Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, has raised $19 million to embark on a major initiative to improve the flow of freight through American ports.
Ports America, the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the U.S., joins the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator’s investment arm Maersk Growth as an investor in Loadsmart.
The latest round follows Loadsmart’s series A round in late 2018, bringing total funding to date to $53.4 million.
The investment will be leveraged for Loadsmart’s new Smart Drayage initiative for shipping containers through marine terminals and to develop a free-flow model to accelerate the transit of goods through the largest ports in America.
“The free-flow model moves the industry from container-specific to container-agnostic. It means that truck drivers will be given the best container available when they arrive at the port, having pre-agreed with a specific mileage band trip” said Ricardo Salgado, chief executive and co-founder of Loadsmart. “As a result, we project that truck drivers will be able to reduce their time to get in and out of the port by at least 25%. At the same time, we estimate that port operators will be able to reduce container shuffles by at least 50%, which is a huge efficiency gain.”
Maersk moves around 13 million containers a year, or around 15% of the world’s container market. Ports America operates 33 port terminals in 22 cities in the U.S. and moves around 6.7 million containers in and out of the country.
“At Maersk Growth we want to define the future of trade,” said Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth. “From the onset, we recognized the synergies between Maersk and Loadsmart and our joint opportunity to drive change through technology. Our partnership will increase inland business opportunities to add value to our clients.”
As part of the new drayage initiative, Loadsmart says it will leverage the data, expertise and industry knowledge of major industry players.
Loadsmart has released a new Drayage Instant Booking service via its website for small and medium-sized shippers to book a drayage truck in seconds.