[01:04] Erik, please tell us about your background?
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to college?
Joined Loadsmart in April 2018.
Previously, Erik was the Director of Strategy at AFN, a
Chicago-based truckload brokerage.
Prior to his time at AFN, Erik was the Executive Vice President
of CarrierDirect, a boutique strategy consulting firm and advised
companies such as Werner Enterprises, Worldwide Express, and
While he was leading CarrierDirect, the company was ranked #261
on the INC5000 for the fastest growing companies in America, with a
3-year growth rate of 1,729%.
Erik has been a guest speaker for multiple companies and
conferences, including the Denver Transportation Club, Landstar and
most recently the 3PL & Supply Chain Summit: Atlanta.
BA, Finance, Michigan State University.
[02:06] You went to MSU for finance. What made you
pursue a career in logistics?
I have a deep appreciation for the impact that logistics has on
the economy and people’s lives.
I enjoyed the level of transformation that the industry was
going through when he first became interested.
[03:17] I have seen Loadsmart in the news a lot lately
– clearly bringing some innovation to the freight brokerage space.
Tell us about it.
Loadsmart is a digital freight brokerage that is more “nerd”
than “freight broker.”
Starts with customer experience. We make promises to their
customers and build the technology to deliver on them.
Technology enabled through artificial intelligence (AI).
Loadsmart complements their services with strategic
[04:57] What exactly is artificial intelligence and how
does it work? How does it add value to the process?
AI is the practice of using machines to make decisions that
usually require human intelligence.
Things that were once considered AI can be so common that they
are hardly considered AI anymore.
Loadsmart leverages data from public and private sources.
AI adds value by providing a greater degree of optionality to
Loadsmart’s customers and allowing us to guarantee capacity.
[08:12] Does AI enable your people to predict service
Yes, our AI technology understands patterns and uses those to
We can be proactive instead of reactive by using AI.
It helps us make decisions to ensure capacity for our
[10:40] Using AI, are you replacing headcount or are
you still having people on board to help your customers
We understand the difference between automation and empowering
There are areas where it makes sense to automate, but other
areas where humans should be making the decisions.
[12:42] How does Loadsmart using AI create a better
experience for carrier networks?
The best logistics networks are backed by a strong carrier
portfolio, and a healthy carrier is also the backbone of any
Focusing people to where people should be used, we’re able to
work with our carriers to ensure that they stay healthy.
By forming these relationships, we enable carriers to fill out
their networks and improve their revenue per truck.
[14:31] So you guys are trying to track revenue per
It’s not necessarily as simple as tracking revenue per truck,
but you can pretty easily tell if you’re paying a healthy
There are other things that may be pricing mechanisms but are
more like a language.
[16:12] I like that it’s a better experience for the
carrier and the shipper, which is something that freight brokerage
didn’t always pursue. It sounds like the AI tools help you deliver
We are very focused on adding value to both sides.
[16:50] If somebody wants to connect with you or learn
more about Loadsmart, how would they do that?