There is an empty repositioning black hole that costs the marine container industry $20 billion annually and emits 19 million metric tons of emissions. But there doesn’t need to be. 45% of all export containers have excessive distance that can be eliminated. In North America alone, there are 600 million truck miles that can be eliminated and MatchBack Systems helps enterprises unlock those savings.
Having started their journey in 2014, MatchBack Systems enables businesses to overcome a real industry problem that has not been solved yet—the matchback or street-turn of a container. A matchback occurs when a delivering container is matched with an export booking without the container returning empty to the port in between. The company is the first to offer a compelling solution that leverages cloud computing, advanced algorithms, and automation to redefine a traditional industry.
Todd Ericksrud, CEO of MatchBack Systems explains how.
What are the cost benefits a company can achieve with a matchback?
Every time a matchback is created, it saves between $150 and $400 in direct transportation costs alongside saving another $200 in indirect costs such as gate fees or equipment charges. A matchback also eliminates over 400 pounds of emissions each time the empty container moves are avoided, making matchbacks a sustainable solution.
What are the existing challenges that MatchBack Systems is successfully addressing for enterprises?
The global supply chain technology largely underserves the synchronization of the international and domestic movements that occurs at the port. Critical coordination is required between ocean carriers, customs, terminals, chassis providers, truckers, and the shipper to ensure that the containers are picked up, delivered, and returned seamlessly. MatchBack Systems enables customers to synchronize these inland movements through our portal.
Today fewer than 5 percent of export moves are effectively matched with an import move even though 45 percent is attainable. As a result, the ocean carrier industry is missing out on over $1 billion in savings per year.
It is not difficult to understand why. One of the major challenges is that data is fragmented in the industry. In most cases, the importer is not where the export demand is. Conversely, the exporter does not know where the container supply is located. Transportation providers only have visibility into the data available in their book of businesses. No one has all the pieces to the puzzle, a problem that needs to be addressed as a priority. As well as the data being fractured across the actors, the sheer number of potential matches to consider is a time-consuming process, and systems don’t provide the work process to systematically execute against a matchback plan if one were somehow created. We have unlocked a clear and compelling opportunity to save millions for the ocean industry, while having an enormous positive impact on the environment.
We have been recognized for reshaping the industry while giving businesses the ability to create matchbacks that result in cost and emissions savings
Please walk us through your offerings, which facilitate matchback capabilities for your clients.
Customers have asked MatchBack Systems to provide a scalable and intuitive system to address matchbacks. To that end, we provide a platform to optimize, prioritize, assign, and execute matchbacks.
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenges for our clients is to analyse the available data to obtain useful insights for street-turns. Our patent-pending SaaS product, MatchAdvisor, is the optimization engine that simplifies this process using our proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to bring out the most viable opportunities up front. Our clients can either launch the platform through an API or directly on our portal to view and execute matchbacks, and get self-service reporting and analytics as required. Further, our trusted, neutral platform, MatchMarketplace, enables companies to find the optimal matchbacks by matching their container moves with those of other customers on our system.
We expect to have the largest repository of container movement information across North America by the end of 2018. We continue to invest in our systems and the data capturing technology critical for matchbacks. This is where our MatchMetrics offering comes into play, available to all customers on our platform. The system is able to leverage this information through big data analytics to assess market trends, perform scenario analysis, and enable strategic network design.
The industry needs a trustworthy and transparent matchmaker, a role that MatchBack Systems plays efficiently. We have been recognized for reshaping the industry while giving businesses the ability to create matchbacks that result in cost and emissions savings.
Could you share a specific customer success story, elaborating the requirements of the client and the solution offered to achieve the desired goal?
We helped a company with imports and exports to save millions. We are a first mover that has solved a real problem that has been around for decades. Traditionally, matchbacks were executed ad-hoc and manually, if companies did them at all. This particular customer has 15,000 imports and exports daily. There are 300,000 potential matches—and that is just internal to their company. They didn’t know where to start. We unlocked the optimal matchbacks with hard math, a connecting transportation management system and by bringing in data that was fractured across parties to instantly evaluate all the opportunities for them internally and with other partners on our platform. MatchBack Systems made savings real and attainable for this customer by addressing their most critical matchbacks.
What are the unique differentiating factors that help MatchBack Systems stay ahead in the industry?
We are successful because we digitized the matchback ecosystem and unlocked the critical matchbacks that have the highest value. Although the market today has other solution providers, we are the only one applying hard math and an intuitive workflow to the empty repositioning problem for international containers. Some of the attributes that steer us ahead of the competition are scalability, sustainability, and transparency.
Security also is a key concern for us and our customers. We offer a highly secure platform to our clients. We continually audit our processes and technology to ensure that we have security as well as other performance capabilities that a client would expect from a leading software provider.
What is the roadmap for MatchBack Systems for the next few years?
We continue to bring new capabilities to the market and continuously upgrade our platform. As an agile organization, we can quickly meet the industry needs and trends related to the empty positioning black hole.
We have plans to grow into new geographies as they have the same challenges that we’ve addressed in North America and Europe.
Finally, we are championing the sustainability of matchbacks as they eliminate distance, congestion and harmful emissions.