Ofload’s CEO talks about the future of logistics in Australia and how Ofload wants to revolutionise the supply chain platform to benefit both shippers and carriers.
A supply chain platform in the 21st century is no longer just a mechanism to move goods from Point A to Point B. It's a sophisticated, interconnected web that leverages technology to optimise processes, reduce inefficiencies, and ensure that every stakeholder has access to real-time, actionable data.
But why is the digitalisation of the supply chain so important? Firstly, it streamlines operations, allowing for quicker, more efficient decision-making. Secondly, with the integration of AI and machine learning, the supply chain becomes predictive. This allows it to adapt to changes in real-time, ensuring not just efficiency but also resilience in an ever-changing market landscape. Ofload’s Founder and CEO Geoffroy Henry recently spoke with TGL CEO La Chang as part of the popular Back and Forth YouTube video series. Here are some of the key takeaways from their in-depth chat about the future of logistics, the digitalisation of the supply chain, and the all-important role of carriers.
While the benefits are clear, the journey towards the digitalisation of the supply chain is not without its challenges. One of the primary hurdles businesses face when it comes to supply chain management is what Geoffroy calls, “the chicken and the egg” situation. In other words, it’s about understanding the delicate balance of supply and demand. Too much of one without the other leads to inefficiencies and potential losses.
The key here for Geoffroy is visibility. For a digital supply chain partner, with visibility comes knowledge and the ability to optimise the entire supply chain for Ofload’s clients.
“Volume gives me visibility, meaning that the more volume we have from our shippers, the more data we can get from our carriers. Then we can understand where they’re operating and where they’re going, ”explains Geoffroy.
This is where the importance of carriers in logistics comes in. Geoffroy continues, “Everything lies with the carrier. Because if they’re using Ofload’s telematics or our transport management software, then we can help to solve their pain points and make them more profitable, and create massive value for the shippers.”
When working with such large data sets, AI and machine learning have an important part to play in supply chain logistics and business processes. By analysing this data to determine trends and help predict outcomes, the potential for efficiency and profitability is huge. Analogue supply chain processes just don’t cut it any more—the way ahead is through digital.
Geoffroy sees data as an integral part of Ofload’s strategy. “Once Ofload gets even more detailed and reliable data sets, then we are going to be able to leverage that to create even more value for our clients and our shippers.”
Carriers are the workhorses that ensure the safe and timely transportation of goods, often on a very tight schedule. “When we talk about carriers, we’re talking about people that have families. We’re not just talking about numbers on a spreadsheet,” says Geoffroy. But in a rapidly evolving landscape, it's crucial to understand and address the unique pain points they face. Carriers today need more than just routes—they need value. With the rise of supply chain digitisation, it becomes essential for carriers to feel they're part of a system that benefits them, not just the end consumers. This is where Ofload is currently focusing a lot of its energy.
“I've realised that if I don't truly create value for the carriers, I'm not actually going to be able to create value for our shippers,” says Geoffroy. “So once Ofload gets even more detailed and reliable data sets from the carriers, then we are going to leverage that to create even more value for our shippers.”
Many carriers in Australia are owner-operator small businesses. The majority of them have less than ten trucks, and often do not have the means to make a large investment in new technology, or to update existing systems to their own digital supply chain offering. Ofload’s business model can help these small owner-operators in Australia by providing tailored technology solutions at no cost. The carrier technology is free to use and to signup for, onboarding takes a matter of minutes, and Ofload works with some of the biggest shippers in Australia who are always looking for reliable carriers.
In this way, Ofload’s products can benefit both carriers and shippers, empowering the entire logistics industry through the power of data and machine learning.
As businesses worldwide become more environmentally conscious, the logistics sector will also face its reckoning. Between electric and hydrogen, the industry is in flux, trying to find the most sustainable yet commercially viable supply chain solutions. While electric offers promise in short distances, challenges like infrastructure and energy density make linehaul transport tricky. On the other hand, hydrogen, with its quick refuelling and better range, seems a viable alternative, especially given Australia's position as a leading hydrogen producer. So, what is the answer?
As a member of Leaders for Climate Action, Geoffroy believes that the adoption of greener, more eco-friendly shipping methods is important. However, he also recognises the challenges that come with the transition. “We are at the crossroads of change. But the transition is not going to happen overnight. Is hydrogen ready for this? No. Is electric going to be able to do long-haul? No”, he points out.
But eventually, when we do begin to move towards greener logistics options, it will be the large trucking companies who are the ones who will have the resources, budget and time to invest in greener technology. The ones left behind will be the small Australian trucking businesses. These small businesses don’t have the same budget as large trucking companies, and cannot afford to make a significant investment in greener transport without being able to guarantee continuing work.
Ofload’s plans for the future of logistics and carriers in Australia are big-picture and far-sighted, focused on paving the way for cost-effective freight that is also environmentally conscious.
“As part of Leaders for Climate Action, what I want to do is make sure I play a positive role. Ofload can guarantee work for carriers. Through Ofload, we can then help carriers go through the transition to greener transport faster,” Geoffroy explains. “We don't want these owner-operators to be waking up in 10 years with no clients because they’re still driving old diesel trucks and no one wants to work with them,” he says. “I want to be at the forefront because I believe that if we are not, the small businesses will end up suffering from the loss of a competitive edge against the bigger trucking companies.”
As the world of logistics continues to respond, adapt and evolve, Ofload will be the ones leading the pack as a digital freight forwarder. By continuing to develop innovative supply chain technology that benefits both carriers and shippers, we can help to create a sustainable and efficient logistics industry in Australia.
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