Freight.Tech 25: Artificial intelligence and automation earn digital freight broker Loadsmart #22 slot

(Combined media assets from FreightWaves’ Staff Photographer and Loadsmart)

(Combined media assets from FreightWaves’ Staff Photographer and Loadsmart)

FreightWaves announced the Freight.Tech 25 at MarketWaves 18 last month. The list highlights the most innovative and disruptive companies in transportation and logistics. Digital freight broker Loadsmart snagged the number 22 spot on the list with its automated platform, which allows for server-to-server booking with no human interaction.

Loadsmart’s technology works to bring shippers and carriers together more efficiently in the highly fragmented freight industry.

“When we started the company, only about 25% of the drivers had smartphones. Even today, most of the brokers depend on email and phone calls to move freight,” said Felipe Capella, co-founder of Loadsmart, told FreightWaves’ report Vishnu Rajamanickam in an interview earlier this year. “We saw an opportunity to bring in technology and automation into this cycle.”

Loadsmart utilizes artificial intelligence to automate the booking process. It provides instant prices to shippers with capacity guaranteed on all U.S. lanes. Shippers have the option to book manually or integrate via an API to automate the process entirely.

“Shippers have been able to reduce their spot exposure by 50% after integrating with Loadsmart, while reducing procurement execution time up to 90%,” a Loadsmart media release reads. “Carriers keep their trucks full and reduce empty miles as Loadsmart's machine learning algorithms match loads with their available trucks.”

Loadsmart announced a $21.6 million Series A round in October, bringing the total investment up to $34.7 million. The company plans to use its Series A funding to scale its operations team and double down on product and engineering, according to the media release.

The company’s latest investment round was led by Maersk Growth, Connor Capital SB and Chromo Invest.

"We see huge potential with Loadsmart. Forward integrations between ocean shipping and over-the-road services can create incredible synergies and eventually provide a full service to shippers," Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth, said in a media release.

Loadsmart tends to attract clients who are frustrated with the spot market, as they frequently end up relying on last minute rates. Thanks to a well of nationwide truck data, Loadsmart can provide instant pricing and capacity, letting businesses source full truck loads at the touch of a button.

"We are at our core a data company. With the highest ratio of engineers in the industry, we were the first to introduce truckload instant pricing and booking, and the market's first server-to-server autonomous truckload booking via our API,” Capella said. “This tech-first approach has allowed us to set in place a fully scalable and automated distribution model.”

It is this focus on moving the industry forward that landed Loadsmart the number 22 spot on the Freight.Tech 25 list.