Loadsmart Again Recognized as a Leading Technology Innovator in this Year’s Freight.Tech 25 — Rises Seven Spots to #15

Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, was awarded #15th place at the 2020 Freight.Tech25 awards held at Freightwaves Live CHICAGO. The award marks the second time Loadsmart has been recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the freight industry, having placed 22nd in 2019.

The FreightTech 25, chosen from the FreightTech 100, highlights the most disruptive companies across the freight and transportation industries, featuring both cutting-edge upstarts and top-notch traditional powers.

“All of our efforts have been focused on developing the right technology and partnerships to make Loadsmart the go-to-marketplace for logistics execution. We are confident that this approach will bring long-term sustainable change to the industry, which to date has seen many companies follow the traditional path of blitzscaling-for-market-share,” said Felipe Capella, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder at Loadsmart, “Moving up in Freight Tech’s Top 25 most innovative companies is further validation that we are moving in the right direction.”

Loadsmart Awarded #15 in Freight.Tech 25

The FreightTech.25 isn’t the first time Loadsmart has been recognized by analysts and industry groups. In the past 12 months, the company was awarded “Digital Brokerage of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan, nominated by Gartner as a Cool Vendor for “Intelligent SCE Technologies” and recognized by CB Insights as a disruptor in the supply chain industry.

Placing #15 in this year’s FreightTech.25 is just the latest in what has already been a very busy year, from partnering up with Oracle, to moving the first fully automated load with Starsky Robotics, and raising a new $19M round with Ports America and Maersk.

If 2019 has been any indication, we’re excited to see what 2020 has in store.

Loadsmart’s Q3 2019 State of Truckload

Loadsmart’s “State of Truckload” report combines Loadsmart’s proprietary rate and capacity data with third party information to help explain what happened in the market during the previous quarter.

Here’s what we’ve observed.

Contents:

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Summary

The third quarter of 2019 saw signals shift from warning about the possibility of a slow down to indicating an economic contraction. Cass Information’s Freight Shipment Index, an index based on $28b in freight volume, has remained negative on a year-over-year basis since December 2018, meaning monthly freight volumes have been consistently lower than 2018 levels for ten consecutive months. In Q3 the index was down an average of -4.11% per month compared to the same time the previous year.

And while linehaul rates showed signs of improvement in the third quarter, with modest month over month growth in July (+1.5%) and September (+2.3%), they remained on average -1.53% below the same time last year.

CASS INFO FREIGHT SHIPMENT INDEX

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CASS INFO LINEHAUL RATE INDEX

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The US economy also offered its own indicators suggesting signs of an economic contraction. The 10-year Treasury Yield continued to fall in July and August before initially improving in September, reaching a peak of 1.901 on 9/14. Unfortunately, that improvement quickly evaporated as it fell to 1.675 by 9/30, which put it inline with levels previously seen in mid-August. As of mid-October, it has recovered to 1.755.

Adding more fuel to the fire, the New York Federal Reserve estimated that the probability of a 2020 recession had risen to 37.93% in August, its highest level since March 2008, before slightly decreasing to 34.8% in September. Meanwhile consumer sentiment has been in decline since March (94), hitting 89 in September — a -5.3% decrease. The jobs report came in with preliminary numbers for September at 180,000 – a healthy uptick from the original projection of 136,000. It will be an important metric to watch as the number is finalized in the coming months.

RECESSION PROBABILITY BY MONTH

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CONSUMER SENTIMENT BY MONTH

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It’s important to note — “soft” economic data like consumer sentiment have finally begun to show cracks as the trade war with China continues. This was particularly evident in August as consumer sentiment fell by the most since 2012, coinciding with the U.S. declaring China a currency manipulator and both sides issuing new rounds of tariffs on one another’s imports.

The net-net? Q3 indicators are showing early signs of an economic contraction.

