Maersk Invests in Artificial Intelligence Truck Flow System

Damco operations

By The Maritime Executive 10-11-2018 07:49:08

A.P. Moller-Maersk's innovation venture Maersk Growth has invested in Loadsmart's artificial intelligence system to automate truckload booking flows in the U.S. The system enables shippers to book a truck manually or integrate a server-to-server booking system that requires no human intervention.

The company claims that shippers have been able to reduce their spot exposure by 50 percent after integrating with Loadsmart, while reducing procurement execution time by up to 90 percent. Carriers keep their trucks full and reduce empty miles, as Loadsmart’s machine learning algorithms match loads with their available trucks.

The tool enables shippers to automatically book a truck before the shipment turns into a spot load. Loadsmart accepts 100 percent of tenders received from its dynamic routing guide, guaranteeing capacity. This feature helps shippers avoid the same-day/next-day markets, which are known for steep prices and service failures, says the company.

Loadsmart, a digital freight broker, raised $21.6 million in series A funding led by Maersk Growth, Connor Capital SB and Chromo Invest, bringing the total investment in Loadsmart to date to $34.7 million.

Maersk serves 343 ports in 121 countries, and Sune Stilling, head of Maersk Growth, said: “We see huge potential with Loadsmart. Forward integrations between ocean shipping and over-the-road services can create incredible synergies and eventually provide a full service to shippers.”

Maersk has been working on providing more comprehensive end-to-end logistics solutions for cargo owners, and from January 1, 2019, Damco’s Supply Chain Services and Maersk Line’s Ocean Product will be integrated and their services sold as Maersk products and services. The organization will operate with one management team headed by Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk. Klaus Rud Sejling, CEO of Damco, will take on a new position as Head of Maersk’s Logistics and Services Products, reporting to Clerc.

Damco’s freight forwarding business, which serves customers requiring air freight or multi-carrier options in ocean freight, will continue to be run as a separate and independent business under the Damco brand. Saskia Groen In’t Woud will be the CEO of Damco Freight Forwarding, she is currently Chief Operating Officer in Damco.

In addition to these changes, three of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s regional carrier brands, including MCC Transport, Sealand and Seago Line have been combined as “SeaLand – A Maersk Company” as of October 1, 2018. 

The integration marks Maersk’s desire to tap into markets from producer to consumer. “With a wider product offering from one team, a clearer brand structure and a strong digital foundation, A.P. Moller - Maersk is poised for growth,” said the company in a statement.