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How MatchLogs focusing on cutting costs, carbon emissions across logistics sector

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MUMBAI : Mr.Dhruv Taneja, Founder & CEO of MatchLog Solutions, a company at the forefront of sustainable logistics, spoke to Bizz Buzz about MatchLog’s innovative solutions and their mission to reduce carbon emissions in the logistics industry. MatchLog’s platform optimizes container movements, leading to substantial cost savings and a reduction in empty runs. Dhruv discussed MatchLog’s journey, their approach to balancing profitability with sustainability, and his vision for the future of container logistics.

How has MatchLog evolved as a company?

MatchLog is a pioneer in sustainable logistics and supply chain optimization. Our mission is to match-back container, cargo, and trailer through its network of billion pairs and reduce wastage. We aim to build a global network of logistics chains to enable savings of 10 billion km of wasted or empty runs for trailers, containers, and cargo. MatchLog became an asset-light aggregator, partnering with transport providers and using their vehicles instead of owning them. This approach helped us become India’s largest platform for trucking, offering end-to-end services to shipping lines. We also developed a transport execution system that provides visibility on container locations and documentation, with a track and trace facility. Over time, MatchLog has dynamically transitioned from a marketplace to a platform model, which has enabled us to enhance our sustainability impact and boosted operational capabilities. We raised $3 million in December 2021 and turned down a buyout offer from a global shipping company during Covid-19. Our team has grown to about 60 people and we recently raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by July Ventures, Motion Ventures, and Venture Catalyst, with support from Capital A and Blue Ashva.

We have always been a unit economics positive company and will focus on remaining so. This financial year onwards, our focus will be to ensure overall profitability of the company. Three years down, our global volumes will reflect a very healthy profitability.

How did Dhruv’s experience in container logistics shape MatchLog Solutions’ direction?

My experience in the logistics sector made me understand the extensive shortcomings and wastages, particularly from empty runs of containers and trailers. This led me to shape MatchLog Solutions’ direction towards optimizing logistics operations, aiming to reduce these costly inefficiencies and save the industry billions of dollars annually.

Why is sustainability a key focus for Dhruv and MatchLog Solutions?

Sustainability is a key focus for us at MatchLog due to the inherent inefficiencies in the logistics process, particularly the frequent incidences of empty container returns. In logistics, which encompasses warehousing, trucking, clearance, storage, packing, and unpacking, road transport accounts for 70 per cent of cargo movement. This includes the export-import container segment, typically between a port and a factory located 150 to 200 km inland, with longer distances covered by rail.

MatchLog identified that 80 per cent of containers return empty after de-stuffing at their inland destinations, leading to inefficiency and increased costs. By analysing this data, we seek to address this issue, enhancing the sustainability of the logistics process. The goal is to reduce logistics costs as a proportion of GDP, minimizing the environmental impact of unnecessary empty container movements and optimizing the existing system without the need for radical changes. This approach underscores our commitment to both economic efficiency and environmental responsibility.

What are some of the specific sustainability initiatives at MatchLog?

At MatchLog, our triangulation solution (reusing containers) helps in significantly reducing the average turnaround time from 34 days to an average of 4 days. This enables the shipping lines to perform additional trips with the same container, leading to substantial carbon savings—up to 600 kg of carbon emissions per matched container trip. We measure and report emissions to our clients, showcasing the carbon savings achieved through container triangulation. Additionally, we collaborate with two agencies to develop standards for measuring and potentially monetizing these carbon credits.

Our platform has facilitated 2,00,000 container movements, optimizing 50 per cent of these with visibility over 2 million containers. This has resulted in a reduction of 40,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, establishing MatchLog as a key player in reducing India’s logistics carbon footprint.

How does Dhruv balance profitability with sustainability goals at MatchLog?

At MatchLog, we balance profitability with sustainability through innovative technology, strategic partnerships, and efficient operations. Collaborating with small fleet owners, who make up 95 per cent of the market, we offer timely payments and use a consent-based mobile tracking system to gather essential data, enhancing our transport execution system. Our rules-based engine optimizes container movements by matching container types and import-export dates, reducing empty runs. Input from fleet managers, collected via simple Google forms, ensures ease of use and broad participation. This efficiency cuts carbon emissions and boosts profitability by generating additional revenue for transporters, incentivizing their collaboration. We offer innovative products like Stinder, which matches 20 ft and 40 ft containers similarly to how Tinder matches users, promoting efficient reuse. Our MiSTY (MatchLog Integrated Street Turn Yards) in major hubs such as Morbi, Vapi, and Pune ensure containers are fit for reuse, closing the import cycle sustainably. Our business model includes a brokerage fee of 1 per cent-3 per cent from supplying containers to shipping lines and a flat fee per match. This, combined with our efforts to gain support for container portability, helps us triangulate 25 per cent of the 3,000 to 4,000 boxes we handle monthly, with plans to increase this rate. By aligning financial incentives with sustainable practices, we support the logistics community, enhance profitability, and significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

What role does technology play in MatchLog’s efforts for efficiency and sustainability?

Our innovative triangulation system connects import containers with export demands, significantly reducing empty container and trailer runs. This approach not only reduces unnecessary trips to empty depots but also cuts logistics expenses by 13 per cent-14 per cent, offering substantial savings for shippers. MatchLog’s advanced technology ensures optimal transportation of every container and trailer, maximizing space and eliminating wastage. We offer three core solutions:

STinder/Container Reuse Platform: As India’s largest Street Turn enabler, this in-house platform streamlines countryside transportation for EXIM containers. It converts visibility into actionable matches, maximizing container utilization and reducing the frequency of empty runs.

MatchLog Integrated Street Turn Yard (MISTY): This network point and triangulation enabler acts as an interface for modal operators. Containers are digitally surveyed, aligned, and triangulated to export bookings on our Transport Management System (TMS) platform, ensuring efficient container reuse.

Transport Management System (TMS): This user-friendly, comprehensive platform helps various stakeholders optimize and execute their transportation plans efficiently. Built from the ground up, it synchronizes all elements of the transport process, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

How does Dhruv see the future of container logistics in terms of sustainability?

Apart from the sustainability aspect that MatchLog provides, we are very hopeful of the adoption of EV’s in our industry in the future. The key aspect would be to set up the charging infrastructure and the economic viability of the same. We have spoken to a lot of transporters and they are very bullish on the EV segment. In addition, the usage of alternative green fuels would assist in making our industry more sustainable.

What challenges has Dhruv faced in implementing sustainable practices? How did he address them?

The biggest challenge was the resistance to change and the lack of awareness on the impact of dry runs to the environment. Most of the community was more concerned with the financial implications rather than that of the environment.

We went about educating the ecosystem on the carbon footprint per trip and the environmental impact of the same. When a container is reused or a dry run is eliminated, the freight arbitrage available is lucrative. We addressed the change management by showing how lucrative a reuse can be – both financially and for the environment.

What is his vision for MatchLog and the supply chain ecosystem?

We aspire to make ‘MatchLog’ a standard term in the industry, similar to ‘Uber’ or ‘Xerox,’ before considering a potential exit. Going forward, we aim to handle 2 million trips annually, avoiding 80,000 metric tonnes of emissions, and reducing freight costs by $100 million, showcasing MatchLog’s large-scale national impact! We aim to be the largest container reuse platform in the world.

Source : BIZZ BUZZ

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