Gantry cranesDigital freight broker, Loadsmart, has received funding worth a total of $21.6m from the venture investment arm of container shipping giant, AP Møller-Maersk, and two other leading investment firms.

Maersk Growth, along with Connor Capital and Chromo Invest, are investing to increase Loadsmart’s operations team and support product development and engineering. Maersk said it was keen to see more efficient links from inland road services to its established maritime container services.

Loadsmart uses artificial intelligence to match loads with available trucks to keep them full and reduce empty miles. It provides instant prices to shippers with capacity guaranteed on all US lanes, according to the company, which also said it could reduce procurement execution times by up to 90%. At The Supply Chain Conference in Atlanta this year, the company joined Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) to outline how they had made savings through a collaborative Spot Load Carriers Platform.

[mpu_ad]Ivan Hernandez, director of Nafta transportation at DTNA, said his team had developed a solution using Loadsmart technology that cut the time taken to secure available loads from five hours to 18 minutes on average, a reduction of 94%. It also increased the carrier use of spot loads to 68% on average.

Maersk has also been looking more at digital technology to improve supply chain efficiency and more balanced trade patterns, and in April it began piloting an industry-wide paperless platform in a joint venture project with IBM aimed at speeding up trade transactions. Then, Maersk said it was looking at how it could provide interim visibility not just on the ocean side but on land as well.