Weekly Market Recap: Jan 4 – Jan 10

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • New year same with the same challenges
  • Volume normalized after its holiday lull. Last week alone, volumes increased to over 12k from starting the week out under 10k.
  • The Truckstop Avg LineHaul updated with a MASSIVE $0.28 increase. That’s an all time historic record. The Truck stop AVG LH rate sits at a wopping $3.22/mi.
Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Dec 8 – Dec 14

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • Last week Volumes returned after their seasonal thanksgiving decrease. They increased 30% week over week and settled just under 16k.
  • As predicted, rates went through ANOTHER increase as we entered into Xmas territory. The TS Avg LH rates rose to $3.07/mi.
  • With traditional seasonality, we should have seen rejections spike for the holiday. We have yet to see those increases, which brings another twist to the 2020 market dance.
Read More »

Why We Invested In Loadsmart’s $90M Series C: Richard Perry of PFMO4

Loadsmart announced a $90 million round in mid-November led by BlackRock, Inc.’s managed funds and included prominent strategic investors from the transportation space such as TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, and Maersk, the world’s leading ocean carrier and a Loadsmart investor since Series A.

The two questions you receive more than any others when you raise $90M are: why did they invest and what are you going to do with the money?

Our investors speak for themselves so we thought we’d let them do just that. We talked to Sune Stilling, Head of Growth at Maersk, Richard Perry, Founder at FPMO4, William Abecassis, Head of Innovation Capital at Blackrock, and Andy Boyd, Founder at Bramalea Partners to discuss why they participated in the round and what they’re most excited to see Loadsmart accomplish with their investment.

Richard Perry, Founder at PFMO4

Richard: My first job at Goldman Sachs was being an over-the-counter trader, making markets. As soon as I heard Ricardo talk about this I said you’re not a broker you’re a market maker. He knew exactly what I was talking about and goes that’s exactly what we are.

Aaron: Was there anything specifically looking back on the whole process that stuck with you?

Richard: The real revelation point for me was when I realized they were creating an algorithm that made them a principal rather than a broker. There are lots of people who can be brokers and there are lots of people who can execute orders and follow recipes. There are very few people who can actually take principal risk and be successful at it and have a formula that can proove you can do it year in and year out.

Aaron: What are some of the implications of taking on the risk yourself?

Richard: They think like principals, they don’t think like brokers. So to think like a principal you’ve got your own money on the line. It’s not X, Y, Z corporation largest shipper in the world’s balance sheet you’re playing with, it’s your money. Every single time you’re making an offer to a shipper for what you will provide them with that truck for and carry out a delivery, that’s your risk. And so when it’s your risk you take it a lot more seriously and you have to know your product a lot better than when it’s other people’s money. There are very few people who can do that for a long period of time, but there’s some, and I think Loadsmart—they are those people.

Aaron: What are you most excited about seeing Loadsmart accomplish over the next several years?

Richard: That almost everyone realizes that this is the way to do business—the Loadsmart way. I’m really looking forward to people saying it’s just much more efficient, I don’t need to run a shipping process the way I did historically. And then there’s  a lot of consolidation in this middleman world and there will be survivors that will be judged and get a report card every single day with how they did.  And if they did poorly they’re going to get fired by either the shipper or the trucker. If they do well there will be a very healthy business that will have been created for the shipper, the trucker, and the person in the middle, which I believe will be Loadsmart.

Hear More From Our Investors

See all the interviews with leaders at A.P. Moller – MaerskBlackRock, PFMO4, and Bramalea Partners here. Our funding announcement was also covered in the Wall Street Journal, FreightWaves, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat, among others.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Dec 1 – Dec 7

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Solution Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the national OTRI fell from a historic peak of 28.46% to around 26% and trending downwards. Capacity is still tight and rejections are high, but anticipate rejections to trend downward for a short period of time until the week of Christmas, where we will see rates start to climb once more. Anticipate volumes to increase as shippers attempt to take advantage of loosening capacity. 
  • OTVI declined last week as well, but it is worth noting that it is a 7 day moving average, and, as such, can be distorted in the week following national holidays. Compared to the previous two years, the decline was slightly more shallow, suggesting volumes may snap back when the index normailizes.
  • Rates are on their way up as the holiday surge put pressure on capacity leading to higher rates. The Truckstop Avg LH had a massive $0.14 jump to $3.05/mi.
  • Last week market insight firm Principia said that inventory levels at building materials dealers have reach the lowest level since the peak of the housing bubble in 2006. The result of reduced staff in factories or shutdowns due to COVID-19 precautions. This has implications for industrial and transport demand. With the construction market caught off guard, this has created a backlog of homes that have been permitted and is leading to longer construction times for homes not yet completed. These constraints are anticipated for the next several months due to sustained strength in demand and translating to outsized growth in transport demand. 
  • Trucking goes Ivy League. Last week USX did something wicked smaht and announced a partnership with MIT to look at driver efficiencies. The primary focus will be on dwell time and driver utilization.
Read More »

