Every month we select one logistics startup which represents a positive example of innovation in Logistics and Supply Chain and has the potential to alter the way the industry operates. This month, Transmetrics selected Carrypicker, an innovative logistics optimization solution, as the “Logistics Startup of the Month” for its remarkable achievements at transport capacity utilization.
In order to learn more about the company and what makes Carrypicker unique, we have talked with Andreas Karanas, Founder and CEO at Carrypicker, about the startup’s journey and how does AI create a long-needed landscape for the powerful transport optimization.
Congratulations on becoming the Logistics Startup of the Month! Can you please introduce our readers to Carrypicker and what it does?
Thank you very much! It’s a great honor for us. When Carrypicker was founded in 2017 we asked ourselves why the trucking industry cannot do what airlines, hotels, or car rental companies have been able to do for a long time: Namely, ensuring maximum utilization at the highest possible return with dynamic pricing and autonomous capacity management.
The answer was simple: Because until now, it has been missing what Carrypicker now offers. Artificial Intelligence based on many years of real-market-experience and a unique database takes into account various influencing factors in real-time and offers maximum precision, flexibility, and transparency. High-performance computing and intelligent algorithms bundle individual shipments into profitable truck loads within fractions of a second. A system from which clients, carriers, and the environment benefit equally.
What logistics challenges are you trying to tackle with your solution? What makes Carrypicker stand out among other companies that are addressing the same problem?
The main challenge is represented by one factor: the average utilization per truck of only 70%. That means, almost every third truck runs empty. With Carrypicker, we can decrease the volume of truck traffic by making the freight planning process more efficient and at the same time decrease CO2 emissions significantly. In this way, we want to make an active contribution to protecting our environment.
We consider the sheer amount of empty trucks on the streets as one of the biggest challenges the logistics sector has been facing for years, so our goal is to make trucking more efficient, profitable, and future-proof with new ideas, artificial intelligence, and the digitalization of the transport process chain.
That is where we stand out: Our team combines leading edge technology with an extensive knowledge of the logistics industry. We worked for nearly two years to develop and train an ecosystem of algorithms by feeding it with hunders of millions of historical and real-time freight data. As a result, our AI has become an extraordinarily complex creation that cannot simply be copied.
At Transmetrics, we are also using such technologies as AI and predictive analytics to optimize the cargo flows. How does Carrypicker use technologies like AI in particular?
At Carrypicker we are using the latest mathematical methods from the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics within a highly scalable cloud computing environment, and have developed integrated mathematical price and capacity control models to maximize revenue while reducing empty capacity. The aim is to create an intelligent software platform that uses historical price, cost, capacity, and mobility data, taking into account a large number of multidimensional loading parameters to price transport orders through active yield management. We then allocate the loads in real-time to existing empty capacities, or to actively acquire additional capacities on the market and to bundle everything into highly efficient tours.
In this way, we will replace the entire planning process that is now carried out by dispatchers, with self-learning algorithms. This will not only improve the economics of a financially strapped industry but also change the traditional job profile.
Can you please elaborate on what App Colleta is, how it works, and what kind of benefits it provides?
As Carrypicker does not operate its own fleet, instant access to a large network of available and thoroughly vetted carriers is a critical success factor. That’s where our Coletta app comes in: It automatically sends transport orders to suitable carriers by using sophisticated methods developed in the field of online audience targeting. Colleta is already used by 2,000 carriers with more than 15,000 trucks.
Can you share with us any recent client’s success story? How did Carrypicker help them in particular?
Our service usually begins at the customer’s ramp, where we collect the goods. However, we are increasingly receiving requests from large customers hoping to achieve efficiency gains while using our algorithms to improve cost transparency and better utilize transport capacities.
For example, we have just evaluated the shipment data of a major German automobile manufacturer and were able to show that Carrypicker could increase the current load factor of 74% with a set of different measures by a further 7%.
Carrypicker is based in Hamburg which has a robust logistics startup scene. How does being part of such an ecosystem influence the way Carrypicker operates?
With one of the world’s largest harbor and a corresponding ecosystem of various kinds of logistics companies, with more than 700 freight forwarders among them, Hamburg is a great inspiration for us. With its path-breaking urban mobility concept Hamburg is about to become a role model for Europe. This, of course, makes it much easier to attract the most talented people from around the world.
What was the biggest learning point for you throughout the development of Carrypicker? If you had a chance to do it all over again, is there something you would do differently?
At the moment we are, to be honest, I am very happy with what we have achieved so far. Certainly, everything can always go faster, and you also learn from mistakes. But being part of an industry that is on the brink of something new is challenging and exciting at the same time.
Having in mind the economic consequences the COVID-19 outbreak might have; can you please share a piece of advice for professionals working in the logistics ecosystem?
Technology is the clear winner of the crisis. COVID-19 was a wake-up call for many traditional industries to start going digital, logistics was no exception in this regard. In general, Technology, used intelligently, allows for a higher efficiency reduces complexity, and offers more flexibility. In exceptional situations like the one we are facing now, autonomous AI-based systems can in many situations adapt more quickly to changing needs. Nevertheless, artificial intelligence cannot do magic, and so it always helps not only during this pandemic to keep calm and to look ahead.
Looking into the future, what are your plans and expectations for Carrypicker in the next year?
We are firmly convinced that we are on the right track with our approach of AI-based and therefore more sustainable logistics. Sustainability awareness (keyword ESG), automation, and transparency are high on the agenda for large and very large companies. The willingness to cooperate with startups like us is great. These are the companies we want to win over next year.