Chicago Startup Logistical Labs Wages Real Life ‘Shipping Wars’

by Lauren Licata
March 31, 2014


When Robert Nathan and Chris Ricciardi needed to streamline the pricing process at their logistics firm, Load Delivered Logistics, they partnered with a top economist to create an algorithm that would collect relevant historical, social, and external pricing data to quickly compare freight pricing.

Realizing that they could harness Big Data and help other companies in the industry streamline their supply chains, they launched Logistical Labs in 2013 as a cloud-based software provider. The company currently employs six full-time employees in River North and is fully funded by Nathan and his business partner investor Jon Michelon.

The company’s first product, LoadDex, aggregates pricing information for shipping routes. It also provides intermodal operations for freight pricing, offering multiple rail options for shipping goods. LoadDex doesn’t just provide pricing options, though. It also fosters collaboration by aggregating cross-departmental data and providing a social platform – including a chat function – for team members to communicate and work together as a unit.


"By bridging big data and social collaboration, our customers can look at their data differently," said Chief Product Officer Ricciardi. "The platform helps customers improve operations by better managing pricing and procurement complexities. It increases effective decision-making by incorporating social collaboration with historical data, and improves productivity by simplifying complex pricing data."

Even though the company is less than two years old, they already boast an impressive roster of customers including Cold Train, Cal Freight and LPS. For example, Cal Freight used LoadDex to analyze four years of data – thousands of data points – in less than two seconds to find the most efficient and cost-effective option.

“Logistical Labs is helping to advance technology within the transportation industry," said Dwight Weber, general manager of highway and truckload services and APL Logistics.

Despite the praise, the Logistical Labs team knows they have a lot of hard work ahead of them. Building a technology company in an archaic industry is not as glamorous as one might think: “It is a high-risk, high-reward situation when trying to build a new enterprise that focuses on changing the way people think about and analyze data. On top of that, trying to change people’s perspective in an antiquated industry like transportation makes the situation even more challenging,” said Nathan.

But Logistical Labs has big plans. “This year, we are planning on hiring more developers, and adding team members to our sales and marketing departments. We are also developing an Intermodal Exchange which partners with Class 1 railroads that will allow users to see intermodal capacity and pricing.”

When asked about hiring priorities for his startup, Nathan said, “As with all startups, building a team of entrepreneurial-minded people was a key ingredient in scaling. Those entrepreneurial minds combined with our team of talented developers, are a key component to our growth."

LoadDex is available on a monthly user-based pricing model and can be accessed via desktop or mobile devices. For more information on Logistical Labs and LoadDex, please visit   

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