[NEWS] SmartHop Partners with Loadsmart To Support Small Carriers Ahead of Holiday Rush

New Partnership will Broaden Networks and Enhance Offerings for Drivers

MIAMI, FL – December 1 – SmartHop, an innovative technology company built by experienced trucking professionals solving the industry’s most perplexing problems, today announced its strategic partnership with Loadsmart, a leading digital freight technology company. 

The news follows SmartHop’s rapid growth in the last few months with an expanded executive team and $4.5M seed funding round, and comes at a time when high transportation demand is up against a historic driver shortage. 

“Spot market demands are increasing, and with the holidays ahead, small carriers and independent drivers are operating in a unique environment,” said Guillermo Garcia, CEO and co-founder of SmartHop. “Through this partnership, we are bringing more load opportunities for drivers who want to play between the spot and contract market.” 

Loadsmart’s advanced freight technology simplifies the way shippers move their products. While the company has a robust carrier network, its truck base skews towards carriers with 50 or more trucks. 

This integration with SmartHop’s platform extends the reach of Loadsmart’s users while fueling SmartHop’s offerings. Loadsmart’s Load Offer API enables small carriers and owner operators to see, review and book loads that suit their needs with greater ease, ultimately lowering barriers to entry for new drivers and streamlining time-consuming and expensive processes for established owner-operators.

“SmartHop’s strong carrier base largely consists of owner operators and fleets with ten or fewer trucks,” said Hunter Yaw, VP of Product at Loadsmart. “This partnership allows us to diversify our carrier base and reach new, quality drivers.” 

For more information on the partnership or to sign up as a driver, visit: www.smarthop.co 

About Loadsmart

Transforming the future of freight, Loadsmart leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and strategic partnerships to automate how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Pairing advanced technologies with deep-seated industry expertise, Loadsmart fuels growth, simplifies operational complexity and bolsters efficiency for carriers and shippers alike. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com.

About SmartHop

In 2019, North American truckers moved nearly 12 billion tons of freight. In short, truckers move the world. SmartHop is here to move with them as their trusted copilot. SmartHop uses artificial intelligence to deliver smart load recommendations, full-service back-office support, performance tracking and digital bookings at guaranteed above-market rates for small trucking companies. SmartHop lets truckers focus on the road. We handle everything else. SmartHop led by Equal Ventures, a seed stage venture fund based in New York. Additional investors in the round include Greycroft and Las Olas VC. Among SmartHop’s investors are Alex Yeager, director at Redwood Logistics, Andrew Leto, founder of GlobalTranz and Emerge TMS, and Jett McCandles, founder of logistics company Project44. For more information, visit: www.smarthop.co 

Why We Invested In Loadsmart’s $90M Series C: Sune Stilling of Maersk

Loadsmart announced a $90 million round in mid-November led by BlackRock, Inc.’s managed funds and included prominent strategic investors from the transportation space such as TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, and Maersk, the world’s leading ocean carrier and a Loadsmart investor since Series A.

The two questions you receive more than any others when you raise $90M are: why did they invest and what are you going to do with the money?

Our investors speak for themselves so we thought we’d let them do just that. We talked to Sune Stilling, Head of Growth at Maersk, Richard Perry, Founder at Perry Capital, William Abecassis, Head of Innovation Capital at Blackrock, and Andy Boyd, Founder at Bramalea Partners to discuss why they participated in the round and what they’re most excited to see Loadsmart accomplish with their investment.

Sune Stilling, Head of Growth at Maersk

Aaron: What do you look for in a company when you invest. What are those one or two things a company must have in order to move on an investment?

Sune: A lot of companies out there on the surface look extremely tech forward, but they actually haven’t solved the fundamental industry problems. They don’t drive efficiencies, they don’t drive scale, they don’t drive customer satisfaction. Essentially it’s a pretty web page, but with all the same problems as the incumbent players

We want to invest in companies and in people that are addressing real problems. We don’t want to invest in problems looking for solutions. Loadsmart addresses a real problem and also actually sustainably addresses it and makes some of the friction in the industry go away.

