The logistics industry is facing one of its greatest challenges in digitalisation. Growing online commerce accelerates the processes, and, due to the size, the longer production times and, not seldom, customer wishes, particularly the delivery of items of furniture is a difficult task. Young start-ups such as FreightHub have recognised the problem and offer digital solutions for efficient logistics processes.
Beds, couch landscapes or even entire living rooms or bedrooms: more and more people are ordering their furniture in the Internet. Decisive for a furniture order are often no longer the outfitting wishes alone, but also the manner of processing. Customers now expect quick processing of their orders and prompt, affordable and reliable delivery. The challenge for furniture manufacturers and online traders is to have the furniture ready for the customer at the desired time and to deliver it without losing sight of their own warehouse costs.
The FreightHub start-up has found a solution for this challenge. The company offers its customers a digital platform through which all services and communication is controlled, and that 24/7. A booking is registered in only a few clicks and the customer immediately receives free access to a globally active shipping management platform, including real time tracking and tracing. All logistics processes, such as ordering, distribution and delivery converge centrally in the "hub". This even includes enquiries from customs or other government agencies, which for the most part still work with manual and paper freight and customs documents. "Logistics is a trillion dollar industry with big problems. The market is highly fragmented and hardly transparent. We created FreightHub to help companies save time and money by reducing friction losses and improving transparency", Ferry Heilemann, CEO of FreightHub, explains. "In future, successful furniture logistics will mean being aware of, planning and actively controlling one's physical stocks and shipments of goods. Given the increasingly complex supply chains, this will only be possible on the basis of up-to-date, reliable data".
FreightHub prepares the relevant freight data and processes with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). This self-learning technology makes it possible to more efficiently plan orders and the delivery of goods for furniture manufacturers and online traders, and especially to calculate them. For example, thanks to AI, delayed distribution and transport-related delivery bottlenecks are detected at an early date in the "hub" and reported to the ERP system of the customer in real time, which results in better-controlled and optimised warehousing.
With Home24, FreightHub has a major European online furniture trader as a customer in its portfolio. The company, which has grown considerably in recent years, and therefore has supply chains that have become increasingly complex, was looking for a new solution for supplying its customers. Due to the increasing number of suppliers of Home24 from Asia, the time for the transport of items of furniture and furnishings was extended, which meant challenges for the warehouse and inventory planning. Home24 sought a digital solution for this problem. "We were especially convinced by the 24/7 overview of all shipments through live tracking," reports Kirstin Huettner-Tong, who is responsible for VP Supplier Management at Home24. "With the shared work area, in which we have both all communication and the documents at hand, we are able to increase the efficiency of our entire team."
The logistics industry is undergoing a transformation. Customer needs with regard to smooth processing are increasing all the time, and each furniture manufacturer and online trader is responsible for determining how it will set itself up for the digital future in order to remain competitive.