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Iron Sheepdog Raises $10 Million to Bring AI to Short-Haul Trucking

trucking

Iron Sheepdog has raised $10 million to expand its broker/contractor-focused trucking technology solution.

“At its core, Iron Sheepdog is a tool that helps the broker as a small business owner,” Mike Van Sickel, CEO of Iron Sheepdog, said in a news release Monday (March 25) press release.

“By giving brokers a technology platform that incentivizes haulers, helps reduce administrative burden and alleviates cash flow challenges, we’ve enabled them to provide better service to contractors and grow their business.”

According to the release, the company uses GPS tracking, real-time analytics tools, digital ticketing, automated invoicing and reporting to offer transparency and reliability to “a traditionally disparate industry.”

The company says the funding round, led by SJF Ventures, will be used to speed growth in new markets and use tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) to develop innovations designed to make the short-haul trucking industry safer and more efficient.

PYMNTS looked at the impact of AI and large language models in the trucking sector in a recent conversation with Jaime Tabachnik, co-founder and CEO at trucking FinTech Solvento.

“The most revolutionary advance is the ability of these models to understand our language … it democratized the access to these advanced models and the use of them by the retail customer,” Tabachnik said.

This breakthrough has fostered high expectations for AI in traditional industries, including the trucking and transport sector, which have been slow to embrace new technologies.

“AI at its core is an optimization model, trying to optimize a set of variables … and within transport, where companies are moving goods from point A to point B, it provides a context where AI will be very effective,” Tabachnik said.

He told PYMNTS that AI can automate repetitive tasks and use data to make better decisions, streamlining workflows and lowering costs. Among the significant applications of AI is within freight matching, where AI algorithms can be employed to optimize the matching of carriers and shippers, thus driving more efficient and profitable operations.

PYMNTS also explored the introduction of AI to the trucking space in an interview with Yoav Amiel, chief information officer at freight brokerage platform and third-party logistics company RXO, who said the transportation industry is ready for AI adoption.

While bigger companies with more resources have been at the forefront of implementing AI, the democratization of the technology is breaking down barriers for smaller companies.

“Long-haul trucking is much more open to automation,” he said. “There are more potential savings and efficiency gains there that are easier to implement. Short-haul trucking has higher implementation costs and tighter margins, so deploying AI and embedding these engines could be more complex.”

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