But one of the things we really really liked about Loadsmart back then and still like is Loadsmart is playing the long game. I think again there are a lot of companies in freight tech or in the broader log tech industry that are taking VC money or taking venture capital and using that to subsidize customers. And again anyone can deliver growth that way.

Aaron: What does the world or the supply chain look like when Loadsmart is able to maximize the investment we’ve received from our strategic partners?

Sune: The company is growing, it’s growing rapidly, but it’s growing profitability. And this has been achieved through a deliberate approach over the last five years. The way that Ricardo spoke about this when I first met him, he spoke about wiring up the pipes. First you wire up the demand side then you wire up the supply side and once you’ve actually done that you can more or less scale into infinity, right?

Learn More About Our Series C

Our announcement was covered in the Wall Street Journal, FreightWaves, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat, among others.

Loadsmart’s suite of investors now includes the largest ocean carrier in the world, the largest port terminal operator in the U.S. and one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in North America. The proceeds of the Series C round will allow Loadsmart to better serve shippers through doubling down on the tools to deliver excellent operational performance, as well as an expansion of value-added services like mode optimization, price transparency and data insights on supply chain optimization opportunities.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Nov 24 – Nov 30

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Direct of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • The holiday week brought record volumes and continued rejection increases. 
  • Rejections sat 20 plus points higher than this time last year! 
  • Limited capacity continued to pressure rate to even higher levels
  • National rejections reached an all time high of over 28%. Lead by reefer rejections hitting 49%
Read More »

Loadsmart’s 2020 Freeway Front Liners: ACT Transport

As we approach the season of giving and end of year reflection, one aspect of our business kept coming up: our truck drivers. So, we’re giving recognition to three carriers that have gone above and beyond and reflecting on their contribution to our business, supply chain, and country.

One of the silver linings of the pandemic is trucking being recognized as an essential business, playing a key role in getting product to the American people when they are stuck at home. As with other essential businesses, the people who drive them forward are Essential Workers, also known as Front Liners.

We thought it was fitting to recognize our very best truck drivers and carrier partners as exactly that: Front Liners. But, their front line is a little different than the typical: the freeways all across this country.

Loadsmart’s Freeway Front Liners

Our operations teams judged nearly 20,000 carriers who have moved a load with us in 2020 on a combination of Total Loads Moved and Service Metrics, most notably On-Time Delivery and On-Time Pick-up. From those 20,000 carriers the team unanimously came to three—hailed as Loadsmart’s 2020 Freeway Front Liners.

ACT Transport

ACT Transport, a small-fleet based in Columbus Ohio Market was an obvious choice. ACT’s 96.69% On-Time Delivery and 91.06% On-Time Pick-up across 552 loads would be considered exceptional in any landscape, but even more so when you consider most of these loads were moved during a national lockdown. And yet, when Joe Burks, Owner, was complimented on his service, he said “I’m not happy with 96%, I’m happy with 100%, so we’ve got work to do.”

With this attitude, it is no surprise that Joe just bought his 20th truck a few months ago, which brings ACT to 43 trailers, despite getting hit hard by the pandemic in March when he had to decontaminate his equipment.

His key to success? “Getting lanes that match what our drivers are doing.”
90% of the lanes ACT runs are within 150 air mile radius so it’s essential that they find lanes within those parameters so Joe can ” get the drivers home to their families because after all that’s why we’re working—for our families.”

We could not be happier to be able to provide consistent, daily freight that pays good to support ACT’s growth this year and to help him get his drivers home to their families.

Become A Loadsmart Carrier

We pride ourselves on our exceptional service, and the only way we can provide exceptional service is by working with exceptional carriers. We know these kinds of carriers can choose their customers, especially in the current landscape when capacity is tight. That’s why we go above and beyond to create lasting partnerships with our carriers.

Sign up today, and start building relationships like we’ve built with Joe Burks and the whole ACT family.

