At MarketWaves18, FreightWaves announced the Freight.Tech 25, the industry’s list of the most innovative and disruptive companies in transportation and logistics. After a vote by sixty analysts, Chicago-based Logistical Labs ranked twenty-fifth.
Logistical Labs was founded in 2012 and offers self-service portals so shippers can access carrier data and confirm load shipments using real time rates. The company’s pricing platform LoadDex drastically simplifies pricing and carrier selection across thousands of rates.
Chris Ricciardi, chief operating officer at Logistical Labs spoke with FreightWaves to discuss the company’s ability to attain such a notable position. He explained that their portal services boosts communication around pricing for loads that shippers are seeking carrier capacity to manage. By integrating operations at the backend of the business while improving user experience at the frontend, Logistical Labs can be increasingly flexible.
Ricciardi began his career at 21 without knowledge of the trucking industry. His previous jobs required him to commit to significant research, but inevitably forced him to guess figures.
One of Logistical Labs’ solutions for their shipping customers is budget visualization. Ricciardi said that the advantage of the budget visualization Logistical Labs provides is that the learning curve for customers is decreased and it becomes easier to attract new customers.
Cedar Rapids-based CRST International is a user of LoadDex and provides a strong case study for the impact of Logistical Labs’ services. Logistical Labs released a report on how LoadDex had helped CRST improved efficiency in their field.
“Prior to using LoadDex, CRST would enter lane data from each RFP into three separate pricing tools to get all of the information they needed to make informed decisions on rates,” Logistical Labs found. The centralization of price analysis in LoadDex enabled CRST speed up their bidding process.
“With the ability to see multiple scenarios at once – rather than having to look at four separate systems – CRST was able to work faster and get a better grasp on the data, which in turn allowed them to provide their customers with more transparency and context around the numbers returned,” the case study reported.
CRST’s use of LoadDex has reduced their price analysts’ time spent on quoting lanes by 95% and saves the company more than $9,000 per month. This translated to a 74% customer conversion rate for CRST.
Logistical Labs is making an increased effort to utilize artificial intelligence into their platform software. Ricciardi stated that many staff developers at Logistical Labs know machine learning and have been working to reduce unnecessary manual tasks. The platform’s service in load quotes and negotiating offers will further enhance machine learning. Increased efficiency through gradual innovation drives a more competitive edge for shippers.
Ricciardi stated that the company’s software will also be refocused as they continued developing their services. ShipDex will eventually be decommissioned from the site as it’s largely redundant to LoadDex. Meanwhile Logistical Labs’ HeavyCarts product has moved into the e-commerce sector to facilitate final-mile deliveries for consumers.
LoadDex also offers the Bid Tracker system for spot freight solutions. The system works on a load by load basis through a private network of shipper carrier relationships. Bid Tracker allows shippers to compare carrier responses with LoadDex’s suggested rate, one that averages a customer’s historical rate and current market rates which follow rules set by the customer.
Ricciardi concluded by explaining the greatest lesson Logistical Labs had learned since beginning operations in 2012. He said the company must “build for users” and learn from the input of their customers. He referred to this strategy as “crowdsource mentality” emphasizing the confluence of ideas for creative directions for Logistical Labs.
Logistical Labs continues to develop as the digital freight services market grows. In June the company was acquired with Capstone Logistics in tandem with LoadDelivered. FreightWaves remains focused on monitoring the ability of new and established actors to disrupt the logistics industry.