GLASS HALF FULL:

  • Linehaul rates showed MoM improvement in July & September

  • Cass Information Systems Shipment Index showed moderate MoM growth in August and September

  • Non-farm payrolls group by 180,000 in September, according to the preliminary jobs report

GLASS HALF EMPTY:

  • Freight volume has been down on a YoY basis for ten consecutive months
  • Consumer sentiment has finally begun to show signs of weakness. In August it fell by the most since 2012

  • Probability of a recession in 2020 hit its highest level since 2008-2009 in August (37.93%), before decreasing slightly to 34.8%

  • 10-year treasury yield shows continued signs of decline, reaching 1.675 at the end of September, before recovering slightly by mid-October

Capacity

TRUCKLOAD CAPACITY SURPLUS CONTINUES IN Q3 2019

In the third quarter truckload capacity across both dry van and reefer remained above levels previously seen in 2018 and 2017. This is not altogether unexpected, as 2018 was a breakout year for shipment volume and capacity was constrained due to new regulations and other factors. According to Loadsmart’s own proprietary capacity index, which is an aggregated view of available truck data from several sources, capacity tightened roughly 22% in July before returning to levels 5-7% lower what was previously seen in June. This is still notably tighter from the peak available truck numbers posted in April.

LOADSMART CAPACITY INDEX

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DRY VAN

After showing an initial contraction in June, DAT’s Van Load to Truck Ratio hovered between 2.09 and 2.39 loads per truck from July to September. On average, this represented a 6% increase over ratios seen in the second quarter, while still remaining 25-50% lower than what was previously recorded 2018 and 2017.

DAT VAN LOAD TO TRUCK RATIO

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REEFER

In the third quarter, reefer capacity was tighter than what was previously seen in Q2, hovering between 3.65 and 4.46 loads per truck, while still being significantly below the peak of 5.11 seen in June. According to DAT, harsh weather hurt harvests, kept rates from climbing, and caused some carriers to shift and compete for dry van loads. The moderate increase in September was largely due to the onset of apple harvest season. On the whole, Q3 reefer load-to-truck rations were nearly 25-60% lower than levels seen in 2018 and 2017.

DAT REEFER LOAD TO TRUCK RATIO

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Rates

TRUCKLOAD LINEHAUL RATES INCREASE MONTH OVER MONTH DUE TO SEASONALITY WHILE STILL REMAINING LOWER THAN 2018 LEVELS

According to Cass Information Systems, truckload linehaul rates (without fuel) increased month over month by approximately 2.3% due to seasonality while remaining below the previous years levels. Both DAT and Cass show spot pricing continuing to be significantly lower than contracted rates and as such, will likely represent a larger percentage of the mix going into the fourth quarter.

CASS INFORMATION SYSTEMS TRUCKLOAD LINEHAUL INDEX

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DRY VAN

Van spot rates (including fuel), held relatively steady in Q3, hovering between $1.84 and $1.81 per mile, which is approximately 2-4% lower than the peak of $1.89 seen in June. Diesel prices had a slightly negative impact on rates in July and August, decreasing approximately 2%, before increasing by ~$0.10 (+2.7%) in September.

Contracted rates remained relatively stable through August, hovering at $2.24 per mile, before decreasing to $2.21 in September (-2.7%). There remains a 15-20% delta between spot and contracted rates. There remains a 15-20% delta between spot and contracted rates.

DAT VAN LOAD-TO-TRUCK, SPOT RPM AND CONTRACTED RPM

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REEFER

Reefer spot rates followed a similar trend to dry van. Spot prices remained between $2.18 and $2.16 per mile, while contracted rates hovered between $2.47 and $2.46 per mile. Like their dry van counterparts, spot remained significantly lower than contracted rates (12-14%).

DAT REEFER LOAD-TO-TRUCK, SPOT RPM AND CONTRACTED RPM

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Fuel

DIESEL PRICES DECREASE IN JULY AND AUGUST BEFORE MODERATELY INCREASING IN SEPTEMBER

Diesel prices remained neutral to negative in July and August before showing a 2.7% increase by late September, hovering just around $3.08 per gallon. Kiplinger, a leading publisher of business forecasts, predicts that diesel prices will not move dramatically higher or lower in the coming weeks.

