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Shiv Thakker Speaks at GreenFreight Asia Sustainability Leadership Program

Shiv Thakker

Fleetbase Co-founder Shiv Thakker speak at the GreenFreight Asia Sustainability Leadership Programme and shared his views on sustainability in Last Mile.

You can read through the the presentation below or view the full talk at this link.

Hello everybody, thank you to Jelena and the Green Freight Asia team for allowing me to speak at the event today. Its great to be here with the other thought leaders and speakers. Thank you very much.

A little bit about myself, my name is Shiv, I am co -founder of Fleetbase pte ltd. We are a logistics technology company based here in Singapore and we provide technology infrastructure for developers and businesses who are conducting any type of logistics or delivery processes. We have been operating in Singapore, regionally and also the US since 2018. I will be touching on a few of our products and services later on in the presentation.

So what am i going to be speaking about today? Well I have structured the presentation into 4 main parts.

  • Firstly we will explore the current impact of the last mile globally, this is from an emissions and volume aspect and will explore to see how this is planning to change over time.

  • I will then be sharing what customers are expecting from service providers and looking at some statistics as to their expectations and preferences for choosing more sustainable vendors and facilitators.

  • Taking all of this information hopefully I will be able to provide you some insights and strategies for becoming more sustainable by utilizing some technology solutions and processes.

  • Finally I will quickly touch on our Fleetbase solutions and how we can potentially help you implement some of these solutions for your own business.

Ok lets kick things off with a research study that was conducted by the world economic forum where they took data from Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore, Amsterdam, Paris and London and reviewed the trends relating to ecommerce and the different types of last mile delivery. From their findings they have made a prediction that there will be a 36% rise in the number of delivery vehicles in the world’s top 100 cities by 2030, leading to an emissions increase of over 30%. Obviously with this massive increase of volume and vehicles that are entering the city causes a lot of problems, all the way from congestions to CO2 levels and air pollution. This would have been accelerated over the last few 18 months due to the accelerated due to covid 19 and the need for on demand delivery and restrictions for shoppers and consumers. Given this increase in a potential risk to the environment and to peoples day to day way of life I thought it would be good to share with you all another study which outlines customers views and feedback

When I was doing my research for this presentation I came across this survey that was conducted by Coyote Logistics - they interviewed 250 global shippers across various industries, company sizes, verticals and seniority levels were surveyed to explore buying habits and perceptions about the evolution toward a more sustainable supply chain. consumers were also asked about their thought processes when it came to buying decisions. So starting from left to right. Out of the consumers they interviewed, ‘84% of respondents were more likely to base a purchase decision on a brand’s sustainability practices’ & ‘61% of respondents noted their willingness to wait longer for the delivery of their purchases if they know it’s better for the environment’. I think both of those findings are very important, one because you can see that consumers are more likely to use a company that is actively looking to become more sustainable, so much so that they are actually willing to wait longer for the delivery if they know it's better for the environment. It is no surprise then the final statistic that ‘81% of companies are more focused on sustainability today than they were three years ago’ and so in such a competitive space, it's more important now more than ever to make sure you’re doing all that you can to appeal to customers' needs.

So now that we have outlined the impact of last mile globally and also what consumers and businesses are currently focusing on, let's take a look at the 4 main parties that are involved in this last mile process and what can be done from a high level perspective to increase sustainability across the board. Firstly retails. Now retailers have had to work with a rapid shift in consumer behavior recently and a lot have changed their models to work more with local fulfillment. Local fulfilment means that the fulfillment process is closer to the customer base or even IN STORE, delivery locally can be reduced or provided by lower emission emitting means such as electric vans, bicycle, scooter etc. this is in comparison to conducting larger vehicles to do multiple stops from a fulfillment centre further from the end consumer. Another way retailers can commit more to sustainability is to educate their customers to consolidate their deliveries rather than one by one. I will expand more on delivery and logistic companies in the next slide so i will skip that for now. Moving onto the government. Expanding into what i've just explained about retailers, government can also start to encourage the use of local fulfilment centers, help logistics providers by providing more green routes and of course introducing subsidies where appropriate. We are already starting to see this in a lot of the major cities, especially ones with a more sustainable outlook such as Singapore and London. And finally as consumers, I am pretty sure all of us today have been using delivery and ecommerce services. Just two main things to highlight that you can do is, make use of consolidated delivery options, make sure to choose the service providers that are more focused on being green.

Ok as mentioned in the last slide, I am going to highlight a few of the main technologies that are available at the moment for logistics and delivery companies to make use of to start that journey to becoming a more sustainable company. Firstly, companies should look to become digitized. This can be in the form of a transport management system, warehouse management system or other applications & tools that enhance key processes of your operations. Not only will this give you insights into your data, but it will allow you to make better and faster decisions. With interactive user interfaces and algorithm driven troubleshooting techniques, you can complete deliveries in a more efficient manner. Second needless to say is implementing route optimization. A more efficient route for your drivers and your vehicles means that you will spend less time on the road and in turn less fuel and emissions will be spent. Moving onto data analytics, reporting, and predictive analytics. This is important for companies to have to number one, see a detailed history of their data and look deep into it to see what are some of the areas they can improve on. What products are going to which delivery area more? What are your consumers' behaviors? Where can you move stock and fulfillment to make sure that you are cutting down on your distance traveled and loading & dispatching of vehicles? All of these questions can be answered and predicted in the future with the right level of data analytics and reporting. Electrified fleets are being spoken about a lot but it is a very good way of increasing your sustainability. As mentioned, governments are providing more subsidies and making it easier for companies to adopt. I saw the other day that singapore have allowed for Tesla superchargers for the first time not only here but also in southeast asia. When you combine that with local fulfillment the benefits are clearly visible.

