Today, supply is inadequately matched with demand, which generates a staggering waste of resources. In order to resolve this, we need to focus on circular business models that rely on circular logistics, says the CEO of LogTrade Technology, Fredrik Svedberg.
The “Wall of shame” is a section in a warehouse that is entirely dedicated to returned items. Putting them back into circulation would cost too much time and effort. Thus, it is cheaper to put them “aside”, and eventually discard them.
This issue has certainly garnered some attention, similar to how food waste issues have been picked up by the media (highlighting the fact that one third of all food produced goes to waste, every year, globally).
And that is all fine and well, says, Fredrik Svedberg, but if we really want to get to the heart of the problem, we need to rethink how we shop – instead of just trying to alleviate the symptoms.
LogTrade is a digital logistics platform that started out in Malmö in the 90ies. Its core product has traditionally supported large B2B companies that ship enormous amounts of parcels every day. Yet during the last couple of years, LogTrade has begun to rethink its own role as a “middleware” that automates outbound deliveries by connecting shippers with carriers.
We do this with killer integrations to several market-leading ERP-systems, and no other system for transport management does this “from-the-inside-job” better than us. However, says Fredrik Svedberg, in this role we are a tool within linear business models that have reached their limits.
Fredrik Svedberg is referring to the pressing issues of global warming, and for example how related issues of soil depletion, is pressuring companies to embrace circular business models.
But in order to truly get there, transportation logistics needs to be addressed. What does it matter if your products are organic, if they have to travel around the world two times before they reach your end customers, and then can’t be resold if not sold out at their “first” destination?
What he is alluding to is the concept of “circular logistics”, which is a fundamental part of Log Trade’s enhanced vision and mission to change how products are sold and consumed. The concept includes micro logistics and the strengthening of local supply chain structures.
We are expanding our core platform with new features that enable our customers to let their products sell, ship, and account for themselves. Which means that the products can be sold anywhere. At conventional stores, or at any other location that is convenient for customers.
Right now, we have a couple of brands that are testing these autonomous shopping-features, in hotel lobbies. For the location, this means no extra cost and no inventory management. The brands’ ERP-system knows the status of each product and when it is time to restock.
Essentially, LogTrade’s new features empower products to get to where they need to be, when they are needed. And then they simply move on to other locations when demand decreases. To enable this without creating unnecessary shipments that would require new resources, LogTrade has come up with a hitch hike-system where products catch a ride with any transport capacity available.
Products left over after rush hour can be relocated to a soup kitchen or another location, with a carrier capacity that is already heading in that direction.
A short Q&A with Logtrade
What is LogTrade’s current activity in the US market?
We have an ongoing testbed in the USA where we, together with IBM and Ericsson, test our technologies – to create a circular logistics chain. In this testbed, we move food from eleven small businesses, everything from farmers to bakeries.
The test operation is in California, but we also have a pilot in Iowa in collaboration with Iowa State University. In January, we will also start a pilot in Maryland.
In one of our largest transatlantic projects, HIITS, we work daily with Stanford University. This work is partly about reducing the number of inbound and outbound deliveries from the City of Stockholm. We also work with Stanford University on other business development projects.
Why did you join SAAC, what are your expectations, and how can you contribute to other members in the network?
SAAC is a valuable organization, which has helped us strengthen our relationships with critical Swedish companies. We like the events you arrange and see the network you offer as crucial in our business development journey forward. We are always open and interested in generating new synergy effects with others. Anyone in the network can always contact us if they want to know more, curious about a collaboration.
LogTrade Technology was founded in 1992. Today the company’s mission, is to provide people with what they need, when they need it, and where they need it in a way that is respectful to both people and the planet.
LogTrade’s core product is a cloud-based transport administration software. In its most basic form, the system enables swift communication between shippers, carriers, and customers. In its most advanced form, it is the key to circular logistics.
A fair amount of research and development is done in connection with Stanford University. The company is a registered trademark in the US and has an office in Palo Alto, California. Pilot projects are currently focused on the agricultural sector in California and Iowa.
LogTrade’s head office is located in Malmö, Sweden.