offering a native mobile version of our TMS we made it possible for anyone in Loadsmart’s Operations Team to respond to issues quickly from anywhere, any time. All responsible parties can jump in to any situation to make sure our customers’ needs are met. This also allows us to keep our team smaller and more nimble, supporting our goal to move more with less.

Loadsmart has been the pioneer on mobile solutions for freight brokerage operations since its inception: from driver apps that track shipment location to apps offering one-click load booking for carriers. This time, by building a mobile version of our TMS, we better service our customers and give more freedom to our team, while keeping the company as efficient as possible.

screens3
Jarvis’ interface had to be simple, providing a clear overview of the shipments that are moving through our platform. The contact information of all stakeholders of the shipment are automatically available, in case we need to directly call or message shippers, carriers or warehouses. Each Loadsmart team member can access the app using fingerprint login in their smartphone, ensuring also security of the shipment information.

“By providing a mobile solution to our Load Management team, we are capable of notifying the right person at the right time in case of incidents that need human attention, minimizing response time and offering a better customer support to our clients with the help of technology”, said Gustavo Barbosa, Mobile Lead at Loadsmart.

Loadsmart’s mission is also to make our internal team more efficient, moving more with less.

Loadsmart Presents at Automotive Logistics Supply Chain Conference

Loadsmart was invited to speak at the Supply Chain Conference organized by the publication Automotive Logistics in Atlanta. In a panel titled “Clearing the bottlenecks”, Ricardo Salgado, Loadsmart’s CEO, and Ivan Hernandez, Daimler’s Director of Transportation for North America, co-presented a joint project which leveraged Loadsmart’s technology. The project successfully reduced Daimler’s time to execute a spot load from 5 hours to 18 minutes, while increasing Daimler utilization of their carrier customers by 70%.

Aside from Loadsmart and Daimler, the other panelists came from Honda, Toyota, Surgere, and Ryder.

See below a 4-minute excerpt of the presentation outlining the joint project:

Loadsmart Launches Tool to Auto-Classify Shipment Documents with Machine Learning Technology

Over the last five years, we have been obsessed with introducing new technology to dramatically improve the efficiency of the freight brokerage business. This effort not only includes creating a better experiences for shippers and carriers, but also improving and automating back-office processes.

Every broker receives thousands of documents per month related to ongoing and delivered shipments: Rate Confirmations, BOLs, PODs, Invoices, etc. Identifying, separating, cataloging and uploading each document to the right place takes countless hours, and even the most strict processes result in a non-negligible error rate.

The new feature we just released is a machine learning model that analyzes each email, its attachments, and identifies what documents are contained into a single or multiple PDF files. After automatically scanning and cataloging the content of the files, the system then splits the documents into its component sub-files (e.g. BOLs, Invoices, Rate Confirmations, etc.) and auto-uploads each document to the right shipment folder.
ParsingThis new feature is saving hundreds of hours per month in document review, and it has dramatically reduced the error rate in classifying documents.

The more automated and efficient we are, the lower operational costs we have, which in turn has meant we offer more attractive prices for shippers and better margins for carriers.

 

Felipe Capella is Co-Founder of Loadsmart

Loadsmart to talk supply chain tech and ROI at 3PL & Supply Chain Summit: Atlanta

Erica E. Phillips, supply chain reporter for WSJ Logistics Report, writes that the hiring binge for logistics and freight companies may only be just beginning. The sector added 18,700 jobs last month, giving transport and logistics operations 73,000 new jobs since the start of the year. Companies are scrambling to keep up with surging shipping demand in what they say is the hottest transportation jobs market in several years.

While positive news, the peak shipping season is not here yet. How can we support manufacturers and retailers, and ensure they can fulfil their supply chain?

The digital supply chain is being hailed as the way forward, yet this comes with its own set of challenges. Virginia Howard, research director, Supply Chain Research Group, Gartner, correctly notes that digital technologies are enabling and promoting changes that have a larger impact, greater unpredictability and increased frequency. And that now, more than ever, high-tech supply chains require digital skills and methods to deliver customer-driven solutions in an on-demand fashion.

The digital supply chain vs. ROI

Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart
Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart

If everyone is going to be confronted by disruption in the marketplace, how can manufacturers and retailers choose technologies that will bring real ROI?

On Thursday, June 7 at 11:45 am, Erik Malin, Loadsmart head of operations, will join fellow panel members from BCG Logistics Group, DHL Supply Chain, Kenco Innovation Labs at the 3PL & Supply Chain Summit: Atlanta.

During the logistics technology stream, Erik will discuss how data and technology has empowered manufacturers and retailers alike – and how it is very different from mere automation.

 

In summary:

  • Learn from the early adopters: Gauge which technologies offer the best ROI opportunities, efficiencies, pilot results and customer responses, from people who’ve put them to the test
  • Rethink ROI in the digital supply chain: Discuss how far you need to spend money to make money to see the biggest returns from the new wave of technological transformation
  • Hear from the technology makers: Find out directly from the tech creators how they are enabling the transformation from linear to dynamic digital supply networks

Email us if you want to meet the Loadsmart team at the summit or if you want to learn more.

LOADSMART APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Today, Erik Malin was appointed as our new head of operations. The appointment follows a year of sustained, rapid growth during which thousands of loads for companies like Anheuser-Busch, Safeway and Albertsons were moved over our platform and shippers such as Daimler Trucks North America connected to our API to digitize their spot freight execution.