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Wrapping Up

With year over year freight volume declining for the tenth consecutive month, in addition to other economic indicators like the falling 10-year Treasury Yield and cracks in consumer sentiment, there’s reason for elevated concern.

Our take? These signals, when taken together, are indicative of an economic contraction. And while contraction is concerning, shippers have an opportunity to save in 2019 while capacity is high and spot rates remain significantly lower than other contracted options.

How Loadsmart Can Help

Loadsmart can help you take advantage of favorable market conditions by inserting real time rates alongside the static prices in your routing guide. This is made possible via direct integration with your TMS. In today’s market, there’s nearly a 20% gap between spot and contracted rates — savings which can be captured with Dynamic Routing.

Ready to Learn More?

Contact us at sales@loadsmart.com or (646) 887 6278. We look forward to working with you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer:

Materials in this presentation may contain information about Loadsmart Inc.’s future plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Included in forward looking statements are statements such as:

  • Statements regarding market trends in the U.S. freight industry, including freight volume and pricing, market size and the state of transportation management systems;

Some forward-looking statements can also be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” or similar words.

Such forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change such statements, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from our current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed.  In evaluating forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, we caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement, and readers should specifically consider the various factors which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.

In addition, any information contained in this presentation was current as of the date presented and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Consequently, readers should not rely upon the information as current or accurate after the presentation date.

[NEWS] Loadsmart Launches Smart Match Tool to Help Carriers Pair Trucks with Optimal Freight

New Solution Maximizes Loaded Miles by Matching Carrier Availability with Shipper Demand Through Advanced Integrations and Machine Learning

NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2019—Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, today announced the launch of its Smart Match tool, which provides carriers a faster, easier way to find the right loads to improve their bottom line. By directly integrating with the fleet management platforms relied on by carriers, Loadsmart is able to use machine learning to programmatically match available trucks with the freight it’s awarded via integrations with some of the most popular transportation management systems.

Loadsmart is offering a new level of digital freight matching targeted primarily toward enterprise carriers. With API integration directly to both the carrier and the shipper TMS, Smart Match uses the location of trucks to instantly connect available capacity with shipper demand, maximizing revenue per loaded mile and improving the bottom line.

“Smart Match empowers carriers to move beyond the current load-to-truck paradigm, filtering through endless freight being offered, and instead go truck-to-load, pulling freight from the cloud onto their assets to help balance their network ,” said Hunter Yaw, vice president of product management and business development, Loadsmart. “The new capability will help accelerate how carriers align their networks to the highest yield markets.”

With Smart Match, carriers can receive automated load recommendations based on the current and future availability of their trucks. And as a result of TMS integration and relationships with some of the country’s biggest shippers, Smart Match offers visibility to thousands of potential shipments.

Slowing demand, excess capacity and historic declines in freight rates have resulted in rampant “rightsizing” across the trucking industry, putting companies large and small out of business. More than ever before, carriers face margin pressures, stiff competition and operational challenges. The largely manual and time-consuming process of finding loads and aligning vehicle assets to the most profitable markets is a significant resource drain for for-hire fleets. Loadsmart’s Smart Match capability, which taps the power of machine learning and other technologies to automate the data-heavy task of load matching, speeds time to revenue and maximizes asset utilization.

“The transportation industry is at a pivotal crossroads rounding out a particularly tough year. We believe in equipping carriers and shippers with technology to succeed and thrive, while minimizing cost per transaction,” said Erik Malin, vice president of operations at Loadsmart. “With AI-powered Smart Match, we’re making it faster and easier for carriers to uncover the most profitable markets and find the right opportunities to grow their business.”

