Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company based in Chicago, has announced its mode optimization capability that allows customers to choose different transportation modes for their shipments with real-time bookable rates.
Based on data analytics, the company’s platform is designed to provide the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable mode for shipments based on custom requirements set by their customers.
FreightWaves discussed the new solution and how customers can reduce their carbon emissions with the co-founder and president of Loadsmart, Felipe Capella.
This question-and-answer interview was edited for clarity and length.
FreightWaves: Why was it important for Loadsmart to come out with mode optimization tools?
Capella: “We decided to launch this now because we have enlisted capacity in several different modes, which we have built for the past six years. We can provide all these different modes to the customer on a per-load basis.
“If you take a look at a large customer, they usually decide what mode they’re going to use based on yearly projections. They look back and say, ‘For my factory out of Chattanooga, I have to send loads to California by rail. [Recently] there has been a lot of rail congestion and a lot of times the service levels are poor, so let’s just send everything over the road now.’
“They cannot analyze on a load-by-load basis because it’s very, very manual and you have to have [many] people just analyze it load by load.
“[Our] system analyzes the actual rail congestion, real-time price, real time versus the road option and the system can make a decision for you. You can measure price, you can measure service and now we can put another business rule, which is CO2 emissions.”
FreightWaves: Why was it important for you to include that measurement in this new tool?
Capella: “A lot of times large companies make these public commitments: ‘We want to be net neutral carbon by 2025 or 2035.’ Now they’re finding that getting there is actually more difficult than they thought. [They think] they have to invest in electrification or other complex high-investment alternatives. They don’t have to go there, you can act right now.
“[With] mode optimization, now you’ve got a specific, tangible reduction in CO2 emissions and you’re going to see how much you’re saving. At the end of the month or the end of the quarter, you can go back to your manager and show that adopting this multimode [strategy], we have not only saved 5% to 20% in cost savings based on efficiency, we have also saved a certain number of CO2 emissions. I think that’s going to have a huge impact, especially on Fortune 500 companies who have made these public environmental commitments.”
FreightWaves: It is important that companies know that using different modes can help reduce their emissions but does this system also show them how to optimize the trucking capacity they are currently using?
Capella: “Yes, it also helps with partial analysis. A lot of times people book certain loads with a full truckload and they are not aware that right now, for this specific load, you can get the same service level if you send it by a partial. It’s half of the truck and you’re going to save pretty much one truck of CO2 emissions. That’s gigantic for CO2 emissions and for prices as well.
“You can put your things in a truck that was already going there anyway. So you’re going to have 30% to 50% savings. So it’s a win-win-win situation for everyone — the shipper, the environment and the carrier.”