Photo: Cargonexx press materials

Cargonexx Managing Director Trond v. Stern on why event-driven processes will triumph in logistics digitalisation

You can read this article in 5 minutes

The digital revolution of logistics is evolving all the time, bringing with it new concepts of tools and platforms. Companies are either pivoting or growing their scope of interest, bringing new offers to the table. A case in point is Cargonexx, who pivoted from digital forwarding to creating a Transport Management Platform in recent years.

Amid the ongoing progression of digital logistics tools, as well as Cargonexx itself, we reached out to director Trond v. Stern to learn his thoughts on what’s required to thrive in the sector, as well as the motivations behind Cargonexx’s pivot.

Thanks for speaking to us Trond. First off, Cargonexx was previously known as a digital forwarder. What prompted the pivot away from digital freight forwarding?

Well, we gradually phased out our digital freight forwarding operations quietly and cooperatively. Since November 2021, we’ve stopped operating or fulfilling any large shipping company’s shipments under the Cargonexx name. Our focus has shifted away from connecting these companies with carriers via digital freight forwarding.

Our team has been working behind the scenes to enhance the collaboration between shippers, carriers, and freight forwarders. We have only recently begun unveiling the story of our Cargonexx Transport Management Platform (TMP), a SaaS solution designed to foster transparency and collaboration.

Our experience as a digital freight forwarder has given us a deep understanding of logistics processes. Our exposure to various Transport Management Systems (TMS) made us realize that these systems are not as advanced as they could be. In the traditional approach, if you wanted to know the location of a truck, you would have to contact the driver or log in to telematics software. This method is request-driven and lacks real-time information. The lacking quality and quantity of relevant data prohibited Cargonexx to fulfill on its goal to digitally match loads with capacities, decreasing empty runs of trucks across Europe.

With event-based architecture as the foundation, our Transport Management Platform was designed to meet the urgent need for improved collaboration among companies in load-truck matching and strategic planning. To enhance efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, logistics teams must be able to easily coordinate backloads and participate in sub-projects like freight pooling. TMP’s event-driven solution empowers shippers to simplify their logistics processes and optimize their resources without requiring large logistics teams.

What sets our platform apart is its departure from traditional request-based IT infrastructures and business processes. Instead of multiple sources providing information on an order’s status, we aim to establish a single, reliable source of truth. This involves integrating software to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of dispatchers managing transports.

Our platform features a three-layered structure for data accuracy. It enables transparent databases, supports process automation, and encourages collaboration. Importantly, we aim to address issues such as underutilized trucks, reducing CO2 emissions, and improving competitiveness.

Furthermore, our platform seeks to transform transport management from a linear supply chain into a more resilient and dynamic network. The goal is to create a system that promotes transparency, collaboration, and increased efficiency in connecting people, companies, and technologies without requiring expensive integration projects.

There are a number of tools out there and companies looking to solve the issue of trucks running too often at under capacity. What factors will be key to deciding who survives and thrives in this market?

I believe two critical elements hold the key: event-based processes and digitally born data—essentially, the software’s construction.

While some systems use request-based architectures, I believe success hinges on implementing event-based processes. You need efficient, automated software to determine the appropriate action following every event, like truck delays or shipment bookings.

Another crucial element is digitally born data. Changes to a load or a truck’s availability need to be known and addressed quickly. Manual data input or stale data won’t suffice; you need real-time, accurate data from both the load and capacity ends.

Looking back at the inception of digital forwarders around 2016, most have now disappeared. The remaining ones are grappling to secure funding due to high network-building costs while not addressing the underlying challenges.

So, in conclusion, Cargonexx’s pivot to a Transport Management Platform (TMP) was driven by the desire to address the shortcomings of existing logistics processes and enhance collaboration among stakeholders. The key factors for success in this industry include implementing event-based processes, leveraging digitally born data, and strategically building marketplaces. By focusing on these elements, Cargonexx aims to bring about transformative advancements in the logistics sector.