Smart Match is now available for fleets of all sizes. Learn more: https://loadsmart.com/carrier/

About Loadsmart     Loadsmart is a digital freight technology company that specializes in full truckload and intermodal shipping. Loadsmart is leveraging data and machine learning to build artificial intelligence processes into the complex freight cycle, allowing shippers to book a truck in seconds and providing instant and targeted loads to carriers. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com.    


Loadsmart’s Q2 2019 State of Truckload

With all of the recent news (Starsky Partnership, Simple Quote Launch, and $19M in New Funding), our quarterly State of Truckload report was a bit delayed this past quarter. Now that we’ve caught our breath, we’re ready to share what we observed.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Loadsmart’s “State of Truckload” report combines industry leading data sources to help explain what happened in the market during the previous quarter.

Here’s what we’ve observed.

Contents:

Summary

The second quarter of 2019 saw warning signs of a possible economic slowdown shift from theory to reality. Cass Information’s Freight Shipment Index, an index based on $28b in freight volume, has remained negative on a year-over-year basis since December 2018, meaning that as of this past June, monthly freight volumes have been lower than 2018 levels for seven month in a row. That trend has continued in Q3 (more on that shortly).

Further, while truckload linehaul rates initially showed minor improvement in March, they fell nearly 3% in the second quarter.

CASS INFO FREIGHT SHIPMENT INDEX

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CASS_INFO_LINEHAUL_RATES

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The US economy also offered its own indicators suggesting a potential slow down. After the 10-year Treasury Yield moved back into correction territory at the end of March (2.41% on 3/31/2019), it fell even further in June (2.007% on 6/30/2019). The New York Federal Reserve estimated that the probability of a 2020 recession had risen to 37.9% in August, approaching the 40% level we see saw in 2008-2009.

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Meanwhile consumer sentiment continued to strengthen, hitting 98.2 in June. The jobs report, after giving a scare in May (62,000 jobs), posted 178,000 new jobs in June, hovering a bit below its 102-month average.

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX

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It’s important to note — these trends have not happened in a vacuum. The tariffs and continuing trade war with China have taken their toll on the markets and added an extra headwind for Q3.

The net-net? Q1 indicators showed a slowdown compared to last year and hinted at the possibility of upcoming economic contraction. Q2 signals have all but confirmed that an economic contract is on the horizon.

GLASS HALF FULL:

  • Freight volume, while lower than the blockbuster levels of 2018, has shown relatively consistent month over month growth 
  • Consumer Sentiment for June reached 98.2 and either matched or exceed 2018 levels for May and June

GLASS HALF EMPTY:

Economic contraction is on the horizon

  • Freight volume has been down on a YoY basis for seven consecutive months
  • Total construction spending remained below 2018 levels for the entire second quarter
  • YoY growth for truckload linehaul rates has continued slowing since mid-2018.  June 2019 was only 0.9% more than June 2018.
  • 10-year Treasury Yield has fallen back into correction territory
  • Probability of a recession in 2020 has risen to its highest level since 2008-2009. Again.

Capacity

TRUCKLOAD CAPACITY CONTRACTS IN Q2 2019

Q2 2019 saw capacity begin to “rightsize” relative to decreasing shipment volumes and lower linehaul rates. Sadly, this has resulted in a number of trucking companies going out of business.

DRY VAN

DAT’s Van Load to Truck ratio hovered between 1.45 and 3.13 loads per truck from April to June, a sharp difference from just a year ago when the ratio was between 3.51 and 6.29 loads per truck. The 2019 LTR even remained below 2017 levels.

dat_ltr_van

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REEFER

The DAT reported that reefer load to truck ratios also remained below 2018 and 2017 levels, hovering between 2.58 – 5.11 loads per truck between April and June. That’s nearly nearly 70-80% lower than 2017 levels and 120-150% lower than 2018 metrics.

dat_reefer

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Rates

REDUCED SHIPMENT VOLUME AND MARKET UNCERTAINTY CREATE A PERFECT STORM FOR LINEHAUL RATES

According to Cass Information Systems, truckload linehaul rates (without fuel) continued to contract throughout Q2 and June remained just 0.9% above the previous years levels in June. 

