Over the past decade, globalization and international trade have forced manufacturers and retailers to reinvent their processes. All areas of business have been challenged, particularly procurement, transport and distribution. On February 13th, the Global Open Innovation Network held a TechMeeting aiming at understanding how international corporations are revolutionizing their logistics and supply chain.

The event kicked off with a panel discussion between:

  • Florent Francois, Head of Digital Strategy at Daher
  • Priyanka Khaitan, Head of Innovation, Supply Chain at SAP
  • Nathalie Lallet, Senior Business Development Manager at Uber Freight
  • Raghu Kowshik, Senior Director, IT Strategy and Execution at Flex
  • Matthew Hall, Vice President, Business Development at Peloton Technology

Raghu Kowshik set the scene by describing the logistics and supply chain field as very diverse, with arrays of clusters and technologies. This heterogeneity makes it difficult to implement change. Matthew Hall seconded this observation and shared thoughts about the trucking industry in which Peloton Technology is operating. While trucking represents about 75% of freight in the U.S., this industry is still very old-fashioned with a majority of processes that is still paper-based. According to Nathalie Lallet, the industry can be transformed by understanding and minimizing the friction between businesses, workers and new technology.

The discussion then shifted towards information technologies. Nathalie Lallet highlighted the importance for shippers to know where a given load is and when it will arrive to destination. For Florent Francois, another key element is traceability. While the value of counterfeit and pirated goods represents about 2.5% of international trade, being able to access reliable information is a strategic advantage. According to Raghu Kowshik, blockchain is a great solution to prevent counterfeits but implementing this solution will require standardizing information at the global scale.

Finally, Priyanka Khaitan, who moderated the discussion, asked the panelists about the technologies that will shape the future of logistics and supply chain. Blockchain will most likely have a central role to play, in addition to Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, API, and IoT.

 

The discussion was followed by the pitch of 6 startups:

Elroy Air

Elroy Air is developing autonomous aircraft systems to deliver goods to the world’s most remote places. Building on the powertrain and perception technology enabling the hybrid-electric/autonomous vehicle revolution, their vertical-takeoff-and-landing cargo transport system can operate outside of airport infrastructure and carries 200+ lbs over 300 miles.

FLEXE

FLEXE makes on-demand warehousing possible by connecting organizations in need of additional space to organizations with extra space. Their cloud-based platform powers unified warehouse sourcing and set up, while also streamlining material handling operations.

Roambee

The Roambee Corporation is a Silicon Valley company transforming supply chain logistics and asset management inside, outside, and in-transit for global enterprise. Founded in 2014, the company provides proprietary sensor, software, and cloud technology solutions to capture, deliver, report, analyze, and understand data worldwide.

Cargo Chief

Cargo Chief arithmetically matches trucking supply and demand with integrations. The company leverages its technology to help buyers of freight services instantly find available well-vetted capacity. The company’s technology provides data, automation and network advantages for their clients.

BridgeHaul

BridgeHaul bridges the gap between shippers and carriers through automation and technology.  The company provides modern supply chain solutions and services that helps small/midsized fleets and shippers manage logistics operations more efficiently.

AxleHire

AxleHire provides same-day and next-day delivery services for e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers. AxleHire uses a proprietary dynamic routing algorithm to ensure on-time pickups and deliveries, resulting in a more fluid customer experience.

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