Freight Container

The following article appeared on the Telstra Digital Blog on 27 June 2016

Data-driven solutions pave the way for an efficient freight industry.

The freight and logistics industry is crucial to the growth of the Australian economy and a number of its most significant sectors – from energy to pharmaceuticals.

The freight industry relies on the dissemination of large amounts of information due to its complexity. Yet when big data is introduced to this paradigm, an opportunity arises to drive sustainability and greater efficiency, says Cate Hull, CEO at Freight Exchange.

“Our model is very much based around the sharing economy,” Hull says. “Ultimately, what we want to do is create a single platform on which you can move a container from Hangzhou in China to Dubbo in NSW – all at the click of a button.” Cate Hull, CEO, FreightExchange.

Cate Hull, CEO, FreightExchange
I was doing some work in Fremantle, which is a beautiful port town, and I saw all of these empty trucks driving around and I couldn’t quite understand why you would have a quarter of a million dollar truck driving into a container park empty while another one was leaving.

It turned out that there was a huge problem – there was no information sharing because so many different parties were involved. One in four or five trucks were driving around empty.

My background is in corporate big data, so I’ve spent my whole life using technology and data to do things better. We saw a big opportunity in freight to really drive sustainability and better efficiencies in the industry.

Freight has typically been very complex. There’s a lot of information you need to know and a lot of factors involved in making things work properly.

Our model is very much about the sharing economy. Ultimately, we want to create a single platform where you can move a container from Hangzhou in China to Dubbo in NSW at the click of a button.

This will require us having all the information on all of the trucks moving from the manufacturers to the ports in China and then, you know, all of the sea – all of the ships moving across the oceans, and then eventually all of the trucks moving throughout Australia.

So it’s unbelievably complicated behind the scenes and very simple up front.