CASS_INFO_LINEHAUL_RATES

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DRY VAN

In our previous report, we found that van spot rates (including fuel), had been in steady decline since reaching $2.83 per mile in June of 2018. In the second quarter of 2019, spot rates continued to fall in April ($1.81) and May ($1.80), before surging to $1.89 in June. And while rising diesel prices helped spot rates reach their peak in 2018, they have continued to have a decidedly neutral impact in the second quarter.

Contracted rates remained relatively stable throughout Q2, hovering around $2.26 per mile.

dat_van_ltr_rates

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REEFER

Reefer rates followed a somewhat similar trend to dry van. Spot prices declined in April ($2.15) and May ($2.15) before surging in June ($2.26). Contracted rates fell roughly 2.4% from March, landing at $2.48 in June.

dat_reefer_ltr_rates

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Fuel

DIESEL PRICES INCREASE IN SECOND QUARTER, REMAIN BELOW 2018 PEAK

The price of diesel remained relatively consistent in Q2 2019, hovering between $3.16 and $3.09 per gallon. This represents a 2.5-3.5% increase over Q1.

diesel_prices

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Wrapping Up

With year over year freight volume declining for the seventh consecutive month, in addition to other economic indicators like the falling 10-year Treasury Yield, it’s relatively certain that we are on the edge of economic contraction. As such, elevated concern and planning for economic for 2020 is warranted.

How Loadsmart Can Help

Loadsmart can help you take advantage of favorable market conditions by inserting real time rates alongside the static prices in your routing guide. This is made possible via direct integration with your TMS. In today’s market, there’s a 15 – 20% gap between spot and contracted rates — savings which can be captured with Dynamic Routing.

Ready to Learn More?

Contact us at sales@loadsmart.com or (646) 887 6278. We look forward to working with you.

Disclaimer:

Materials in this presentation may contain information about Loadsmart Inc.’s future plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Included in forward looking statements are statements such as:

  • Statements regarding market trends in the U.S. freight industry, including freight volume and pricing, market size and the state of transportation management systems;

Some forward-looking statements can also be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” or similar words.

Such forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change such statements, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from our current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed.  In evaluating forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, we caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement, and readers should specifically consider the various factors which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.

In addition, any information contained in this presentation was current as of the date presented and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Consequently, readers should not rely upon the information as current or accurate after the presentation date.

[NEWS] Loadsmart Announces $19 Million Investment for Major Drayage Initiative with Maersk and Ports America

The largest U.S. port operator joins Maersk as a Loadsmart investor

New York, NYLoadsmart, a digital freight technology company, today announced they have raised $19 million to embark on a major initiative to improve the flow of freight through American ports. Ports America, the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the U.S., joins the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator’s investment arm Maersk Growth as an investor. This latest round follows Loadsmart’s series A round in late 2018, bringing total funding to date to $53.3 million.

The investment will be leveraged for Loadsmart’s new Smart Drayage initiative, helping industry participants rethink the flow of shipping containers through marine terminals and develop a free-flow model to accelerate the transit of goods through the largest ports in America.

“The free-flow model moves the industry from container-specific to container-agnostic. It means that truck drivers will be given the best container available when they arrive at the port, having pre-agreed with a specific mileage band trip” said Ricardo Salgado, CEO and co-founder of Loadsmart. “As a result, we project that truck drivers will be able to reduce their time to get in and out of the port by at least 25%. At the same time, we estimate that port operators will be able to reduce container shuffles by at least 50%, which is a huge efficiency gain.”

Recent Freightwaves research shows that there are more than 60 million drayage movements each year in North America, representing a $50 billion plus market with ports contributing 26 percent to the U.S. gross domestic product. Yet, due to lack of efficiency and transparency, 15 million man-hours and 2.3 billion gallons of fuel are wasted due to trucker congestion at ports. 

