[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

Loadsmart completes first-ever automated dispatch and delivery with Starsky Robotics’ autonomous truck

The announcement marks the first time an autonomous company and a digital broker have collaborated to price, book and deliver a shipment without any human involvement.

Together with Starsky Robotics were able to automatically dispatch an autonomous truck to haul freight; having successfully priced, tendered and booked via Loadsmart and then picked up and delivered the shipment using Starsky’s self-driving technology. The integration of Loadsmart’s AI-powered pricing and load matching technology with Starsky’s API meant no human intervention was required. The historic initiative is part of a larger strategic partnership which paves the way for the future of trucking: digital brokerages dispatching freight to autonomous trucks without human involvement.

Read More »

NEWS: Loadsmart and One Network Partner to Create a Seamless and Automated Freight Brokering Experience

To help organizations optimize their freight booking processes, we entered into a strategic partnership with One Network Enterprises, a leader in supply chain network technology. Our joint solution connects Loadsmart’s instant pricing and transportation capacity from the Loadsmart carrier network with One Network’s market-leading SaaS platform, a disruptive artificial intelligence-based technology which enables autonomous supply chain management solutions. As a result of our partnership, shippers can leverage technology in order to reduce friction and create value in the freight market. 

According to Silpa Paul, team lead of Commercial Vehicle Research and Consulting at Frost & Sullivan, “While the trucking industry is in a phase of digital transformation with connected devices bringing greater visibility and transparency across the supply chain the brokerage process, until recently, has struggled to digitalize.”

Recognizing this challenge, and the potential of leveraging artificial intelligence, we forged this collaboration in order to automate the pricing and booking of freight for more than 75,000 participating organizations who rely on One Network to optimize and operate their supply chain. 

Read More »

News: Loadsmart and Oracle Collaborate to Digitize Logistics

Relationship offering shippers real-time truckload rates within their Oracle Transportation Management Cloud routing guide

Loadsmart and Oracle partner to digitize logistics

As a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork we now announce our collaboration to provide Oracle Logistics Cloud customers instantly bookable truckload rates and guaranteed capacity from the Loadsmart network of qualified carriers directly in Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) Cloud.

Fortune 500 customers such as Kraft-Heinz and The Coca-Cola Company now leverage Loadsmart’s Dynamic Routing Guide technology within Oracle Transportation Management Cloud, which helps transportation teams take advantage of market conditions by inserting instantly bookable real-time rates alongside static prices in their routing guide.

Read More »

The Future of Truckload Shipping

Things are changing a lot in the trucking industry. Technology startups have flocked to tackle big and small problems in the supply chain. Venture capital funds are backing different solutions excited about the size of the market and historical inefficiencies. Meanwhile, traditional players are pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to improve existing processes to avoid being dethroned.

Surprisingly, very little has changed in the actual movement of freight, at least in outward appearance. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is the industry’s complexity, which together with historical distrust of technology has lengthened the adoption cycle of new features among more traditional players. And where technology has in fact been adopted, it’s impact has been undercut by the sheer size and fragmentation of the industry; technology is only materially felt once a substantial number of players adopts it.

But timid technology penetration and slow adoption should not discredit or downplay the impact that technology and automation will have, playing a fundamental role in shaping the future of the trucking and freight brokerage industry. And what’s coming is really exciting.

Joe Tsai & Felipe
Alibaba’s co-founder Joe Tsai discusses logistics challenges with Loadsmart’s co-founder Felipe Capella at a recent Sullivan & Cromwell alumni reception in New York

There is a clear downturn tendency in freight brokerage margins. As they continue to shrink, the historical value proposition of freight brokersselling and pricing each load and finding its truckwill decline heavily. Soon, brokers won’t need thousands of employees to power their operations; instead, new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, ubiquitous data sharing, more secure and available chain of ownership (ie via blockchain technology) and real-time, over-the-air telematics will serve as potent force multipliers. All of this will dramatically reduce the actual cost of brokering freight and increase consolidation of small- and medium-sized brokers.

In the long run, things will change more dramatically. Several states will clear autonomous trucks for specific lanes (hub-to-hub). Carrier operational costs will drop significantly and drivers may move from carrier-based to warehouse-based. Huge consolidation on the carrier side will probably follow. Small companies will likely struggle to compete in this new environment, displaced, swallowed up, or put out of business by large enterprises with massive fleets of autonomous vehicles, where few carriers will be moving a very large portion of the total FTL shipments. The exact role original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will play in creating this new trucking reality is, for the moment, less clear, but it will likely be important as they too want to become software and service providers. Some big enterprises shippers will end up running their own autonomous trucks fleet, but most companies will rely on third party autonomous truck providers.

