Loadsmile: progress of a freight waste buster


A new technology platform that connects shippers with carriers is helping reduce empty miles and idle time for small to medium-sized businesses

Loadsmile: progress of a freight waste buster
Loadsmile co-founders Geoffroy Henry and Thomas Andersson

 

Loadsmile CEO and co-founder Geoffroy Henry has had many sleepless nights trying to solve haulage gaps in transport.

Having worked in logistics for the past seven years, including as head of operations at global home meal kits group HelloFresh, Henry has seen the many inefficiencies in logistics; from trucks running empty to increased overheads.

In a move he hopes will disrupt the Australian road freight industry, he launched his Sydney-based start-up company in February with co-founder Thomas Andersson, designing a technology platform they say will empower the long tail of struggling small- to medium-sized carriers.

He describes the road freight industry as "incredibly wasteful", saying millions of empty kilometres are being driven, with trucks underutilised and overheads on the rise.

BYAH5P.jpg

"Currently, 30 per cent of trucks in Australia are running with empty loads, and even when a truck has a load it is rarely entirely full," Henry says.

"What’s more, we have spoken to hundreds of small and medium carriers who have said their drivers and trucks on average spend 2.8 days per five-day week without work, and almost one-third of the costs they spend on resources are going to overheads not directly related to the truck or driver.

"This is due to an imbalance of power in the market, which is placing even more pressure on the small to medium trucking companies that are already chasing their tails to compete with the larger players."

In order to address wastage, Loadsmile’s digital platform live-matches quality shippers with vetted and reliable carriers, reducing empty miles and idle time, with a view to providing a better service at a lower price.

Funded by global incubator and investor Rocket Internet, the company has already secured interest from one of Australia’s largest shippers – BeCool, the last-mile logistics arm of HelloFresh.

With 116 carriers on its books, Loadsmile provides access to thousands of trucks.

It secured $2 million revenue during the first month and is looking to generate a minimum of $10 million in revenue in its first year of operations, Henry adds.

"In such an early way and quick way, we’ve become an alternative to the biggest companies by leveraging the smaller companies. And by having 116 companies right now and being able to have a lot more, we’ve become a real competitor to any of the top companies."

HOW IT WORKS

Loadsmile_Driver_App_Grey.png

By partnering with a network of vetted drivers, Loadsmile aims to match shipments to the best available truck, allowing real-time visibility of the freight through a mobile app.

Full truck loads, including pallets and dry and refrigerated freight, is transported at competitive fixed rates.

By digitalising the end-to-end road freight process; from getting a price, booking and managing transport, to controlling fulfilment and successful delivery, automating the manual process means the customer only pays for the actual transport of the goods – not extensive overhead.

Through the Loadsmile platform, customers can see personalised loads that match their fleet and route coverage.

All interactions with the shipper is managed by Loadsmile, as it also guarantees payment within 30 days and offers a payment program for cash-strained carriers. The registration is free.

With a team of 18, Loadsmile plans to recruit another 15 people by the end of the financial year, focusing on building its technology team and investing heavily to develop full automation and machine learning tools.

"There’s the age-old adage that ‘without trucks, Australia stops’, and it couldn’t be truer," Henry says.

"We hope to empower trucking companies of all sizes, support more sustainable business operations today and into the future, and build a more efficient road freight industry.

"We believe that we can have live automation and allocation of trucks happening in the next two years and then we want to continue to build our operations team so that we can crunch ever more data and make sure we have the best service level."

Having worked in logistics, Henry says he was "astonished" that more had not been done to track freight wastage.

"I have been involved in logistics for the past seven years now and was one of the first people to see the pain point of some of the inefficiencies in the market at HelloFresh as head of operations, and have always wondered how we could provide a more efficient structure and a better customer service," he explains.

"I would go into the warehouse and see trucks delivering goods and see them come back empty; I was always kind of astonished that the market didn’t self-improve; there was no capacity to track all that waste.

"I’ve always paid close attention to what’s happening in the market internationally and have been noticing new trends with Convoy in the US.

"By having the capacity to understand all of the requirements of the clients we have, and of all the prospective clients we have on board and the carriers, it’s about how can we make that fit perfectly so that we don’t create inefficiencies but we perfectly fit with the trends of trucking companies."

Macbook_Mockup_Carrier_Shipments.png

He says the industry has welcomed his approach with open arms, making a "real impact" on the wharf freight industry.

"We can remove waste and that means putting efficiencies in for carriers and increasing revenue for them," Henry adds.

"We can create work efficiency for shippers, we can reduce carbon footprints by reducing empty miles and we know that 80 per cent of travel footprint comes from transport in Australia and it’s massive.

"We know that we can provide the tools and we can provide them with secure contracts and secure course of revenue. We can give them the capacity to invest in the latest trucks and the latest technology to be able to onboard better drivers and have fewer road safety issues.

"I believe what we can achieve is really great. I believe that we should not rest until it’s fully done and I’m quite excited by what we can offer."

European investor Rocket Internet has also helped build online fashion retailer The Iconic. Rocket sold out to HelloFresh earlier last year, which in Australia is in a fierce battle with rival Marley Spoon.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook

 

Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire