How is this different to what already exists in the market? This looks like a glorified freight exchange.

Companies who focus on optimizing freight transport primarily fall into three categories, connecting shippers and carriers, providing a matching service and route planning and optimisation. There are a few exceptions and in this case, we have categorized them as other. A sample of potential competitors and the region in which they operate can be seen in table 6.

FreightShare Lab creates a „platform of platforms” where companies can share trucks and loads, thus potentially optimizing every truck journey as seen in figure 10. FreightShare Lab brings multiple companies and freight exchanges together and optimizes all of them as if they were one fleet. 

While the RFL platform may compete with other existing aggregators or CVRS providers, it has the potential to play a differentiated role within the ecosystem of road freight logistics planning and execution. As such, we have designed the architecture of the RFL platform to allow either freight exchanges, CVRS companies or other “application layer” companies to continue to offer their own targeted customer value propositions (CVP) and even build upon the capability of the RFL platform to further enhance their CVPs (see illustration right).

It is in this manner that the potential of the market to drive innovation and ever increasing GHG reduction performance is enabled rather than inhibited by a single large player in the market.

How are you going to commercialise this project?

There are many avenues to generate future revenue and value. A visual of a strategic staircase depicting possible avenues according to their potential added value can be seen in figure 12. These avenues will be explored as part of FreightShare Lab Research:

  • A transaction fee model will be used at first to build scale and trust between customers and the platform. By using this model, we remove the cost barrier and the sense of commitment the customer must make.
  • After growing the user base and building a strong reputation for delivering results, a subscription based model can be introduced. This model will give the FSL improved revenue stability since the revenue does not rely on how many trips each customer makes. This also allows innovation in CVPs through the packaging of products and services in customer offers.
  • A following logical step in this model is to build out relevant infrastructure such as co-parceling sites and could also help to build out alternative fuel and EV infrastructure. Such sites already exist, usually at the periphery of major urban centers but have not been widely adopted.
  • The most significant value may be when there is a critical mass of users and the data can be leveraged and used for tasks such as active traffic flow management and other high-level tasks.

If you’re interested in improving vehicle optimisation why don’t you lobby to get ride of Restricted O-licences?

We recognise there are many different approaches to freight efficiency improvements, most of which are valid, though none will be a silver bullet to transport efficiency, many interventions will be required to truly realise gains. Removal of the O-licence restrictions for own-account operators would undoubtedly open up an opportunity for improved efficiency, though FreightShare Lab isn’t intended as a lobbying group to drive legislative change. The project is intended to explore how commercial vehicle operators, freight carriers and shippers can collaborate and share their capacity and loads to maximise their transport efficiency. That is likely to be just as relevant to restricted O-licence holders with multiple divisions and depots, as it would be to standard licence holders.

I’m a big fleet operator and I have spent the past 30 years gaining a competitive advantage through scale, why should I hand that over to smaller companies by using this service?

The intention of the research project is to understand just that. If there were a platform which could offer maximum transport efficiency, what would be the barriers to market acceptance. Such a platform could, theoretically, offer small and medium sized fleets the same economies as a major fleet operator, but we would expect there to be other benefit for large logistics companies to get involved with FreightShare Lab. For sintance, ensuring your customers always have the most efficient route, mode and delivery schedule could be a significant USP.

Where can I find out more information about this project?

If you want to be kept informed about the progress of FreightShare Lab bookmark our website and keep checking back. Alternatively, sign-up to receive further updates on the project by filling out the “Get Involved” registration form

How do I get involved in this project?

Sign-up via the website and we’ll be in touch to discuss how you can get involved.