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Nov 17 – Nov 23

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Capacity Solutions Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • Last week we saw releases for industrial production, retail sales, and housing starts. 
    • Industrial production moved up 1.1% for the month, but is down 5.3% YoY. This shows some momentum building for manufacturing
    • Retail sales were positive for the month with a modest 0.3% gain, but the pace is slowing. Overall sales are still 8.5% above last year’s levels, but slowing as well and may continue to due so with the increase in COVID-19 cases, the lack of stimulus, and the possibility of more restrictions being put into place.
    • Housing starts were robust, up nearly 5% for the month and hitting levels not seen since 2017. Growth in single family homes lead the charge and builders are struggling to keep up with demand. 
    • The Cass Freight Index was released last week and showing its first YoY shipments increase in nearly two years during October. Shipments climbed 2.4% during the month with expenditures rising 3.1%. This shows the highest YoY growth since Oct. 2018 and 27.8% above the April bottom. Analysts expect this to continue through year-end, while analysts point to lean inventories as a catalyst for future growth. Stifel analyst David Ross expects the linehaul rate index to improve in the coming quarters as contracts are renegotiated higher. More rate increases are ahead for carriers in Q420 and 2021, but the debate is how high they will go, as increases between 6-12% have been mentioned.
    • The Federal Maritime Commission, the US Agency that regulates ocean commerce, announced an investigation on Friday into the practices of foreign-owned shipping carriers. US Exporters and truckers have complained that they often face disadvantages at the ports. The US agricultural has long complained that foreign carriers are rejecting their exports in favor of sending back empty containers to be filled with Chinese goods. The carrier’s reasoning behind the refusal is driven by money and the lack of containers needed to move Chinese exports around the world. 
      • US ag exports are cheaper to move and take longer to offload, while carriers can turn a larger profit by sending empties back to China and filling them with Chinese exports along the lucrative trans-Pacific waterway.
      • The Harbor Trucking Association has said that community in Southern California has paid over $100 million in penalties this year and that the carriers have created the perfect scenario to profit from inefficiencies.
Read More »

[NEWS] Digital Freight Platform Loadsmart Raises $90M in Series C Funding Round Led by BlackRock’s Managed Funds

Strategic Investors Include Maersk and TFI International

Loadsmart, a leading digital freight technology company, today announced the successful completion of its Series C fundraising. The $90 million round was led by BlackRock, Inc.’s managed funds and included prominent strategic investors from the transportation space such as TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, and Maersk, the world’s leading ocean carrier and a Loadsmart investor since Series A. The deal was co-led by Chromo Capital, with participation from Perry Capital, founded by Richard C. Perry; and Bramalea Partners, recently founded by Andrew Boyd, former head of global equity capital markets at Fidelity Investments. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as Loadsmart’s financial adviser and Paul Hastings as its legal adviser.

The funding round cements Loadsmart’s position as a leader in the digital freight space. Loadsmart’s fiscally conservative strategy is unique among digital competitors and has allowed for capital-efficient, sustainable growth. Instead of growing by subsidizing its customers’ freight spend, the company focuses on organic growth driven by operational excellence coupled with API integrations, developing the technology to provide true value-added services to its customers. Loadsmart has grown revenues 250% since January 2020 while improving service quality, increasing gross margins and keeping operational expenses at 2019 levels.

“As the secular shift from analogue to digital has continued to accelerate throughout the logistics industry, in which volatility has become the norm, we are proud to help our customers leverage Loadsmart’s technology to secure capacity and exceptional service,” noted Ricardo Salgado, Loadsmart co-founder and CEO.

With the highest percentage of employees in software development and data science roles in the digital freight industry, Loadsmart was the first to market with the following: truckload instant pricing and booking in 2015; server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via API and TMS integrations in 2016; and drayage and transload digital services in 2019. This tech-first approach has allowed the company to set in place a fully scalable and automated distribution model. As a result, 85% of Loadsmart revenue is now generated (quoted and booked) with full automation.

Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Monthly Lowdown with Jim Nicholson and Kyle Lintner (K-Ratio)

Welcome to October’s Monthly Episode of Loadsmart First Look. This is a monthly series that dives into the domestic freight market, the economy as a backdrop to the trucking industry, and the latest developments and technologies that are changing the supply chain.

This month Jim Nicholson, VP of Operations at Loadsmart is joined by Kyle Lintner, Partner and Managing Director of K-Ratio to—among many things— discuss leveraging principles from the financial markets to improve efficiency in the freight industry, what a central clearinghouse for freight transactions would mean for the industry, and how universally agreed upon rate transparency might improve the flow of goods through the supply chain.

