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26th May 2017

Making the most of spare capacity through online brokerage

By Nick Eades, Chief Marketing Officer at Wincanton PLC

Many logistics providers across the industry operate with spare capacity, including shipping lines and road freight operators. Within our competitive market, finding ways to make physical assets work as hard as possible is an ongoing challenge.

Online brokerage platforms, those which match shippers with available capacity across the supply chain, have become increasingly popular and there are notable examples of start-ups which have entered this market and begun to disrupt the sector.

The contract logistics (3PL) sector can learn from these start-ups and seize the opportunity to introduce innovative approaches that link us to businesses, or individuals, requiring road freight or warehouse capacity. The nature of our business with fluctuations in demand depending on seasonal trends and customer requirements means there are instances when we operate with underused warehouse and road freight capacity. Our ability to react quickly to use this space can be improved on with the implementation of the better ways to connect with our customers.

That’s why through the W2 Labs programme we want to work with start-ups who can enable us to match our space with companies that have complementary requirements. Whether this requirement is for a single consignment or an end to end supply chain operation.

Our aim is to link with them directly in a quick and effective way, as in an increasingly digital world solutions need to quick, intuitive and reliable. There’s a great opportunity for us to add value not just for customers but for our industry as a whole.