Loadsmart & Maersk Lead Major US Port Investment


Loadsmart, a digital freight technology company, has announced they have raised USD $19 million for a major initiative to improve the flow of freight through American ports.

According to a statement, Ports America, one of the largest terminal operator in the U.S., has joined Maersk Growth as an investor.

The latest round follows Loadsmart’s series A round in 2018, bringing total funding to date to $53.4 million. 

The investment will be leveraged for Loadsmart’s Smart Drayage initiative, to support the flow of shipping containers through marine terminals and develop a free-flow model to accelerate the transit of goods through the largest ports in America. 

A recent FreightWaves research showed that there are more than 60 million drayage movements each year in North America, representing a $50 billion-plus market with ports contributing 26% to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

According to the report, due to a lack of efficiency and transparency, 15 million man-hours and 2.3 billion gallons of fuel are wasted due to trucker congestion at ports.  

Maersk, the biggest container shipping line in the world, 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. 

The company also announced the release of Loadsmart Drayage Instant Booking. The service, available via Loadsmart’s website, enables small and medium-sized shippers to book a drayage truck in seconds. For enterprise accounts Loadsmart offers an API integrated solution.  

Ricardo Salgado, CEO and co-founder of Loadsmart, said, “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.

“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.

Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth, said, “At Maersk Growth we want to define the future of trade.

“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. 

Mark Montgomery, president and CEO, Ports America, said, “As the only tri-coastal terminal operator, we are focused on providing value to supply chains through transparent and efficient terminal operations and in our pursuit to provide our customers with best-in-class service, we need to rethink how goods are moved more efficiently.

“Streamlining the drayage movement benefits our trucking community with faster turn times while providing cargo owners with better visibility and more efficient container retrievals.

Felipe Capella, chief product officer and co-founder, Loadsmart.  “The addition of drayage to our established expertise in truckload services allows Loadsmart to provide integrated logistics services through technology. Our goal is to offer shippers of all sizes access to a fully integrated, seamless multi-modal end-to-end experience.

Marcelo Ferreira, managing partner, Chromo Invest.  “Chromo is here for the long haul. We are fully supportive of Loadsmart’s executive team in their technology-first approach, which will now become the standard for drayage as well.

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