So what immediate action can you take today to start the journey to become more sustainable? Firstly is to find out your current green status and your impact on the environment. Without finding out where you are currently positioned it is then harder to track the progress of your change when implementing the new technologies. One way you can actually do this is by using the Green Freight questionnaire for sustainability where you will be provided with a ‘rating’ on your current green status. Once you identify your current position, my second suggestion would be to move your operations to cloud based solutions and start to manage your systems there. As mentioned before, it is very difficult and manual to get insights into your data without becoming digitized - sharing data between sources and systems are key as need to put data at the heart of your business to prioritise green operations, Again, look to adopt technologies such as route optimization and data analytics and reporting to react better to customer requests, accommodating greener routes and weather patterns etc in real time. Integration is also key, there are a lot of platforms that provide specific tools to help you increase your green efforts, platforms such as live traffic insights, green route planning and weather forecasting & algorithms. This is all possible if you first set up your technology stack to be easily integratable. Another, more operational change, you can adopt is the use of shared resources such as warehousing or fulfillment. Collaboration between Shippers, carriers and retailers for consolidating deliveries is important as it decreases the number of trips needed to reach end customers.

One case study I wanted to share with you was a micro depot that was shared between 4 parties in Helsinki. A parcel locker company that focuses on consumer self pickup, magazine publisher that conducts delivery across the city, a logistics service provider that uses the micro depot as a transshipment hub and a startup that provides crowdsourced deliveries. They all shared the facilities resources, maintenance, cleaning, security and due to the location of the hub which was situated near green lanes, a lot of the deliveries were conducted by bike, electric bike and electric vans. Combining all of this together they saw a noticeable reduction in the emissions produced by all 4 parties IF they were to conduct their delivery processes in a more traditional sense. This model will definitely help to decrease from a GHG air pollutant perspective. With the initial way of vans travelling from outside the city and conducting multiple stops this new model shows only once stop needed and then the lower emission alternative transports take over. Definitely something to think about moving forward. Obviously with this kind of model the relationships between the parties need to be strong for a successful operations flow and support from local authorities is key as well. I wanted to touch on another example of this in London. The underground car park at London Wall will be changing 39 of the nearly 200 spaces turned into a hub for Amazon Logistics, who will use it to dispatch parcels around the area by bicycle, replacing the existing van delivery service.They envision the new cycle hub will take 85 vehicles off the road each day. The City of London has also started to make plans to deliver 2 additional last mile hubs by 2022 and increase that number to 5 by 2025. So we can already see that shift happening.

Ok so as mentioned previously, I wanted to touch on the products and services that we provide and them=n move onto how we can help to start you on the journey to become more sustainable. First and foremost we provide tools for developers who are looking to build out logistics and e-commerce applications. So this means any inhouse platforms that you want to build can be developed faster and at a lower cost as we provide the building blocks and prevent you from having to rebuild these key components from scratch. Secondly using our own framework we have created ‘FleetOps’ This is an operations system for any sort of companies conducting last mile processes, this can be fully customisable and fully dynamic depending on how complex your operational flows are. In order to help your customers schedule deliveries and orders with you, we have built a storefront, which is a fully open source web and mobile app for ecommerce and customer ordering. This integrates into the FleetOps operations system for seamless delivery processes. And finally we provide consulting services for technology implementation for logistics and ecommerce companies.

This is just a little more information about FleetOps which you can find out more on our website.

How can we help? So do take a look at the tools & operations we provide, as i mentioned before, the first step is to digitize your operations and then look to use features such as route optimization and data analytics. We are also happy to discuss with you more about the different technology solutions available and what the best step by step process is for you to start to implement. And finally we can work with you to build out custom solutions to specifically fit your ecommerce or logistics needs.

Before we start to wrap up I wanted to mention a new collaboration between GreenFreight & Fleetbase. We are working together to provide digitized green certificates and questionnaires to help you figure out your current green status. With that you can utilize Fleetbase transport management system and fleet management functionalities to find deeper insights into your data and processes to make the right strategic moves to become more sustainable. The aim is to use the ongoing data to provide you realtime and continuous updates in your sustainability efforts and provider suggestions for you to improvie. We will be releasing more information about this in the coming weeks.

So to summarise the key points I wanted to get across:

  • Customers want their facilitators to become more sustainable

  • Understanding your current green status is the first step to becoming more sustainable

  • Digitize your operations to get more insights into your data

  • And move to a more sharing & collaborative model in order wherever possible

Thank you very much, feel free to reach out to me after the presentation & look forward to answering any questions.


What is the first step last mile businesses can take to become more sustainable by using technology?

Become digitized, look for basic operational flows you can automate or enhance with technology first and then have a plan to implement additional and supporting technologies over a period of time.

What is the future of technology for companies conducting last mile delivery?

Predictive analytics is going to be important for companies, trying to forecast volumes, scenarios and then having the technology capabilities to implement that. That comes with using software that is dynamic, customizable and can adapt to changing situations. Also having the ability to build out and implement features that are specific to your business is important. I think also as we see in other industries that more te3chnology is required for business to build in house, so tools to help companies do that is of importance.

What were the trends that have changed during the last 18 months of the pandemic?

E-commerce - the shift from physical to e-commerce is massive. Even if you take the likes of air asia who have set up their own platform for consumers to buy groceries and other beauty products etc.


Contact us at hello@fleetbase.io or call +65 9780 3731 to learn more about our logistics operations platform FleetOps, and Developer Console for building supply chain and logistics operations platforms with ease.





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