Loadsmith Freight Network to Create Economic Stimulus for Local Communities - The Road to Autonomy

Loadsmith Freight Network to Create Economic Stimulus for Local Communities

Brett Suma, CEO, Loadsmith joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss the development of the Loadsmith Freight Network and how the network will create economic stimulus in local communities.

The conversation begins with Brett discussing the development of the Loadsmith Freight Network.

You can look at the LFN and compare it somewhat to a railroad and their ability to capture capacity.

– Brett Suma

The Loadsmith Freight Network will consist of both professional drivers and autonomous trucks. Autonomous trucks on the LFN will mostly operate on the 350 to 900 mile runs, while the professional drivers will focus on the shorter first and last mile routes.

For the Loadsmith Freight Network to operate at peak performance, the company developed a digital software layer that enables “Precision Trucking”. The cost savings derived from Precision Trucking will be reinvested in first and last mile operations in terms of higher pay for professional drivers and amenities.

With higher pay for first and last mile drivers, local communities will begin to experience a form of economic stimulus through higher spending. Spending will help drive economic growth in those communities and help to off-set increased the cost of goods and services due to inflation.

The lanes where autonomous trucks are first introduced will be based on freight flow, regulatory environment, technical feasibility and the economics of the lane.

Everything we know about current pricing is going to change when autonomous starts hitting the street.

– Brett Suma

Not all lanes are created equal from an economic standpoint. The Dallas to Houston lane is oversaturated and it will be a race to the bottom in terms of pricing when autonomous trucks are rolling on that lane 24/7. That is not where Loadsmith is going as they focused on unit economics.

Through their development partnership with Kodiak, Loadsmith is collectively studying the unit economics of lanes. It’s this economic discipline that is going to enable their partnership to scale.

The respect that Brett and the Loadsmith team has for professional drivers comes from the simple fact that they are listening.

We’re doing this, because we are listening to workers.

– Brett Suma

Professional drivers are telling them that they want to be home every night and have consistency in their paycheck.

Wrapping up the conversation, Brett shares his thoughts on the future of trucking.

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Recorded on Friday, August 4, 2023