Digital logistics marketplace Empty Trips says the logistics industry is ripe for more efficient, transparent and sustainable ways of operating, as decarbonisation pressures loom and fuel prices rise.
The company prides itself on being a fully digital end-to-end logistics marketplace. Its platform was designed to address some of the biggest inefficiencies in the traditional logistics space – including trucks returning empty from deliveries – by making those trips available to shippers directly through a smart freight-matching platform.
The platform helps turn wasted road miles into income for hauliers, while also giving shippers access to good deals from a large fleet of reputable transporters. The open exchange platform is premised on bidding for cargo.
Empty Trips managing executive Andrew Crafford says that, for a country like South Africa, where roads are relied upon to transport the majority of goods, higher logistics costs ultimately translate into higher prices of goods for the end customer.
“The Empty Trips platform brings efficiencies and greater transparency to the sector, makes shipping more cost-effective, increases the availability of reliable haulier options for shippers and increases supply chain visibility.”
He adds that supply chain visibility is increasingly important for logistics managers, driven by a greater incidence of disruption, changing customer requirements and the need for better operational efficiency.
Traditional ways of going about transportation are often manually intensive, but fully digital engagement introduces quicker communication and enables more visible oversight of trips.
Empty Trips allows shippers to monitor deliveries in real-time and manage their contract seamlessly.
The platform provides instant proof of delivery and invoices and payments are consolidated automatically, enabling administration to be concluded timeously and efficiently.
The platform makes available a fleet of more than 3 600 trucks, across the country, mainly in the form of tautliner, flatbed and refrigerated trucks.
Based on their available transport space and route at a given time, the platform’s algorithms match available capacity to loads to be moved. Carriers can then bid securely and anonymously, with payment secured through the platform, Crafford explains.
“Shippers benefit from reduced transport costs and access to reputable and vetted transporters, while carriers benefit in the form of profit by turning an empty trip into income,” he notes, adding that the transporter or carrier can also offer more trips than would have otherwise been feasible.
Crafford tells Engineering News that Empty Trips is offered across South Africa and for any type of shipper – large and small.
He mentions that the company offers business management tools alongside the marketplace platform, to track loads and information around trips. Empty Trips is able to produce reports tailor-made to shippers and carriers, respectively.
Crafford believes a digital logistics marketplace such as Empty Trips establishes greater transparency and efficiency in the industry and, ultimately, creates a more sustainable future for business and the environment by drastically reducing wasted kilometres which in turn means less harmful carbon dioxide emissions.