[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.

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[NEWS] Loadsmart Announces Multimode Expansion to Less-Than-Truckload and Rail

Leading Digital Broker Offers Industry-First Mode Optimization Across Full Truckload, Less Than Truckload, Partial, Rail and Drayage

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2020—Loadsmart, a leading digital freight technology company, today announced the expansion of its Multimodal Services to include less than truckload (LTL) and rail. The first digital freight broker to offer truly multimodal solutions, Loadsmart now enables customers to book shipments in North America across all major transportation modes, building on existing capabilities for full truckload (FTL), port drayage and transload.  

“Loadsmart is now a one-stop-shop logistics solution for domestic freight,” said Felipe Capella, Loadsmart co-founder and president. “We want shippers to focus on their core business instead of having to select and manage multiple providers to solve their many logistics needs.”

In addition to giving shippers more choices, Loadsmart now offers mode optimization services, identifying opportunities to secure lower rates and more reliable capacity by selecting the best mode for each load in real time. The company has already begun offering expanded Multimodal Services to a select number of customers, and has seen rapid adoption. Through mode optimization, Loadsmart is actively helping shippers move loads originally planned as FTL via partial, LTL or rail, reducing cost by as much as 24%.

Loadsmart was the first to introduce FTL instant pricing and booking in 2015, executed the market’s first server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via API integrations to TMS in 2016, and offered the first digital drayage and transload services in 2019. In Q2 2020, the company added more customers via direct integration with the shipper’s TMS than in all of 2019, and this trend accelerated further in Q3 2020. These vital TMS integrations allow rates, tenders, tracking and invoicing to flow automatically between Loadsmart and the customer, delivering unmatched visibility to the shipments.

“Having invested in digital infrastructure by partnering with companies like Oracle, BluJay, MercuryGate and Blue Yonder, we’re now building on this foundation by offering a broader range of logistics services across LTL, partial and rail,” added Capella. “Looking ahead to 2021, we will be adding these services to existing TMS integrations.”

“Mode optimization is a critical component to the supply chain strategy, unlocking cost savings and reducing waste caused by suboptimal decision making,” said Jim Nicholson, vice president of operations at Loadsmart. “Loadsmart leverages data, integrations and algorithms to provide a best-in-class solution, allowing our customers to streamline the transportation of their goods.”

All shippers will be able to book FTL, LTL and drayage moves directly on www.loadsmart.com. For rail bookings, companies can work directly with Loadsmart’s account management team.

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.

[WEBINAR] The First Steps Toward Digital Transformation In Freight

With a tumultuous year nearly behind us, heading into 2021, transportation leaders are asking, “how can we be more prepared next year, and where should we invest resources?” 

Transportation is becoming increasingly efficient as shippers embrace digital transformation and integrate systems and processes.  

By taking an agile approach toward adopting freight technology, shippers eliminate operational inefficiency and avoid costly pitfalls – even in extraordinarily strained markets.

In this webinar, learn how to:

  • Eliminate overpaying for freight by building upon your TMS
  • Customize routing guides to mitigate high tender rejection – recently hovering over 25% nationally
  • Automate better and more profitable business decisions

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.  

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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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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LOADSMART APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF OPERATIONS

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

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

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

Erik_Malin
Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart

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

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

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

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