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.

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Loadsmart to talk supply chain tech and ROI at 3PL & Supply Chain Summit: Atlanta

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

Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart
Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart

If everyone is going to be confronted by disruption in the marketplace, how can manufacturers and retailers choose technologies that will bring real ROI?

On Thursday, June 7 at 11:45 am, Erik Malin, Loadsmart head of operations, will join fellow panel members from BCG Logistics Group, DHL Supply Chain, Kenco Innovation Labs at the 3PL & Supply Chain Summit: Atlanta.

During the logistics technology stream, Erik will discuss how data and technology has empowered manufacturers and retailers alike – and how it is very different from mere automation.


In summary:

  • Learn from the early adopters: Gauge which technologies offer the best ROI opportunities, efficiencies, pilot results and customer responses, from people who’ve put them to the test
  • Rethink ROI in the digital supply chain: Discuss how far you need to spend money to make money to see the biggest returns from the new wave of technological transformation
  • Hear from the technology makers: Find out directly from the tech creators how they are enabling the transformation from linear to dynamic digital supply networks

Email us if you want to meet the Loadsmart team at the summit or if you want to learn more.


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, 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.

U.S Secretary of Labor Meets With Both Parties in the West Coast Port Dispute

The white house sent the Secretary of Labor to discuss the contract dispute that has been dragging on for 9 months. The Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez urged all parties to resolve the issue quickly. Further delay can risk tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars.

This contract dispute is truly affecting ports with the port of Oakland imports falling 39% in January. This is occurring at all U.S. West Coast Ports with production down and a breakdown in vessel schedules.

For more info go to WSJ>>


Obama’s Immigration Plan: What Sectors Will It Most Likely Affect

Obama’s executive action will bring temporary relief to about 4.5 million illegal immigrants but the current disagreement is to what type of immigrant this will be helping. According to Obama it is directed at technologically and entrepreneurially savvy immigrants making it easier for the U.S. to compete for the world’s best talent. The number of tech visas will grow and they will loosen restrictions for more would-be entrepreneurs.

Many businesses disagree with the outcome of Obama’s executive action stating that it will not be helping those sectors. “While Obama’s immigration order halts the deportations of the parents of U.S. citizens, it does little to help the business community, because most of these people are low-skill workers” says Matt Sonnesyn, immigration director at the Business Roundtable. Many other businesses are stating that although they do believe this to be true, they need “low-skill workers” to do jobs low in supply. With our driver shortage LoadSmart is curious as to what the transportation sectors take on this immigration plan is.

The Trucker>>


Government has two options on the table for finding reliable transportation funds

The last time congress truly helped transportation funding revenue was when Bill Clinton had just become president. Now because of certain revenue shortfalls congress will be forced to reassess transportation funding by May.

The Two Major Bi-Partisan Options

1. Simply raise the federal gas tax and ideally raising it in accordance to inflation rates, if they had done this in 1993 (the last time they raised the gas tax) we would not be so short on transportation funding. The one issue with gas taxes is with todays technology, cars are becoming more and more fuel efficient and with the Tesla running completely on electricity, who knows how efficient this tax will be.

2. Obama and some other republicans are favoring a different approach. They would like to raise the money through corporate tax returns and putting it into transportation. The revenue however would be a one time fund and although it would provide years of continuous funding there are no promises it will leave transportation in a better place once the money runs out.


For more information go to the Washington Post>>

How Tuesdays Election is Going to Affect the Transportation Sector

10 New Governors were elected, with half of those coming from opposing political parties than before. Republicans net gained three governors and took control of the senate. Now what does this mean for us?

-Congress has been under pressure for awhile to produce a LONG TERM transportation bill. Something that has been unsuccessful since 2009. The current bill funds the states transportation until May 2015, which is a problem since states rely on federal funding for more then 50% of their transportation money. Here is a broad list of what is being developed.

New State Transportation Money

States really working on it: Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan.

Federal Surface Transportation Money

The reason congress hasn’t been able to figure out of a long term bill for transportation is that neither congress or Obama want to raise the gas tax, which has not been raised since 1993. With the republican in control of congress that won’t change, but the positive, Republican are going to have to work hard to prove themselves.

Public Transit

The good news first, 70% of voters approve of the current local public transits. Atlanta plans to expand MARTA and both Seattle and San Francisco have voted for measures to support public transit.

The bad news, Florida voters voted against tax increase to support transit. Baltimore and Washington DC might be having some issues with the surprising win of Republican Larry Hogan for Governor of Maryland, who stated he wanted to cancel both the Baltimore Red Line and Washington DC purple line projects. (Both projects have been worked on for years)

For more specific details for to Governing>>

Todays decaying infrastructure, current issues and plans by Secretary of Transportation

Obama’s first secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood and the current secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx have both discussed  the importance of voting this coming tuesday, when 435 congress seats will be elected. They remind us that the current congress has not been able to pass a long term high way bill, LaHood claims that there is no vision in todays congress. Here are some interesting infrastructure facts by both the former and current secretary of transportation.

