A Birmingham-based business has been selected to help transform the future of the freight industry, as one of the first SMEs to win Government funding in a new scheme.
Software solutions provider CocoonFMS has been awarded a £129,000 grant from the Freight Innovation Fund which aims to help the freight industry become greener and more efficient, boosting connectivity, growth and jobs.
It is one of nine SMEs chosen to receive a share of the pot in the first round of investments, designed to accelerate the adoption of existing freight technologies and create more innovative methods of freight delivery around the country.
® Ltd is developing a pioneering new cloud-based demurrage and detention CocoonDEM which provides freight forwarders and retailers with visibility for monitoring their imports and exports, with real-time container location, up-to-date detention and demurrage costs, as well as carbon emissions.
It can be accessed from anywhere on any device, without the need for on-site IT resources and can be operational within a matter of days, or even hours.
The system will give businesses much better control over their logistics and costs using actionable data that will also help reduce bottlenecks in the network and enable them to reduce their carbon emissions through better planning.
® Ltd managing partner James Blackman said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have been awarded government funding to further develop our pioneering work in this area. We’ve been working on our innovative logistics solutions for a long time and this will enable us to get it ready for the wider market a lot quicker.
“The new system we are developing (CocoonDEM) brings several of our platforms together into one single source of truth platform which has some really unique functions that will hugely help freight forwarders and other supply chain businesses understand and predict their costs. It will also help them reduce their emissions through better planning and scheduling. For example, we know there’s a huge issue around containers being stuck at ports incurring huge costs and creating massive bottlenecks for the whole industry.
“We provide visibility over containers at all times, including notifications about when they will start incurring costs, so companies can action it appropriately. The logistics industry is still heavily reliant on reacting to notices after an event has happened, rather than predicting and planning the movement of freight.
“This really will revolutionise the logistics and freight sector.”
The successful SMEs have been partnered with larger firms to further explore and develop the viability of their solutions in real-world conditions.
CocoonFMS® Ltd will now spend the next six months working closely with their partner, a leading logistics and freight company, Simarco Worldwide Logistics, to expand and fully test the system on a large scale.
Projects supported by the Freight Innovation Fund have to address three longstanding issues in the freight sector:
Other winning projects include the use of drones to make deliveries between remote Scottish islands and lightweight electrically assisted delivery vehicles to transport goods in cities.
The funding is being delivered through Connected Places Catapult. Its CEO Nicola Yates said: “The freight sector has an enormous opportunity to support jobs and growth across the UK which is why we are pleased to welcome the SMEs to the first round.
“Working with innovators and industry partners through our accelerator programme allows us to develop a pipeline of technology and new ideas that promise to tackle the freight sector’s emerging needs, ensuring that resilience, efficiency and carbon reduction are core to its future.”
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