By: Lewis King at Air Cargo World
Turvo launches collaborative supply chain management platform
Turvo, a logistics startup has launched a “collaborative logistics” platform that allows shippers, brokers and carriers to communicate and manage shipments in real-time, across the entire supply chain. The company also announced it has raised $25 million in Series A financing.
The platform allows shippers can manage loads, and eventually, it will offer inventory management. Turvo’s software provides carriers with fleet management tools, and brokers can use the platform for load and fleet management.
Turvo is setting out to differentiate itself by taking on the entire supply chain, from orders and shipments to invoices and payments. Customers pay a fee per shipment, lowering the barrier to entry.
But freight is a crowded and recalcitrant market, and Turvo is up against startups like Flexport and Globatom, as well as major’s such as SAP and the Oracle.
With ever-shrinking margins in the freight business, Royce Neubauer, CEO Service First Logistics, a Freight broker based out of Michigan is counting on Turvo’s platform to cut costs. “It gives us an opportunity to focus on the outliers in our supply chain, rather than the shipments that are flowing through the system smoothly and accurately and on time,” Neubauer explained. “Most companies are constantly tracking their shipments, and that’s bogging them down.”
Service First Logistics has been working with Turvo for roughly a year, providing input into how they built the platform, from a broker’s standpoint. As a result, Service First Logistics has gone from one person required to manage every 30 shipments to one person for every 200 shipments. “It’s allowing us to spend more time and energy fixing those outliers,” Neubauer explained.
Logistics is a US$8 trillion-dollar global industry, and Turvo argues that pen and paper, spreadsheets, and outdated software with countless redundant, manual tasks are at the root of high shipping costs. “Communication is done through back and forth phone calls, emails, and faxes which is inefficient and error-prone,” the company said.
Turvo facilitates the sharing of shipments and documents and messaging. It assigns tasks to people both inside and outside the organization, “reducing back-and-forth phone calls and emails.”
Real-time visibility tracks shipments from dispatch to delivery using the Turvo mobile app and hardware sensors.
“Intelligent notifications” conduct instant searches along the supply chain, providing automated recommendations. By focusing on outliers, logistics companies require less eyes on shipments. The assumption here is that most shipments never actually require management, automatically moving through the supply chain.
Turvo provides a single platform where digital invoices are shared instantly and payments can be scheduled automatically. That speeds up payments, which Neubauer explained, allowed his company to, “pay our carriers roughly two weeks earlier than we used to.”
Turvo’s tools may be the fix that finally catches on in the notoriously slow-moving logistics industry, however “there are a lot of big ideas involved,” Neubauer concluded. “And sometimes, that’s had to sell.”
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