Kodiak Robotics announced that Loadsmith, a third-party capacity-as-a-service (CaaS) logistics platform for shippers and carriers, will equip 800 trucks with Kodiak’s self-driving technology, the Kodiak Driver.
Loadsmith, founded by former Knight-Swift Executive Brett Suma, selected Kodiak to be the backbone for the company’s autonomous operations. The Kodiak-equipped autonomous trucks will serve as the foundation for the newly established Loadsmith Freight Network (LFN). The fleet said its intention is to be the first-ever 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.
Automating the Middle Mile
The Kodiak trucks on the LFN will transport goods autonomously on the interstate portions of highway routes. Loadsmith’s fleet of trucks equipped with the Kodiak Driver will complete the long-haul portions of Loadsmith’s deliveries, while human-driven trucks, booked on Loadsmith’s platform, will do local pickups and deliveries.
The company reports that by pairing autonomous long-haul trucks with local drivers that will rendezvous at hubs along and within the LFN, Loadsmith and Kodiak will enable shippers to move freight more efficiently, reliably, and safely.
“Loadsmith is the first trucking company built specifically for autonomous trucks, and we are proud that they selected Kodiak as the backbone of their operations,” said Don Burnette, Founder and CEO of Kodiak Robotics. “Loadsmith’s Founder Brett Suma is one of trucking’s true visionaries, and now he is using his deep and unique experience to rethink logistics for the autonomous era.”
Bringing Autonomous Technology to Scale
Loadsmith’s proprietary logistics platform will strategically deploy 6,000 trailers on the LFN to maximize the utilization of the Kodiak-powered trucks on the network. By pairing self-driving trucks and local manual trucks on the same network, Loadsmith can rapidly scale autonomous deliveries and convert significant amounts of freight volume from traditional trucking methods to a more flexible and on-demand service.
This model will allow shippers to seamlessly leverage autonomous trucks for the long-haul lanes that are less desirable to many drivers. This company said this helps reimagine the driver’s job by creating attractive local driving opportunities and simultaneously relieving the driver shortage that continues to plague American supply chains.
“Loadsmith’s partnership with Kodiak is founded on the belief that freight transportation is preparing to undergo a profound technological transformation, with autonomous middle-mile trucking leading the way,” said Brett Suma, founder & CEO of Loadsmith. “Loadsmith’s expertise in network design and freight execution combined with Kodiak’s best-in-class autonomous trucking technology demonstrates a new model for how two companies can collaborate to usher in a new era of transportation.”
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. Kodiak has recently announced partnerships with C.R. England and Tyson, IKEA, Werner, Forward and more.