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.
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.
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.
Erica E. Phillips, supply chain reporter for WSJ Logistics Report, writes that the hiring binge for logistics and freight companies may only be just beginning. The sector added 18,700 jobs last month, giving transport and logistics operations 73,000 new jobs since the start of the year. Companies are scrambling to keep up with surging shipping demand in what they say is the hottest transportation jobs market in several years.
While positive news, the peak shipping season is not here yet. How can we support manufacturers and retailers, and ensure they can fulfil their supply chain?
The digital supply chain is being hailed as the way forward, yet this comes with its own set of challenges. Virginia Howard, research director, Supply Chain Research Group, Gartner, correctly notes that digital technologies are enabling and promoting changes that have a larger impact, greater unpredictability and increased frequency. And that now, more than ever, high-tech supply chains require digital skills and methods to deliver customer-driven solutions in an on-demand fashion.
The digital supply chain vs. ROI
If everyone is going to be confronted by disruption in the marketplace, how can manufacturers and retailers choose technologies that will bring real ROI?
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 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.
Technology is transforming the automotive and logistics industries. But for many supply chain managers the biggest headaches are still the most familiar ones, such as driver and transport capacity shortages, lost containers, poor forecasting and incomplete visibility. Just this morning, The Wall Street Journal featured how Deere & Co. is raising equipment prices to make up for rising freight transport costs. The equipment maker is a host of U.S. manufacturers reporting rising expenses as a growing U.S. economy drives up prices for materials and shipping.
The trucking industry in the US brings in over $600 Billion in gross freight revenue and employes 6.8 million people. With the technological advances that are occurring exponentially the consumers are demanding their e-commerce goods to arrive faster from shippers. With the rise in demand of e-commerce goods, shippers are looking for more efficient ways of send their loads. With this being common knowledge, start up logistic companies have been popping up and although investors have been investing, they seem to believe the next big logistics start up company hasn’t arrived yet, with their investments being a bit reserved. There are some companies with backers that are popping up with potential like Shippo, Cargomatic, Traansmission, OneMorePallet, ShipHawk, and Peloton. For more info on these companies go to Tech Crunch>>
According to EFT in about ten years, nine out of ten distribution centers will be obsolete. Although SmartLoad does believe in a lot of the technological advances we do not think distribution centers will become irrelevant. Lets discuss the technological advances and the results that EFT believes might cause the dismissal of distribution centers.
Increase demand in e-commerce will change the logistics handling and will require technological and management change for distribution centers. Fun fact in the next ten year the packaging density will increase five to ten.
The technological advances that will disrupt the future of logistics are auto-pilot trucks of the future, TEN-T, and robots in warehouses.
Predictions for distribution centers in the Future
To us, all of these things seem to promote more distribution centers however EFT’s hypothesis is that distribution center’s will be put at strategic points, that they will be larger and that in ten years it will be managed by robots. In the end neither EFT or SmartLoad knows what will come in the future. What do you guys think will come of distribution centers in the future? It is clear that technological will demand better structure of logistics but will there be more distribution centers or will we just start merging? EFT>>
Carriers and truckers are in demand and LTL rates are going up . Although it’s fair, how should shippers and third party logistcs manage?
Shippers and Logistics Quick Guide on how to deal By EFT
1. Negotiate with the carriers
2. Avoid spot quotes
3. Carrier selection
4. Use a transportation management system
5. Improve packaging
6. Freight class analysis
7. Change shipping mode
8. Eliminate and consolidate
9. Longer transit times
10. Hire Third Party Logistics