Weekly Market Recap: Feb 8 – Feb 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 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

  • DOE/EIA weekly retail diesel prices rose for the 14th consecutive week. Diesel prices in all markets continue to rise and show no signs of slowing, particularly with the cold weather gripping much of the US. Diesel prices have returned to levels last seen in early March 2020, before the full impact of COVID-19. Demand has remained robust through freight transportation and is ahead of year-ago levels; though domestic gasoline is down 10% and jet fuel down 34%. 
  • Federal regulators issued a fourth extension to the HOS waiver that was set to expire on Feb 28th. The exemption to the HOS rules for drivers was first issued on March 12, 2020 in response to the pandemic. The recent extension will go through May 31st and included a new restriction to those operating a vehicle in a condition likely to cause an accident or breakdown and operating a vehicle declared and marked out of service until all repairs have been completed. 
  • New weekly unemployment claims pulled back slightly but held at elevated levels last week, and the prior week’s new claims were upwardly revised as the pandemic exerted more pressure on the labor market. Initial claims ended the week of Feb. 6th at 793,000 vs. 760,000 as expected and a revised 812,000 during the prior week. This brought new claims for the week ended Feb. 6 to the lowest level in 5 weeks and, despite last week’s upward revision, the four-week moving average for new claims fell by 33,500 to 823,000. Based on the latest data however, 20.4 million Americans are still claiming benefits of some form, marking an increase of more than 2.5 million from a prior week. 
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Weekly Market Recap: Feb 1 – Feb 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 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

  • Winter weather was THE challenge throughout the week as snow came and went across the Midwest and Northeast
  • Due to this weather, rejections continued their upward trend even as volume remained flat. But remember, while flat for 2021, volumes are still 40% higher than this time last year
  • Nation Rejections increased over 22. To  22.90%. As weather delays and deminishes capacity more tenders will be sent to the spot market for last minute coverage
Read More »

Weekly Market Recap: Jan 25 – Jan 31

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

  • As van and reefer levels have started to come down, flatbed freight has been making a comeback. Last week, flatbed surpassed van and reefer spot rates, averaging $2.85/mi, while van fell from $2.85 to $2.71/mi.
  • This is a return to normalcy, as flatbed freight is typically more costly than dry van, but also shows signs of the broader economy as flatbed is closely tied to industrial production and construction, the former has yet to fully recover from the initial blow of the pandemic.
  • A new week and the same story for the ports of Southern California. According to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, there were 33 container ships at anchorages and 26 at berths as of Wednesday last week. Including all ship types, there were 55 vessels at anchorages – a new record, with all Los Angeles/Long Beach anchorages full and all contingency anchorages off Huntington also full.
  • Port congestions and bottlenecks have reportedly improved in the past few weeks, but will most likely not get much reprieve during the Chinese New Year as there have been little blank sailing announcements. Compared with last year, trans-Pacific trade blanked 2.1% of total deployed capacity to the West Coast and 3.6% to the East Coast vs. 30.5% and 27.7% respectively last year.
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Weekly Market Recap: Jan 18 – Jan 24

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

  • January has cooled the market as rejections fall and volumes slow
  • Volumes decreased and settled at just under 14k. remember this is still over 40% higher levels than last year
  • Rejections continue their downward trend and rest around 22%. Another reminder – Rejections were at 8% at this same time last year  
  • The Truckstop AVG LH dropped $0.37 from $3.22 to $2.85. 
Read More »

Weekly Market Recap: Jan 11 – Jan 17

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 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

  • Tender rejections fell after Christmas, in line with previous years, but rejections have stalled and are currently hovering around 23%. We still remain in a tight market, particularly as tender volumes have increased in the same timeframe. We can anticipate rejections bottoming out around the 20% mark, as demand is still high and there is a backlog at the ports.  
  • Last week VOTVI increased to 10,390.87 index points, but reefer outbound tender volumes held steady just under 2,150.00 index points. The markets of Savannah, Memphis, Joplin, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toledo, LA, and Ontario all saw significantly higher amounts of outbound loads versus inbound trucks, pushing their headhaul scores above 50, which will also apply upward pressure on spot rates out of those markets.
  • As of midday Wed. 91 ships were at the Port of LA 46 at birth, 45 anchored; of those, 56 were container ships. 19 more ships arrived, with equal amounts departing. Ships have filled all anchorage spots in the ports and are now occupying 6 of the 10 contingency spots near Huntington Beach. Port of LA’s forecasting tool, the Signal, indicates imports are expected to rise from 144,000 TEU’s last week, to 158,000 TEU’s this week and will end the month at 183,000 TEU. Liners are not anticipated to cancel sailing during the Chinese New Year, which will not aid the congestion currently being experienced due to strong consumer demand and a labor shortage.
  • Last Thursday we saw first-time jobless claims totaled 965,000 last week. The total was higher than Wall Street estimates of 800,000 and above last week’s totals of 784,000. The total was the highest since the week of Aug. 22, when just over 1 million were filed. 
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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.
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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.
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[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 »