Historically, logistics has been a very fragmented industry, with manufacturers and retailers reliant on a large number of unconnected individual warehouses, 3PLs (third party logistics providers), or transport service providers. This meant high management overheads and low visibility into the supply chain, furthermore, shipping and transportation are by far the most expensive costs in logistics.
Organisations looking to counter this challenge often accepted a trade-off in reducing the number of service providers they worked with in the hope that IT integrations and semi-manual operations would consume fewer resources and give some kind of visibility into the supply chain. But this made it difficult to build best-of-breed operations and locked you in with specific suppliers, ultimately reducing your agility further.
Now more than ever, supply chains need to be built with agility and resilience in mind and technology is enabling new possibilities with a business proposition that translates into greater simplicity for the customer on the front end and greater ability to cope with logistical complexity on the back-end.
A case in point is how organisations manage and receive inbound goods, such as the movement of raw materials from supplier to manufacturer, or the supply of finished products to a distribution centre.
In the UK and Europe only 63% of journeys are estimated to carry ‘useful load’ and average vehicle utilisation is under 60%. This means lots of trucks and trains with empty space on roads and rail.
It’s a challenge that has become exacerbated with recent supply-chain disruption, where it is now typical to see cargo ships queuing to get into port, warehouses at capacity, and truck drivers in short supply.
Enabling the power of shared economies
Although the idea of shared transportation capacity or collaborative-shipments is not new, it has been difficult to fully implement, until now. The idea is that shared economies can be enabled through marketplaces like Stowga, which connect all parties in a network of independent logistics networks.
With freight co-loading, this means trucking companies can reduce their empty mileage by finding another customer nearby to where they are dropping off their load.
As the stop/start nature of the market coupled with unpredictable volumes has sent pain to all tiers of the supply chain, companies now need greater flexibility from their warehousing operations, transport, and logistics, including the ability to act in near real-time to add or remove extra storage, handling, and distribution capacity quickly and efficiently and make use of that capacity just as fast.
By building a network-of-networks for logistics services, Stowga will provide a one-stop shop for the sourcing of complete logistics solutions, using advanced functionality to connect customers with warehouse operators, 3PLs, and service providers that best meet their needs.