• ITVI.USA
    12,124.580
    -525.260
    -4.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    27.850
    -0.080
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,070.710
    -528.180
    -4.2%
  • TLT.USA
    3.080
    -0.150
    -4.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.260
    9.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    -0.150
    -4.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.280
    0.100
    8.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.000
    -0.210
    -6.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.750
    0.120
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.280
    -0.080
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    5.000
    4.1%
  • ITVI.USA
    12,124.580
    -525.260
    -4.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    27.850
    -0.080
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,070.710
    -528.180
    -4.2%
  • TLT.USA
    3.080
    -0.150
    -4.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.260
    9.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    -0.150
    -4.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.280
    0.100
    8.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.000
    -0.210
    -6.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.750
    0.120
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.280
    -0.080
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    5.000
    4.1%
Less than TruckloadNewsRailTrucking

Loadsmart picks up rail, less than truckload

Digital freight company expands multimodal services with LTL and rail.

Loadsmart has added less-than-truckload (LTL) and rail services as the digital freight brokerage continues to expand its multimodal offerings.

The expansion, announced Tuesday, allows customers to book shipments across all major transportation modes, building on existing capabilities for truckload, port drayage and transload.   

“Loadsmart is now a one-stop-shop logistics solution for domestic freight,” said Felipe Capella, Loadsmart co-founder and president, in a statement. “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, helping customers secure lower rates and more reliable capacity by selecting the best mode for each load in real time. 

During a pilot phase, according to the statement, the company helped shippers move loads originally planned as truckload via partial, LTL or rail, reducing costs by as much as 24%.

For the most part, shippers are still “captive to supply chains” that are planned based on annual averages, Capella told FreightWaves in an email.

But forward-thinking shippers, he said, are starting to stitch together solutions based on real-time market and capacity data so they can plan shipping modes on a load-by-load basis.  That’s why Loadsmart is offering rail, partial and LTL as digital options.

Unbundling strategy

Loadsmart got its start in 2015 “unbundling brokerage,” digitizing one element of the business at a time to maintain high service levels, Capella added.

As its instant pricing and booking technology received greater adoption, the platform expanded from truckload to drayage and transload services in 2019.

“Partial, LTL and rail are now just a natural expansion of this rebundling effort of working towards an end-to-end digital logistics solution,” Capella said.

TMS integration

Loadsmart customers have the option to book truckload, drayage and transload services manually or via direct integration with their shipper TMS, enabling real time visibility into rates, tenders, tracking and invoicing.

In the second quarter of 2020, Loadsmart added more customers via direct integration with the shipper’s TMS than in all of 2019, the company said, a trend that accelerated further in the third quarter of 2020.

“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,” said Capella. “Looking ahead to 2021, we will be adding these services to existing TMS integrations.”

For now, companies can book truckload LTL, drayage on the Loadsmart website but rail moves require working with Loadsmart’s account management team, elaborated product manager Zach Fredericks.

“We expect to add instant rail quotes via web and TMS integration soon,” he told FreightWaves, “but for now, we’re keeping direct account manager oversight to minimize operational risk and ensure top service.”

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Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

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