 

oTMS
oTMS’s co-founder Mirek Dabrowski (far right) and VP of Services Adam Davis (far left) during a recent visit to Loadsmart from Shanghai

 

Of course, down the road, brokers as we currently know them will all but disappear, crippled by the continued advance of technology and growing use of automation across the industry, which only debase a broker’s value as they become more popular, lowering or removing thresholds that were once gatekeepers.  Once this happens, the age of logistics technology platforms will truly begin.

Loadsmart is positioning itself for this upcoming future: a future based on data, artificial intelligence, and automation of load movements. We have nurtured good relationships with logistics players across Asia, Europe, Latin and North America, and are sharing knowledge with these trusted partners to transform the logistics business.

Felipe Capella is co-founder and Chief of Product at Loadsmart

Working Towards a Slavery-Free Supply Chain

Last Wednesday, in an urgent and moving testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on “Ending Modern Slavery,” actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher pressed the importance of using technology in the fight against human trafficking. Citing the significant impact a suite of web-based tools developed by Thor, a company co-founded and chaired by Kutcher, has had on rescuing victims, the actor called on U.S. legislators to direct further funding for the development of additional products and technologies to help combat modern slavery.

We couldn’t have argued it better ourselves.

We are firm believers in the transformative power of technology (we are a technology company after all) and its capacity to change the world for the better. In fact, this simple belief powers pretty much everything we do: fundamental to all our efforts is the creation of abundant value—for our immediate customers, yes, but also for individuals and businesses across the supply chain and beyond too. That’s also why in recent months, we’ve focused on identifying ways we can leverage our data, technology, and industry partnerships to help bring an end to human exploitation and sex trafficking.

That human trafficking affects nearly every country, in nearly every geography, is sublime in the darkest sense of the word, a clear affront to our common humanity. No wonder the UN calls it the crime that “shames us all.” And yet trafficking in persons remains staggeringly persistent, at once both nearer and more common than most realize. Victimizing nearly 21 million women, men, and children around the world, this modern-day form of slavery is the second-largest illicit industry behind drugs, generating an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. At home in the US, trafficking takes place in towns and cities in all 50 states and places nearly 300,000 children at risk each year.

For everyone at Loadsmart, the moral imperative couldn’t be clearer: “We take our impact seriously and we’re dedicated to working for the common good and doing what’s right, in addition to being deeply passionate about building transformative technology for logistics,” explains our Chief Commercial Officer Diego Urrutia. Urrutia’s proximity to human trafficking is particularly personal: his wife, Kristin Pisarcik, was part of the award-winning team of journalists at ABC News that broke the story about America’s domestic sex trafficking issue and spent half a decade reporting on victims of the crime and local and national efforts to stamp out the issue.

What We’re Doing to Help

Current efforts, like the software developed by Kutcher’s Thor, demonstrate technology’s potential as a force for good and its power to disrupt human trafficking. Learning from and building upon these successes, our engineers are hard at work exploring and developing new features and tools to add to our products that will aid the cause. Currently, and notably, we are iterating through an update to our mobile driver app that will allow truckers to instantly connect with The National Human Trafficking Hotline to quickly provide tips, seek services, request help, or alert authorities—all without leaving our app.

tat-logo-transparentWe’ve also recently teamed up with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to help educate, equip, empower, and mobilize our partners—shippers, carriers, and drivers—to
combat domestic human trafficking. Since 2009, TAT has worked tirelessly to rally America’s 3.4 million truck drivers and members of the trucking industry to prevent human trafficking on US highways.

As the eyes and ears of the nation’s roads, tuckers have proved to be effective allies in the effort to halt trafficking. With the help of TAT, members of the trucking industry have become one of the fastest growing demographics of callers to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in the country, generating 503 cases of sex trafficking involving some 1098 victims.

We are proud to support TAT’s impactful work to combat this crime and look forward to partnering with others in the industry as we put the brakes on child sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

— Gordon Bottomley

Update: March 1, 2017
This post has been updated to reflect new data released on the number of sex trafficking cases and victims reported to the National Human TraffickingResource Center by members of the trucking industry.

WATCH: Ashton Kutcher delivers his opening statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on ending modern slavery and human trafficking.