Autonomous supply chain platform provider Vorto announced Thursday its new platform, Reload, which is designed to solve inefficiencies and increase sustainability in supply chains and logistics from procurement to final delivery.
Vorto CEO Priyesh Ranjan told FreightWaves that Reload is an industry-agnostic “centralized autonomous supply chain platform that does everything,” including predicting demand for suppliers, finding fleets and drivers for outbound transportation, and automating invoices using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
According to Vorto, its platforms already have eliminated 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, reduced the number of trucks on the road among clients by 66% and decreased user supply chain spending by 40%.
The Denver-based company was founded in 2018 and has over 47,000 users, including Halliburton. Vorto has historically focused on the energy sector, but Reload is expanding its services to include bulk logistics industries such as food processing, agriculture and commodities, Ranjan said.
To understand the new platform, imagine a potato chip manufacturing plant.
Reload can predict how many bags of potato chips the plant can produce and create stock keeping units (SKU) for raw materials such as potatoes, oil, salt and packaging the plant will need in various amounts and at different times. Then, the platform will source a supplier for each material and automatically order the volume of each product needed.
Reload can schedule and coordinate inbound shipping of raw materials to the plant, preventing stockouts and wasted time. Once the potato chips are ready to be shipped to their final destinations, the platform can automatically find a fleet and driver for outbound transportation to a warehouse, distribution center and final destination.
What’s in it for buyers, suppliers and logistics providers
“The savings are happening in the cost of goods sold (COGS), and they are happening in logistics,” Ranjan said. According to a release, using Reload could save companies more than $400 million per year.
Ranjan refers to buyers, suppliers and logistics providers as three sides of the “love triangle of supply chains.” Reload’s autonomous decision-making benefits all three, he said.
Suppliers get predictive demand forecasting that makes the timing and volume of demand for their materials more visible, increasing suppliers’ ability to adapt to demands that shift quickly and reduce waste.
Buyers find value because they can count on their suppliers and transportation providers to have the necessary materials on hand for production, preventing stockouts and ensuring product demand can be met.
Logistics providers are informed when their services will be needed and can increase asset utilization rates for fleets. Ranjan said that Reload also reduces detention and demurrage costs.
According to Ranjan, all three stakeholders must be working together to achieve the highest total savings. He said these savings never happen in a traditional supply chain because each individual buyer, supplier and logistics provider doesn’t typically work with the others or have access to the real-time data they need in order to fully optimize total COGS.
Environmental benefits coincide with cost savings
Ranjan’s interest in a clean environment is personal. Having grown up in India, he believed the sky was gray for many years of his childhood because of immense air pollution. Thus, climate change is “very close to my heart,” he said.
Ranjan said that technologies such as electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles have great potential for the future, but he wondered if there was a way to consume less energy and consume it more efficiently now.
That’s where this end-to-end supply chain automation platform came in.
“Trucking is a phenomenally inefficient world, and that is where a majority of these carbon emission challenges happen,” Ranjan said.
The Reload platform increases asset utilization time, which means companies can do more with fewer trucks. With about 40% of expenses for large companies going toward buying or moving products, Ranjan said the increase in asset utilization can really impact the bottom line.
Reload is the first of Vorto’s platforms with the ability to fully schedule and manage inbound and outbound transportation for buyers. This removes the need for freight brokers, which, he said, are often filled with people on the phone trying to match loads with drivers. Reload automatically matches fleets and drivers with loads in the most efficient way, reducing empty miles and greenhouse gas emissions.
Ranjan said that Vorto still needs to calculate how carbon emissions will be impacted by the improved predictive demand insights that Reload provides to suppliers. In the real world, companies don’t need the same amount of each raw material every day or every month, he said. Reload can help suppliers use time, labor and materials more efficiently according to their buyers’ real-time demand data.
Ranjan noted how complicated and intertwined the world of trucking, supply chains and logistics is and said that the autonomous supply chain platform, Reload, could save companies money and improve their sustainability.
“You would never challenge automating the air traffic control,” he said.