In his role, Erik will be responsible for running, growing and scaling our operations. He will report into Ricardo Salgado, CEO, who will now mainly focus on company strategy and leadership as the companies continues to experience hyper growth.

“Erik’s industry and technology knowledge combined with his experience in managing and scaling high-growth teams, make him a real asset to team,” said Ricardo Salgado, CEO, Loadsmart. “Empowering people with data and technology is very different from mere automation. Erik recognizes how the use of both can streamline and expedite the traditional brokerage model and have a positive impact on the logistics industry.”

Erik_Malin
Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart

Erik hails from truckload broker AFN where he was responsible for strategy. Prior to that, he ran a boutique strategy consultancy where he advised publicly-traded and hyper-growth private logistics companies on growth opportunities and related change management initiatives.

“Loadsmart has done an excellent job of assembling a team of highly-talented, curious and driven individuals,” said Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart. “New entrants often turn to technology only and disregard important industry intricacies. It’s rare to find a logistics technology company that encapsulates both aspects with the aim to build a better platform for shippers and carriers.”

Loadsmart was the first to introduce a truckload instant pricing/booking algorithm in the US in 2015, followed by the launch of our One-Click load-acceptance app for carriers later that same year. In 2016, we were the first to introduce an instant pricing API for TMS integrations.

Interested in a career at Loadsmart? We’re hiring.

Loadsmart CEO addresses transport capacity shortages at Automotive Logistics Supply Chain Conference

Technology is transforming the automotive and logistics industries. But for many supply chain managers the biggest headaches are still the most familiar ones, such as driver and transport capacity shortages, lost containers, poor forecasting and incomplete visibility. Just this morning, The Wall Street Journal featured how Deere & Co. is raising equipment prices to make up for rising freight transport costs. The equipment maker is a host of U.S. manufacturers reporting rising expenses as a growing U.S. economy drives up prices for materials and shipping.

Read More »

Automated Pre-Spot Truckload Booking Avoids Price Hikes and Service Failures

Loadsmart was the first to launch truckload instant pricing/booking in the US (2015); first to launch One-Click load acceptance app for carriers (2015); first to launch instant pricing API for TMS integrations (2016) and experienced the first fully automated quote-book-source flow in the truckload spot market (2016).

We are now providing a pre-spot solution by fully automating quoting and booking of truckload shipments. By doing this, we make it possible for companies to automatically book a truck before the shipment turns into a spot load, accepting 100% of those tenders and guaranteeing capacity. This helps shippers avoid the same-day/next-day markets,  which are known for steep prices and service failures. Here is how it works.

1 – Semi-Automated Pre-Spot

We integrate with the Shipper’s transportation management system (TMS) via API to access data about all shipments that need to be moved. Loadsmart runs each shipment  through our machine learning pricing algorithm and returns a live, bookable rate directly to the Shipper’s TMS.

Manual-100

This allows the shipper to compare the prices from other carriers and brokers, which are logged in their static rate tree, with Loadsmart’s bookable rate. Because it is given real-time, the rate is always live and can be booked with one click. No emails; no phone calls.

That means that when the primary carrier fails, the load planner can execute the shipment right away. Not only does this provide price protection at above-standard service levels, it also creates internal efficiencies for the shipper by saving time for the planners. It goes without saying that this also allows Loadsmart to operate much more efficiently, generating further savings that can be passed along to the customer.

2- Fully Automated Pre-Spot

In a fully-automated flow, instead of the shipper’s load planner manually comparing our pre-spot dynamic prices with static rates from their routing guide, this is done automatically on a server.

There are two steps to the automated process of price discovery and comparison. First, an algorithm evaluates the acceptance rates of carriers and brokers whose static rates are in the route guide. If they have rarely or never agreed to move the load at their routing guide (or annual bid) rate, then the algorithm skips them to save time.

Second, the algorithm requests a real-time rate from the Loadsmart pricing API. It then moves down the routing guide from least expensive to most expensive rate, contacting only carriers who the shipper has reason to believe will respond. It keeps doing this until the next lowest rate is Loadsmart’s instantly bookable rate. At that point, the algorithm automatically tenders the load to Loadsmart via API.

This allows for a full automation experience that in practice reduces the time to identify and secure truckload capacity by as much as several days, increasing on-time delivery and decreasing cost of hire. Further efficiencies accrue to the shipper as either very limited or indeed no manual work is necessary, decreasing errors and human capital costs while optimizing decisions.

Automated-100

We have implemented both semi- and fully-automated pricing and booking  with Fortune 500 companies across the US. Pre-Spot Automation has dramatically accelerated the quoting and booking process (check Daimler’s case), slashing the time required to secure capacity, reducing rates by adding liquidity and reducing dependency on same-day spot markets, and minimizing the risk of human error.

Want to integrate with our system? Let us know.

 

Felipe Capella, Co-founder 

Hunter Yaw, Senior Product Manager

Intelligent optimization is the future of effective transportation management

As we’re approaching the Retail Supply Chain Summit: New York and I’m preparing for my panel conversation with supply chain managers from large retailers/manufacturers, a recent Deloitte study – Embracing a Digital Future – caught my eye.

According to the study, 79 percent of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve above average revenue growth. Yet, very few companies include supply chain managers in their boardrooms. Businesses that have applied big data analytics to their supply chain functions have seen a reduction in costs, improved risk management, shorter cycle times, more accurate forecasting, and an overall improvement when it comes to making informed decisions.

Read More »