A partnership between SmartHop, an early-stage startup offering a dispatch solution for small carriers, and Loadsmart, a more established digital freight brokerage and technology company, aims to offer more opportunities for drivers as well as shippers in a tight freight market.
The news, announced on Tuesday, marks a milestone for SmartHop, which was founded in 2017 and this summer raised a $4.5 million seed funding round.
Loadsmart’s freight technology automates the way shippers move their products. While the company has a robust carrier network, its truck base skews toward companies with 50 or more trucks.
SmartHop targets owner-operators with one to four trucks. It uses artificial intelligence to deliver smart load recommendations, full-service back-office support, performance tracking and digital bookings.
SmartHop’s focus on small operators will allow Loadsmart to diversify its carrier base and “reach new, quality drivers,” Hunter Yaw, Loadsmart vice president of product, said in a statement.
Loadsmart’s Load Offer application programming interface (API) enables small carriers and owner-operators to see, review and book loads. It aims to lower barriers to entry for new drivers and streamline processes for established owner-operators.
“Spot market demands are increasing, and with the holidays ahead, small carriers and independent drivers are operating in a unique environment,” said Guillermo Garcia, CEO and co-founder of SmartHop, in the statement.
Garcia continued, “Through this partnership, we are bringing more load opportunities for drivers who want to play between the spot and contract market.”