Loadsmile, an Australian-based technology start up is aiming to make the freight industry more sustainable by reducing waste and the amount of unused space in trucks.
Geoffroy Henry, CEO and co-founder of the company said 30 per cent of trucks in Australia are on the roads with empty loads and, even if it does have a load, it is rarely full. Trucks are also set down waiting for work for up to three days a week.
Loadsmile has introduced a technology solution to try and rectify empty miles, idle time and overhead.
Funded by global incubator Rocket Internet, the tech start-up has already secured interest from one of Australia’s largest shippers — BeCool, the last mile logistics arm of HelloFresh, which uses Loadsmile’s services. Loadsmile has onboarded more than 100 carriers already, providing access to thousands of trucks.
Henry worked in logistics for the past seven years, including at food delivery brand HelloFresh as the head of operations.
He said this experience showed him what working in a legacy industry is like, how hard it is to be transparent and the frustration of only being able to use tier one size companies to deliver across Australia, when smaller companies could provide better value but didn’t have the capacity.
Henry said by understanding the demand of the market and where the trucks are routed, Loadsmile can find loads for drivers when they are idle, or empty to remove those inefficiencies.
The technology integrates with telematics and transport companies to understand how they run their operations.
For example, if a truck is coming back from Melbourne empty and waiting for work they can log into the system and find additional work while on the road.
“We reduce the cost for shippers by removing those empty spaces or with empty trucks and by increasing the utilisation. We actually provide more revenue for the carriers and a cheaper wait for the shippers.
“There are around 48,000 trucking companies in Australia so we have a big focus on supporting the family-owned and the long tail of the carrier industry.”
Henry said trying to reduce waste does have an impact on carbon footprints but it also increases the revenue stream for the long tail of carriers.
Loadsmile says it has a key role with safety and provides recurring and secure contracts to anyone who wants to enter the logistics market.
While entering into a market that is built on legacy systems, Henry said the Loadsmile technology was welcomed with open arms.
“[Trucking companies] want to change, but it’s so hard for them because they don’t have the financial means and they don’t have financial security.
“The way the industry works is that they only have access to what we call the spot market which is the adhoc demand.
“The unforeseeable demand only comes from time to time, so they don’t have the security of revenue to invest in the new technology but they always want to improve and they want to have the latest trucks.
“They want to have the latest technology so the energy of accepting change has already been in the industry, but the capacity to do that in a safe manner wasn’t there yet,” he said.