Kodiak Robotics
Kodiak Gen5 Highway 4

Loadsmith orders 800 Kodiak self-driving trucks

June 23, 2023
The Capacity-as-a-Service carrier looks forward to how autonomous vehicles will impact the industry's flexibility in terms of both service and the role of drivers in the future.

Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous vehicle development company, sold Loadsmith, a third-party Capacity-as-a-Service (CaaS) logistics platform for shippers and carriers, 800 trucks with Kodiak’s self-driving technology, the Kodiak Driver. The Kodiak-equipped autonomous trucks will serve as the foundation for the newly established Loadsmith Freight Network (LFN), a freight transportation company built specifically for self-driving trucks. Kodiak will begin delivering the Kodiak Driver-powered self-driving trucks in the second half of 2025.

Loadsmith CEO and founder, Brett Suma, noted that part of the company’s interest in purchasing autonomous vehicles (AVs) was to address the current driver shortage and reinvent the position as a whole.

“My interest in autonomous has lasted for multiple years now,” Suma said. “Somewhat [because of] what it can do for drivers and in terms of the next generation of workers.”

Read more: Kodiak's autonomous electric truck a preview of trucking's future

To see just what AVs can do for the commercial vehicle industry, the Kodiak trucks on the LFN will transport goods autonomously on the interstate portions of highway routes, completing the long-haul portions of Loadsmith’s deliveries while the human-driven trucks, booked on Loadsmith’s platform, will do local pickups and deliveries.

“I think that that autonomous can provide an elastic supply of trucks, which will create an equilibrium of supply and demand [for commercial transportation],” Suma commented. “I think that that will ultimately benefit our shippers in regard to multi-year contracts and the ability to have a significant understanding of what their land and transportation costs will be over time.”

Loadsmith’s proprietary logistics platform will deploy 6,000 trailers on the LFN to maximize the utilization of the Kodiak-powered trucks on the network, pairing self-driving trucks and local manual trucks to increase their service flexibility.  

As part of the agreement, Loadsmith has joined the Kodiak Partner Deployment Program, which helps shippers and carriers establish autonomous freight operations and seamlessly integrate the Kodiak Driver into their fleets. 

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.