The Flexible, Digital Future of Supply Chains

February 12, 2024

Digitizing the supply chain is a critical—and highly challenging—strategy for enterprises.

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Logistics leaders know that adopting leading technology solutions creates flexible transportation and warehouse networks to drive efficiencies, improve customer and employee experiences and accelerate growth.

Key Takeaways

  • On episode six of The Logistics Leadership Podcast, Flexe CEO Karl Siebrecht spoke to Lior Ron, CEO of Uber Freight. They discuss one remedy for tangled supply chains: supply chain digitization.
  • Supply chain leaders face two major challenges when they seek transportation efficiencies: empty miles and driver shortages. But digital solutions can overcome them both.
  • Digital solutions solve more than transportation issues. Enterprises can drive more efficient supply chains with flexible, technology-driven warehousing infrastructure as well.
  • Flexible warehousing infrastructure allows companies to dynamically add warehouses when and where needed, for as long as necessary. Technology integrates enterprises into large, flexible networks to respond to opportunities, beat disruptions and drive long-term success.

On episode six of The Logistics Leadership Podcast, Flexe CEO Karl Siebrecht spoke to Lior Ron, CEO of Uber Freight. They discuss one remedy for tangled supply chains and the ongoing shortage of truck drivers: supply chain digitization.

Before Uber Freight, Lior Ron worked with Google as product lead on the company’s fledgling Google Maps product. Google Maps sought to digitize the analog world of cartography. Five years later, billions of users across hundreds of countries used Google Maps to navigate every day.

Now, Ron describes why digitizing the supply chain is a critical—and highly challenging—strategy for enterprises.

Learn more with The Logistics Leadership Podcast

Empty miles and driver shortages #

Supply chain leaders face two major challenges when they seek transportation efficiencies: empty miles and driver shortages. But digital solutions can overcome them both.

Per a recent Uber Freight study, 30-35% of freight miles are empty miles. According to Ron, “A third of all trucks… that we see driving next to us on the highway, are empty, which is insane.”

Likewise, driver shortages plague the industry. A 2023 study by the International Road Transport Union revealed that more than 65,000 truck driver positions remained unfilled last year. And the need for drivers will double in the next six years.

“The average truck driver on our network is only 15 percent empty. Not 30 percent empty. Waste is coming out of the system, which leads to decreased cost.”
Lior Ron, CEO of Uber Freight

Transportation’s digital future #

Digital solutions create route and driver efficiencies. Algorithms can recommend optimal routes and load pickups to cut empty miles, reduce driving hours and improve outcomes. For example, Uber Freight deploys its system to more than two million truck drivers and cuts empty miles by 50%. Ron explains, “The average truck driver on our network is only 15 percent empty. Not 30 percent empty. Waste is coming out of the system, which leads to decreased cost.”

Driver jobs historically require long, often uncomfortable hours in difficult conditions. Digital solutions likewise improve drivers’ experiences by reducing empty miles and facility wait times. And as supply chains digitally connect, shippers and drivers can share information transparently. For example, drivers can rate shipper facilities and processes—and report major issues.

Warehousing’s flexible future
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Digital solutions solve more than transportation issues. Enterprises can drive more efficient supply chains with flexible, technology-enabled warehousing infrastructure as well.

Traditional fixed infrastructure is not designed to adapt fast or cost-effectively. Enterprises can add warehouse nodes to their networks, but it's slow and costly.

Flexible warehousing infrastructure compliments traditional fixed infrastructure. It allows companies to dynamically add warehouses when and where needed, for as long as necessary, through an asset-light approach. Technology integrates enterprises into large, flexible networks to respond to opportunities, beat disruptions and drive long-term success.

Fortune 500 enterprises work with Flexe to use flexible warehousing infrastructure to:

  • Continuously improve operations and add fulfillment nodes to quickly fulfill eCommerce orders.

  • Expand or contract distribution networks as needed to rapidly replenish store shelves and execute long-term strategies.

  • Add flexible capacity fast to prepare for the unexpected, manage peak demand and overcome capacity crises.

Technology defines the future of supply chains. Logistics leaders know that adopting leading technology solutions creates flexible transportation and warehouse networks to drive efficiencies, improve customer and employee experiences and accelerate growth.

Invest in flexible warehousing infrastructure. Talk to Flexe.