Ideas like Truck Uber are so simple in design, but they make a world of difference to the industry. Uber Trucking connects shippers with nearby trucks in the US, and it’s been astoundingly successful because it’s modelled off an already successful idea; Uber.
But not all start-ups have a successful name and success story to rely on. Today’s transportation and logistics entrepreneurs have to validate their model and get it right very quickly in order to gain investment.
So how are start-ups in the logistics industry getting this right? Let’s take a look at the latest innovative start-ups in logistics and shipping to see where they are taking us. We also look at the Hyperloop Transportation system proposed by Elon Musk to demonstrate that the once far off future is nearly at our doorstep.
5 innovative logistics start-ups
Flexport has been heralded the freight forwarder for the Internet Age. It offers full-service air and ocean freight forwarding and control of your supply chain. Companies can manage their global freight shipments easily as the bulk of the work is taken care of with Flexport managing the movement of goods from end-to-end.
2. Ecom Express
Worth US$133,000,000, Ecom Express is an Indian start-up that provides end-to-end logistics solutions for ecommerce sites. From the moment a customer orders something online until the moment the package is delivered, Ecom Express looks the wholeprocess by outsourcing work and utilising a strong backend system. With the increasing rise of eCommerce, start-ups like this are just beginning to filter into the market.
Freightos assists businesses automate their internal freight management, pricing/routing and business intelligence. This service provides full automation from business intelligence reporting right down to tender automation. This start-up is probably the first of many in this area as well, as more and more businesses move to automate their processes, Freightos is one of the first to offer a holistic shipping solution for businesses.
Shippit is an Australian start-up that can provide businesses low parcel delivery rates. Their aim is to simplify shipping rather than taking on an end-to-end automation approach as with the above start-ups. Shippit has recently partnered with the likes of Australia Post, TNT, Mail Call Courier and 300 other merchants.
Although it’s not a logistics dedicated start-up, Invoice2go is handy for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Invoice2go allows you to create and send invoices on the spot from your mobile phone, totally removing the hassle of manual invoicing and allowing business owners to invoice anytime, anywhere. This is a major concern to the logistics industry, especially with the rise in eCommerce.
How will these start-ups shape the future of logistics?
The idea behind disruption is that new technologies overhaul the way businesses operate. But no business wants to invest time and money into a new technology only for it to be disrupted by something even newer and better.
The one factor many businesses and supply chain managers need is stability, and sometimes it can be hard to identify the new technologies and services that will stick, compared to those that are passing fads.
This is the catch-22: failure to anticipate changes in the industry can have dire consequences, but what if you invest in a disruptive technology that fizzles out?
Have you heard of the Hyerloop? In 2013, Elon Musk released a whitepaper on what he calls the Hyperloop Alpha, which is essentially a tube system that can be built over or under the ground to transport capsules travelling speeds exceeding 550mph. Elon writes:
“Existing conventional modes of transportation of people consists of four unique types: rail, road, water, and air. These modes of transport tend to be either relatively slow (i.e., road and water), expensive (i.e., air), or a combination of relatively slow and expensive (i.e., rail). Hyperloop is a new mode of transport that seeks to change this paradigm by being both fast and inexpensive for people and goods.”
Imagine the speed of shipping with the introduction of such a system! In the US, there have been several start-ups seeking crowd-funding to turn this idea into reality, so this idea may not be as far off as we assume.
It’s ideas like this that will totally turn the logistics industry on its head, but one thing is for certain though, the many more innovations to come will enable businesses to create more efficient and automated supply chains. Picture a future that utilises Hyperloop Transportation with new third party solution providers like Shippit and Freightos. The future of logistics is nearly here.
Are there any start-up we’ve missed? Comment below to let us know.