Transmetrics – Improving Cargo Capacity Utilisation with the power of big data predictions
- Cargo transport is multi-trillion industry but it spends over half of its resources on “transport air”, that is, empty spaces with nothing inside. Running cargo vehicles in empty or even half-full spaces not only has staggering economic costs, it also produces cargo emissions, burns fossil fuels and creates traffic jams.
Transmetrics brings Big Data to cargo transport industry in order to improve capacity utilisation. Their software helps cargo transport companies to predict their future shipping volumes 2-6 weeks in advance, giving them a chance to eliminate empty space before it occurs.
- Transmetrics is a winner of the Ideas Challenge at EIT Digital, a leading European open innovation organisation. It has received 13 international startup awards.
Retail is the perfect example of the need for elastic demand to deal with seasonal peaks. During the so-called golden quarter between October and Decembe huge online events mean demand is off the scale, playing havoc with fixed infrastructure arrangements. The end of 2013 saw a significant rise in the number of online sales, representing a huge shift in consumer behaviour that has showed no signs of slowing down. But it also meant cancelled orders as transport companies couldn't meet demand.
As a result, the retail industry has re-thought its online strategy with most department stores now using some kind of cloud service. But what is the impart on cargo transport? Basically, the shift in consumer behaviour is leading to ever decreasing levels of efficiencies for transport companies. Without the right IT solutions, this means more trucks on the road, higher prices for transport, and ultimately slower economic growth. Transmetrics is a small firm dedicated to changing cargo transport industry by making it more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Sector specific requirements
- The growth of e-commerce is leading to a tectonic shift in operations for cargo transport. This shift means fewer containers and pallets (a portable platform for moving and storing goods) to more boxes and even envelopes used to ship goods globally. Handling small packages requires transport networks that are much more rigid than today.
- We are already seeing mid-sized players gravitate towards groupage and fixed departure networks for small shipments. The more fixed the network is, and the more it deviates from the container size, the more empty space it has. Fixed, small package networks traditionally have had very low capacity utilisation. For example, a container transport operation is typically 24% empty kilometres, while an average groupage network is on average 43% empty, and for parcel networks, the empty space could go to 50-60%.
Benefits of Transmetrics
- Enabling a transport company to counter-act the emerging drivers of inefficiency and enable it to adjust.
- Counter-acting the emerging drivers of inefﬁciency, and even improve on today’s situation, by proactively adjusting the transport network to have just the right network capacity on a given day, for example reducing empty space from 43% to 18%. That means a decrease of about 20% in the amount of vehicles travelling, and leads to signiﬁcantly improved proﬁtability for the transport company.
- Reducing empty space by predicting future shipping volumes before empty space occurs.
- Increasing profitability with extra revenues coming from filling potentially unused capacity and going straight to the company's bottom line.
- Lowering carbon emissions by reducing the number of required vehicles and improving capacity utilisation, which lowers carbon emissions and saves fuel.
Sources: Cloudscape 2014 Position Paper by Transmetrics CEO Asparuh Koev and CloudWATCH Editorial Team.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to show how cloud computing is enabling innovation in the marketplace. Any reference to a specific company or service provider do not constitute an endorsement.