Maersk alone moves around 13 million containers a year, or around 15% of the world’s container market. Ports America operates 33 port terminals in 22 cities in the U.S. and moves around 6.7 million containers in and out of the country.

“At Maersk Growth we want to define the future of trade,” said Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth. “From the onset, we recognized the synergies between Maersk and Loadsmart and our joint opportunity to drive change through technology. Our partnership will increase inland business opportunities to add value to our clients.”

As part of the new drayage initiative, Loadsmart will leverage the data, expertise and industry knowledge of major industry players.

“As the only tri-coastal terminal operator, we are focused on providing value to supply chains through transparent and efficient terminal operations and in our pursuit to provide our customers with best-in-class service, we need to rethink how goods are moved more efficiently. Streamlining the drayage movement benefits our trucking community with faster turn times while providing cargo owners with better visibility and more efficient container retrievals” said Mark Montgomery, President and CEO, Ports America. “

The announcement comes together with the release of Loadsmart Drayage Instant Booking. The new service is available via Loadsmart’s website and enables small and medium sized shippers to book a drayage truck in seconds. For enterprise accounts Loadsmart offers an API integrated solution. 

Aside from Ports America and Maersk Growth, Chromo and Connor Capital (who also took part in the firm’s Series A funding last October) participated in this intermodal-focused investment, bringing the total investment in Loadsmart to date to $53.4 million.

“The addition of drayage to our established expertise in truckload services allows Loadsmart to provide integrated logistics services through technology. Our goal is to offer shippers of all sizes access to a fully integrated, seamless multi-modal end-to-end experience,” said Felipe Capella, chief product officer and co-founder, Loadsmart.

“Chromo is here for the long haul. We are fully supportive of Loadsmart’s executive team in their technology-first approach, which will now become the standard for drayage as well,” said Marcelo Ferreira, managing partner, Chromo.

“Logistics is a trillion dollar industry worldwide which requires more technology and efficiency. We believe Loadsmart will be the technology platform bringing different players together in a scalable and integrated way,” said Josh Connor, managing partner, Connor Capital.

Learn more about Smart Drayage

About Loadsmart     

Loadsmart is a digital freight platform that specializes in truckload and intermodal shipping. Loadsmart is leveraging data and machine learning to build artificial intelligence processes into the complex freight cycle, allowing shippers to book a truck in seconds and providing instant and targeted loads to carriers. https://loadsmart.com

VIDEO: Loadsmart CEO Ricardo Salgado on the Future of Freight

Our very own Ricardo Salgado recently sat down with Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, to discuss the future of freight.

In it, they cover
– How technology and innovation are deeply rooted in Loadsmart’s DNA
– Why Loadsmart’s go-to-market is focused on building an ecosystem of strategic partners — and how that’s different than other digital brokers
– How the digitization of transportation is comparable to the launch of the first iPhone
– What excites Ricardo most when it comes to the future of freight and Loadsmart’s story

Length: 15:40

News: Loadsmart now provides shippers with instant pricing via Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets

Today we released our Simple Quote add-on for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. The integrations provide shippers the ability to price and book truckload shipments in seconds directly from within a spreadsheet — without the need for a transportation management system (TMS).

While we already provide instant truckload rates inside most major TMSs, enabling Fortune 500 companies to book a truckload in seconds, we are now the first provider to level the playing field for smaller shippers with the new integrations.  

Read More »

SlideShare: How AI is revolutionizing the contracted model

At last week’s Gartner Supply Chain conference, we had the opportunity to present our thoughts on how technologies like artificial intelligence are revolutionizing how truckload freight is priced, booked and shipped.

Interested in diving deeper? Check out our presentation via the SlideShare below.

Abstract
While the contracted carrier model has long been relied on by shippers looking to secure access to capacity, that security comes at a price. Routing guides are rarely updated and can move slowly, resulting in excessive costs and poor service. At the same time, they are critical for effective procurement.

With AI, can we make the contracted model smarter?