Thoughts by Ray Lahood (Former Secretary of Transportation)

– The US used to be #1 in infrastructure, we are now #15

-“Build an interstate road and you create a corridor of commerce.”

– Recommends gas tax increase of 10 cents per gallon, and it needs to be indexed to the cost of living.

– Him and the rest of the Obama administration were working on plans to boost a world class high speed rail which has cost $8 billion.

Thoughts by Anthony Foxx (Current Secretary of Transportation)

-People are finally understanding that “short term measures are doing damage to our system.”

-The current gas tax is 18.4 cents but has not been raised since 1993.

-The Last Transportation Bill approved by congress (2012) included $50 billion per year but the gas tax is only bring in $34 billion per year.

For more on Ray Lahood go to Trucking Info>>

For Anthony Foxx  go to The Trucker>>

Cargo Thieves Getting Smarter, Stealing the Right Loads.

In the third quarter of 2014 the average loss of cargo theft jumped a full 100%, although the actual number of thefts lowered by 20%. Cargo thieves are becoming smarter at choosing high value freight.

Most Stolen Loads

1. Food/Drink Loads-          35 thefts/ 18%

2. Electronics Loads-          33 thefts/ 17%

3. Home Garden Loads-     28 thefts/15%

4. Build Industrial Loads-    27 thefts/ 14%

Top Four States

They account for over 60% of all thefts

1. California-                       44 thefts/ 21.4%

2/3. Florida & Texas-         33 thefts/ 17%

4. New Jersey-                  20 thefts/ 10%

Top monetary loss per load

1. Pharmaceutical (Meds) $2 million per load

2. Electronics-                   $1.079 million per load

3. Pharma. (Supplies)-      $453,625 per load

4. Alcohol/Tobacco-         $421,407 per load


Where to get the cheapest gas in the US

The average cost of gas has official fallen to $3.03, leaving half the gas stations in the US under $3. Lets check out where you should be loading up on gas.South Carolina has the cheapest gas at $2.78. Most southern states have lower gas prices because they are close to the oil refineries Most prices depend on the state taxes, environmental standards and refining capacity. To check out your states average go to Wall Street Journal>>

New mode of transportation, Flying Cars? We are closer than you think.

At the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, the Slovakian company Aeromobil presented their third prototype of what they call “The Most Advanced Flying Car.” Yes, the most advanced meaning that there is more than just one company working on the flying car, some include Terrafugia (based in the US), E-Volo from Germany, and even the EU has a project called MyCopter. This transportation technology is not only advancing its pretty much here. Fun fact, Aeromobil’s flying car only needs 200 meters to take off and 50 to land, no need for airports or long landing strips. The worry, however, are the consequences of over-utilizing this mode of transportation? There are bound to be problems if and when this becomes a popular mode of transportation. However LoadSmart doesn’t believe that the flying car will become too popular too quickly, with a price tag of over a quarter million dollars not many can afford those steep prices. There are still some that can and would invest in this, be prepared to see some flying cars in the near future?

What are your thoughts about the flying car? Also for more information go to Forbes>>

Check out the Aeromobil video>>

Canadian Pacific trying to Merge w CSX could become $60B transportation company

Although LoadSmart likes to focus on the trucking industry more so then other transportation outlets, such a large merger could affect the transportation sector as a whole. Canadian Pacific is worth $32.5 billion, while CSX is worth $30 billion, a merger like that would leave us with a transportation company worth over $60 billion. Although Canadian Pacific is pursuing this merger and stating that a merger would help congestion. CSX is a bit ambivalent with their shareholders most likely expecting high premiums for their shares. Mergers in the railroad industry are difficult. LoadSmart will keep you up to date on this. For more info go to New York Times>>

Tesla’s New Car available at end of year has auto-pilot mode

Okay, so I know SmartLoad’s LoadBook is more focused on trucking and commercial transportation but lets face it, we are all car fans too. This new Tesla is looking beautiful and although I can’t afford it, it’s cool to know the consumer industry is moving into the future which will inevitably leads to advancements in the commercial automotive industry as well.

More about Tesla’s new Car

-Speed- This completely electric car can hit 60mph in 3.2 seconds.
-Autopilot Mode- use radar to keep you in lane, avoid hitting dog, pedestrians etc.
-Autopilot Mode 2- Park and get your car out of parking spots and drive ways without even having you in it.
-Cost- Base model $71,000 High End $121,000