How Efret uses technology and innovation to drive efficiency in European transport

6th March 2024

Read time
3 minutes

Transport and logistics are a vital part of the supply chain and are often underestimated as a key component of an increasingly demanding consumer experience. Transport companies in Europe face huge challenges with increasing legislation, truck driver shortages, political unrest, fuel costs and carbon emission reduction targets.

The only way for the leaders in this field to retain their competitive advantage in a complex industry is to embrace new technology and embed digital and automation strategies at the heart of their business.  

Ever since it was founded in 2005, Efret has supported its growth by investing in the most advanced technology and software with digitisation as part of its foundation principles.

Real time vehicle tracking

Efret was one of the first European transport companies to introduce real time tracking by GPS integration on long distance, cross border shipments. This not only benefited customer service but enabled us to revolutionise our route planning and vehicle optimisation, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

In house, state-of-the-art TMS

In the latest iteration of our recently launched Transport Management System (TMS), – codenamed Elite™ and designed in house, we have taken intelligent vehicle utilisation to the next level. We can automatically match a load to the best available truck, not just point-to-point, but taking traffic, weather conditions and even calculating CO2 emissions as a factor.

By synchronising smart mapping tools and GPS location feeds via API, we can keep empty running to an absolute minimum and work towards the elimination of ‘black holes’ due to repositioning.

The CMR convention demands that every European transport movement is confirmed with a proof of delivery. As these have historically been paper which has been challenging for all parties to manage, so the process was ripe for digitalisation. Efret designed an online portal, so that carriers could upload PODs and clients could access them anytime in any location, significantly improving convenience and efficiency

Digitalisation supports the decarbonisation agenda

The global decarbonisation agenda has never had more awareness and engagement, brought to the world stage once more at the recent COP28. As a result, manufacturers and shippers are treating reducing their carbon footprint as a priority. The supply chain understandably receives a high degree of focus, and our customers are looking for partners that can provide solutions to help them with this challenge.

Our approach is to use technology to plan the most effective transport solutions including potentially offering our customers the option of considering an intermodal combination of rail and sea as an alternative to road.

Warehouse robotics

The combination of AI and robotics continues to drive innovation in warehouse automation. AI-powered robots can now perform labour intensive functions such as product scanning, picking, packing and moving products improving accuracy and efficiency.

“Evidence shows that 38% of logistics companies are using automation technologies thereby allowing staff to concentrate on more important tasks that enhance the customer experience”.

Source: Deloitte Supply Chain Survey 2022

The deployment of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) has revolutionised the dense storage of pick locations on racks. It allows the pick team to be based at workstations along the warehouse floor and the racks are delivered on a ‘goods to person’ basis by autonomous mobile robots.

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of robotic warehousing equipment are Efret’s customer NPSG. They are responsible for equipping many of Europe’s ecommerce distribution centres, including Amazon, with the latest robotic technology. Efret play a vital part in NPSG’s supply chain by successfully transporting delicate ADR shipments of lithium batteries to power their hi-tech robotic machinery.

What’s next?

The transportation industry is undergoing a rapid transformation as it embraces digitalisation and technology. By focusing on safety, efficiency, and sustainability, these innovations are poised to reshape the way we transport goods around Europe. As we continue to develop and implement these cutting-edge technologies, we can look forward to a cleaner, safer, and more efficient future.

However, human interaction will never be replaced, and our people continue to be a key differentiator of Efret’s service delivery.

Get in touch with our team to find out how our innovative approach can benefit your transport requirements.

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Efret Limited

Suite 111
Target Road
Aviation Park West
BH23 6EA
United Kingdom

Company Number 5348126
VAT Number GB 861 4682 10

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