Read on to learn:

  • How AI can guarantee access to capacity
  • Lessons we can learn from the airline industry
  • Ways AI can accelerate the sourcing process

Loadsmart’s Q1 2019 State of Truckload

Loadsmart’s “State of Truckload” report combines Loadsmart’s proprietary rate and capacity data with third party information to help explain what happened in the market during the previous quarter.

Here’s what we’ve observed.

Contents:

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Summary

The first quarter of 2019 saw increasing concern about the possibility of an economic slowdown and how it might impact transportation markets. Cass Information’s Freight Shipment Index, an index based on $28b in freight volume, has remained negative on a year-over-year basis since December 2018, meaning monthly freight volumes have been consistently lower than 2018 levels.

Further, while truckload linehaul rates continued to improve month over month since January, their rate of growth has been in decline since December. This is not altogether unexpected, as January and February are typically slow months for truckload freight.

CASS INFO FREIGHT SHIPMENT INDEX

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The US economy offered its own set of mixed signals. After the 10-year Treasury Yield moved into correction territory in December of 2018 (2.52% in December) and initially recovered in February (2.73% on 2/4/19), it fell back again into correction levels at the end of March (2.41% on 3/31/2019). Adding more fuel to the fire, the New York Federal Reserve estimated that the probability of a 2020 recession had risen to 27.07% in April, its highest level since 2008-2009.

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Meanwhile consumer sentiment, after showing signs of decline in February, grew to 98.4 in March, its highest level since October 2018. The jobs report, after giving an initial scare in February, posted 196,000 new jobs in March, in hovering near its 102-month average.

CONSUMER SENTIMENT INDEX

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It’s important to note — these trends have not happened in a vacuum. The month-long government shutdown, combined with tariffs and the threat of a trade war with China have taken their toll on the markets and added an extra headwind for Q1.

The net-net? Q1 indicators showed a slowdown compared to last year, but it’s not time to turn completely negative in our outlook. 2019 will show continued growth, albeit slower than the breakout levels of 2018.

In an abundance of caution, we’d advise paying closer attention to freight volumes and other economic indicators as we move into Q2 2019.

GLASS HALF FULL:

While we won’t see the meteoric volume and rates of 2018, we’ll see steady, more measured, growth in 2019.

  • Freight volume, while lower than the blockbuster levels of 2018, has shown month over month growth since January
  • Consumer Sentiment for March reached 98.4, -3.3% over the same time last year, but +4.4% over February 2019
  • Non-farm payrolls grew by 196,000 jobs in March 2019, exceeding the 170,000 target and eliminating fears generated from the 33,000 jobs in February’s report
  • Construction spending for January and February remains above 2018 levels (+1%)
  • The impact of the government shutdown is temporary, with the economy expected to further stabilize in Q2

GLASS HALF EMPTY:

Economic contraction is on the horizon, we just don’t know when.

  • Freight volume has been down on a YoY basis for four consecutive months
  • YoY growth for truckload linehaul rates has been slowing since mid-2018
  • 10-year treasury yield has fallen back into correction territory (2.41% on 3/31/2019)
  • Probability of a recession in 2020 has risen to its highest level since 2008-2009

Capacity

TRUCKLOAD CAPACITY SURGES IN Q1 2019

Outside of reduced shipment volume, rates in the first quarter remained low in large part due to excess capacity. Available trucks were able to cover most surges in demand, resulting in rates staying relatively flat or declining.

There are a couple of interesting takeaways here. First, a strong 2018 freight market coupled with savings from the 2018 federal tax cut led fleets to order more trucks than needed to replace older trucks — those new trucks are hitting the road now . Second, the initial capacity shortage tied to ELD implementation last April has passed, with previously sidelined equipment now making it back onto the road.

Quite simply, we haven’t seen this much capacity in years.

DRY VAN

DAT’s Van Load to Truck ratio hovered between 1.5 and 2.0 loads per truck from January to March, a sharp difference from just a year ago when the ratio was between 4 and 6 loads per truck. For two out of the three months, the 2019 ratio even remained below 2017 levels.

