Everoad, the French-based road freight digitalization startup, has announced a strategic partnership with French mass-retailer Groupe Casino to help the retail major in its efforts to digitalize its supply chain. Spanning four years, the contract is worth a total of €100 million, making it one of the largest supply chain digitalization contracts awarded to a logistics startup in Europe.
“We are a digital freight forwarder. We are competing with classical 3PLs [third-party logistics providers] and 4PLs [fourth-party logistics providers] from the industry and are managing transport for our customers who want to ship goods in Europe by working with companies that own carriers across Europe,” said Maxime Legardez, the CEO and founder of Everoad.
Legardez explained that Everoad owed its existence to the challenges the European freight transport market witnesses – in the context of excessive fragmentation, logistical inefficiency and incumbent players who refuse to reinvent themselves.
In its initial days, the startup engaged with small- and medium-sized enterprise businesses to help with their shipping needs. More than 80% of its business today is derived from companies that have over €1 billion in annual turnover.
“Everoad provides its shippers better visibility into their supply chain by giving them multiple dashboards. There they can follow up on every single load, check on waiting times at pickup and delivery, and even enjoy price predictability on their loads,” said Legardez. “We help them save a lot on their shipping costs. All the companies that have worked with us have realized at least a one-digit percentage of savings by the end of the year of association.”
With Groupe Casino’s expansive supply chain, Everoad sees a great deal of potential. The startup plans to deploy its machine learning algorithms to the retailer’s digitalization infrastructure, improving visibility into transport capacity, gaining track-and-trace functionalities, and unlocking dynamic pricing possibilities. The company believes that this will help Group Casino to have an eagle-eye view over its operations, which translates to better real-time control of its supply chain.
Everoad currently digs deep into the European road freight scene, working with roughly 5,000 carriers that jointly represent over 300,000 trucks. “We are really focussing on carriers that have one to 20 trucks, because we believe that is where we can add the maximum value. These carriers are the ones that need support because they aren’t invited to tenders that major players like Unilever or Procter & Gamble put out. We are really happy to be the partner of such smaller carriers,” said Legardez.
Apart from running a digital freight marketplace, Everoad has also built out an elaborate ecosystem that caters exclusively to trucking fleets and drivers. The startup has partnered with French financial institution La Banque Postale to provide invoice factoring, and with truck manufacturer DAF and Bridgestone to sell trucks and tires at discounted prices on its platform.
For Legardez, the now-announced partnership with Groupe Casino does not come as a surprise, as it is an extension of the startup’s successful collaboration with the retailer over the last year.
“For us, the aim is to accelerate and be the leader of freight movement in Europe. Apart from reducing transport costs by digitalization, we also optimize the number of empty kilometres, give companies access to dedicated analytics tools that can help them better monitor their supply chain,” said Legardez. “Today, about 60-70% of our loads are fully automated, which means that there will be no human intervention from the minute the shipper publishes a load to the minute the carriers upload their invoice on the platform.”
Everoad’s partnership with Groupe Casino is vital for the startup’s continued growth within the European market. This can be confirmed by the company’s goal of hitting €1 billion in annual turnover by 2023 – an effort that would need immense growth, both in terms of freight volume and geographic footprint.