THE FREIGHT-DIS­RUPT­ING DIG­I­TAL IN­NO­VA­TOR

NZ Business - - SNIPPETS -

FIND­ING THE cost of send­ing goods pro­hib­i­tive? What if you could ac­cess the spare ca­pac­ity on trucks al­ready go­ing where you need to send stuff? That’s pre­cisely what Freighthub does.

The Auck­land-based start-up has ap­plied dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to au­to­mate the process of con­nect­ing those who need to send goods with the empty space avail­able in trucks mov­ing around the coun­try. The re­sult is lower trans­port costs for cus­tomers, and dra­matic im­prove­ments in ef­fi­ciency for trans­port op­er­a­tors. It even ben­e­fits the en­vi­ron­ment, with re­duced emis­sions from fur­ther op­ti­mi­sa­tion of ve­hi­cle fleets.

Founder Alan Walpole says the con­cept is not a new idea. “What is new is our abil­ity to use pro­pri­etary al­go­rithms to iden­tify where space is across our net­work and then ef­fi­ciently and au­to­mat­i­cally con­nect that with cus­tomers mov­ing goods. The feed­back from cus­tomers is over­whelm­ing: it saves money and it boosts ef­fi­ciency,” he ex­plains.

Freighthub’s dig­i­tal sys­tem han­dles con­sign­ment and sign-off on­line, pro­vid­ing cus­tomers with full track­ing and re­port­ing, from start to fin­ish. All ship­ping doc­u­men­ta­tion takes place elec­tron­i­cally and au­to­mat­i­cally, right down to car­bon foot­print re­ceipts.

Freighthub’s vi­sion is to have freight man­age it­self by be­ing the mar­ket ag­gre­ga­tor with a dig­i­tal plat­form specif­i­cally for the SME mar­ket, both ship­pers and car­ri­ers.

The idea for Freighthub ger­mi­nated through Walpole’s ca­reer in var­i­ous sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics roles. He recog­nised that when de­liv­er­ies are made in one di­rec­tion, it of­ten means trans­port heads back empty in the other. This sim­ple ob­ser­va­tion led to fur­ther anal­y­sis re­sult­ing in a broader, novel and cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proach to freight.

The magic in the sys­tem is in­te­grated data com­mu­ni­ca­tions and a sim­ple freight con­trol dash­board for cus­tomers, he says. “Cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence is cru­cial to our busi­ness. Log­ging on to Freighthub, book­ing the re­quired space and send­ing goods is fast, easy and sat­is­fy­ing.”

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