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Source

According to Loadsmart’s own proprietary capacity index, which is essentially an aggregated view of available trucks from dozens of sources, capacity has only continued to strengthen in Q1. March available truck postings grew 36% over February and April is already on pace to exceed March.

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REEFER

In the first quarter, excess capacity was not limited to just van. The DAT reported that reefer load to truck ratios remained below 2018 and 2017 levels, hovering between 3.0 – 4.0 loads per truck between January and March. That’s nearly a 50% increase in capacity compared to 2018, when the load to truck ratio was between 7.0 and 12.

And while everyone expected the market to be soft in Q1, the ‘spring produce surge’ that typically starts to drive higher freight volumes had not yet arrived by March, delayed by flooding in the midwest and continued bad weather. It will be an important signal to watch as we move into Q2.

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Source

Rates

EXCESS CAPACITY AND REDUCED SHIPMENT VOLUME CREATE A PERFECT STORM FOR LINEHAUL RATES

According to Cass Information Systems, truckload linehaul rates (without fuel) continued to contract throughout Q1, while remaining 6% above the previous years levels. This should come as no surprise, as demand remains soft and capacity has begun to rebound from the near crisis levels experienced during 2018.

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Source

DRY VAN

Van spot rates (including fuel), have been in steady decline since reaching $2.83 per mile in June of 2018 according to the DAT. In the first quarter of 2019, spot rates fell 5.1%, sliding from $1.95 / mile to an average of $1.85. And while rising diesel prices helped spot rates reach their peak in 2018, they have had a decidedly neutral impact in the first quarter.

Contracted rates remained relatively stable through December of 2018, but decreased roughly 2.5% in Q1, moving from $2.32 in January to $2.26 in March.

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Source

REEFER

Reefer rates followed a similar trend to dry van. Spot prices declined 6% in Q1, moving from $2.31 per mile to an average of $2.17. Contracted rates held their own, staying relatively stable at $2.54 per mile.

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Source

Fuel

DIESEL PRICES RELATIVELY CONSISTENT IN FIRST QUARTER, REMAIN BELOW 2018 PEAK

While the price of diesel had a decidedly positive bias on overall freight expenditures in
2018, it was relatively neutral in the first quarter of 2019, with prices staying flat in January and February, while increasing 2.5% in March ($3.076 / gallon). The United States Energy Information Administration has forecasted the cost of diesel at $3.08 per gallon in 2019, so we’ll likely see rates creep up as we make our way through the rest of the year.

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Source

Wrapping Up

With year over year freight volume declining for the fourth consecutive month, in addition to other economic indicators like the falling 10-year Treasury Yield, there’s now good reason for elevated concern. However, that concern should be weighted by the fact that month over month volume is growing, and demand still outstrips available capacity.

Our take? While elevated concern around economic contraction in 2020 is appropriate, it’s not yet time for doom and gloom. Shippers have an opportunity to save in 2019 while capacity is high and spot rates are in decline.

How Loadsmart Can Help

Loadsmart can help you take advantage of favorable market conditions by inserting real time rates alongside the static prices in your routing guide. This is made possible via direct integration with your TMS. In today’s market, there’s nearly a 20% gap between spot and contracted rates — savings which can be captured with Dynamic Routing.

Ready to Learn More?

Contact us at sales@loadsmart.com or (646) 887 6278. We look forward to working with you.

Disclaimer:

Materials in this presentation may contain information about Loadsmart Inc.’s future plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Included in forward looking statements are statements such as:

  • Statements regarding market trends in the U.S. freight industry, including freight volume and pricing, market size and the state of transportation management systems;

Some forward-looking statements can also be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” or similar words.

Such forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change such statements, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from our current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed.  In evaluating forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, we caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement, and readers should specifically consider the various factors which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.

In addition, any information contained in this presentation was current as of the date presented and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Consequently, readers should not rely upon the information as current or accurate after the presentation date.

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.