Lightning Round:

Jim: Outbound tender volume index will stay above 15,000 for 2020

Kyle: False, but not by much

Jim: Tender rejections will drop below 20% by the end of the year

Kyle: False

Jim: Tender rejections will drop below 10% in Q1

Kyle: That is a really tough one. False, but very very close.

Jim: Capacity in the marketplace will end up lower than where we went into it this year. So capacity will drop

Kyle: No, false.

Jim: Shippers will opt to move a smaller percent of their volume in contracts

Kyle: They will not put more stuff into spot, even though sometimes I think it does, flex contracts, option contracts, spot business whatever you call it, they’re going to run it on all three dedicated

Jim: Hottest trend in 2021 will be…

Kyle: More visibility

Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Nov 10 – Nov 16

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

–  Last week was exciting. We watched volume and rejections sky rocket, but it proved to be just another seasonal spike. National tender rejections started off strong at over 27% but decreased as the week moved on. 

– Along with the rejections increase earlier last week, well, so did Average LH rates as reported by Truckstop.com. We have already seen a 6 cent increase since November 1st

– Last week felt like the true kick off to this holiday season. We expect the coming week to be a challenge. It’s tight out there folks.

Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Nov 2 26 – Nov 9

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • Bullish container news continued to pour in over last week, as equipment lessor Triton International reported Q3 2020 results and described Q4 2020 demand for equipment as exceptionally strong. Market conditions are expected to remain strong at least thru early next year. Chinese factory capacity is booked thru 2020 and market conditions are expected to remain tight thru Chinese New Year.
  • A powerful snowstorm has been moving thru several states since Wednesday and intensified over the weekend. Roads stretching from California to Colorado, Montana and the Dakotas will be dangerous for drivers. Blizzard-like conditions will be heading through parts of Montana with wind gusts reaching 35-40mph and snowfalls anywhere from 2-14 inches depending on the elevation. Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada region will also affect drivers along I-80 and Highway 50 in the area. Outbound tenders have increased in some markets along the storm’s path and it is possible that many drivers will shift to other markets over the coming days to avoid the storms.
  • The US economy added 638,000 jobs in Oct., pushing the unemployment rate a full percentage point lower, to 6.9%, even as a resurgent virus threatened to slow future hiring. The rate, less than half of April’s level, is still almost twice as high as before the pandemic struck in March. Further clouding prospects is the expiration of extra unemployment benefits with no added federal stimulus yet in view. 
    • Long-term joblessness jumped, with the number of Americans unemployed for 27 weeks or more rising 1.2mil to 3.6mil. 
Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Oct 26 – Nov 1

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Director of Carrier Sales, Jordan Abrams, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

National Tender rejections continued to hover at the 25% mark. VOTRI sat strong at 24% while RFR rejections steadily decreased through the week from 44% to 41%

That wasn’t the only drop we saw. TS 7 day Avg Linehaul Rate dropped $0.12 to $2.83/mi since the first week in october. This is the most significant drop in Avg Linehaul since early May. With volumes and rejections easing, rates seem to settle. 

Let it snow! We had winter weather N TX, OK and in the upper midwest Causing capacity constraints heading into the EOM. Freeze protection is starting early and is expected to roll south as temps continue to drop. Expect RFR capacity to continue its tightness!

Read More »

Loadsmart First Look Weekly Market Recap: Oct 19 – Oct 25

This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.

This week Loadsmart’s Carrier Sales, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.

What We Saw Last Week

  • New jobless claims fell close to their lowest level last week since the pandemic began. First time flings in the week ended Oct. 17 totaled 787,000, above pre-pandemic norms but below the almost 7 million claims during a week in March when the virus prompted widespread closures.
  • White House officials and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are closing in on a nearly $2 trillion dollar deal to provide another round of stimulus checks, reinstate extra weekly unemployment benefits and extend aid for small businesses, airlines, and state and local governments. This all comes as COVID-19 cases rise to their highest levels since the middle of summer and cooler weather will hamper the ability for outdoor activities. However, if the White House and House Speaker Pelosi reach an agreement, a vote would most likely have to wait until after the election
  • Union Pacific doubled it’s surcharge on small shippers sending excess contract cargo out of the Seattle market from $500 to $1000 per container starting Oct. 25th. The upcharge comes three months after it began charging fees in the LA and Stockton-Oakland markets, but the surcharge has done much to lower demand as UP’s 3rd quarter volumes jumped 24% from Q2, the largest quarter over quarter increase in the company’s history
Read More »