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Ontruck, on the road to decarbonization with BNEF

We are BNEF Pioneers 2021

Ontruck has recently been awarded by BloombergNEF’s annual Pioneers competition, recognizing early-stage companies with the potential to make a meaningful contribution to global decarbonization.

The 2021 Pioneers features 12 companies whose technologies focus on specific areas of decarbonization, namely managing and optimizing road freight, advancing materials and techniques for sustainable products, and monitoring the climatological changes happening on our planet.

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Ontruck is the only EU company among the BloombergNEF Pioneers 2021 and the first Spanish company to ever be awarded this recognition. And all of that, thanks to our game-changing technology to optimize road freight.

Why Ontruck?

Ontruck is transforming the trucking industry in Europe, reducing transportation costs for shippers, increasing earnings for carriers, and removing carbon emissions generated from empty trucks. We are creating a more sustainable future for freight transportation. Thanks to the industry's most powerful routing algorithm we have reduced the number of kilometres driven empty from over 40% to 15%. Since Ontruck was founded in 2016, we have saved 3,894 tons of CO2.

Our main goal is to eliminate waste in the supply chain and enable a more sustainable future for the transport industry. And we are working towards that goal by building the most efficient and low-carbon solution to move road freight.

In Ontruck, we realized that in Europe, GHG emissions from medium and heavy trucks represent 224 million metric tons of CO2. However, 35% of the 6.3 million trucks driving in Europe's roads are empty, resulting in the emission of 78 million tons of CO2 needlessly entering the atmosphere every year.

These inefficiencies arise from the manual processes in pricing, matching, and tracking shipments. For example, today, each shipment requires negotiation on pricing via phone or email, that takes hours to complete and contributes to higher prices for shippers as well as more hassle for drivers and carriers. An efficient consolidation of shipments, proper optimization of trucks’ use and capacity and choosing the most fit type of road transport (full or partial truckload) are key to put an end to inefficiencies and unnecessary pollution.

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Nowadays, we provide the best transport service in the industry and our average prices are 15-20% lower than our competitors’ average rate. In addition, our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is +44 for all clients (vs. industry average of 35) and +88 for clients with long-term agreements.

Why is our technology innovative for tackling climate change?

In road freight, there are two key strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

  1. Higher fuel efficiency standards and production of zero/low-emission trucks.
  2. Reducing empty kilometres.

Both paths are critical to enable the sustainable future of road freight we envision. Currently, the industry’s shift into more efficient fuel is unlikely to be the most effective strategy in the short-term. Diesel runs 99% of trucks in Western Europe, and it isn’t about to go away. Incorporating alternative fuels and electric vehicles require a wholesale transformation of fleets across Europe.

In the short or near term, we focus on substantially reducing truck emissions by avoiding empty kilometres. We have developed cutting-edge technology to maximize freight optimization: over 20 predictive models that apply machine learning before, during, and after the lifecycle of a shipment, a routing algorithm to consolidate and batch shipments, etc. Moreover, by identifying our carriers’ geolocations and behavioural patterns, we can offer them tailored routes that suit their preferences, minimizing the deadhead distance between their location and the pickup point. Our machine learning technology makes us far more efficient than traditional methods of planning and scheduling routes.

This way, we have reduced the kilometres driven empty from over 40% (which is the industry average) to 15% (as of February 2021), resulting in a 60%+ reduction in CO2 emissions from empty trucks. With 5 million pallets moved for over 1,000 customers across our network of 4,000 carriers, we have saved 3,894 tons of CO2 (period from January 2018 to February 2021). At this level of efficiency, the European trucking industry would save 47 million tons of CO2 each year. We are the first in the industry to achieve this milestone, and we are just getting started.

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What to expect in the coming years?

The European road freight market is estimated to grow by a CAGR of 2.2% to 2024. Although the momentary contraction of the market in 2020 due to COVID-19, the demand for more sustainable supply chains enabled by technology is rapidly increasing. Our core business is inherently tied to this trend of making the supply chain more sustainable. The growing demand for digital freight models and reducing CO2 emissions from transportation partners is driven by several factors:

  • Increasing awareness on supply chain carbon footprint;
  • Acceleration of digitalization due to COVID-19;
  • Drivers shortage in Europe;
  • Need for real-time visibility into transport capacity and rates;
  • LTL market growth fuelled by e-commerce trend.

Using our technology to fuel efficiency, we create significant value for all the actors involved in road freight:

  • Lower transport cost for shippers, with prices 15-20% lower than the market average while still getting a highly reliable service and real-time ETA.
  • Reducing the amount of time needed to manage transport for shippers by up to 50%, by offering instant booking and GPS-enabled tracking on their self-service Shipper App.
  • Higher earnings for carriers, as they are offered better routes for their preferred areas, keeping their trucks full.
  • Lower carbon emissions in the environment, by reducing empty kilometres from over 40% to 15% for trucks driving in our network.

Thanks to our innovative technologies and our commitment to create a zero-waste freight, we received this recognition as a game-changing platform that drives the world towards a net-zero carbon economy. Ontruck will keep working in this direction and leading the green transformation of the freight industry in the years to come.

If you want to join us in building a world without waste through a more efficient and sustainable freight industry, do not hesitate to contact us. We are excited to take on the challenge of reducing your transportation costs and CO2 emissions.

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