Welcome to our third part of the interview series with our Co-Founder and CTO Markus. Today he talks about the future of logistics as well as the work methods and tools of our tech team to make the future of logistics happen today.

Ready to learn even more about LogTech and our great tech team?

1. What do you think the future of the logistics industry will look like?

I believe that logistics will be heavily disrupted twice over the coming decade: once by digitalization leading to automation of manual workflows and a second time by self-driving technology. 

Ideally, the logistics industry will also settle on a modern standard for data interchange. I suspect that machine learning and artificial intelligence will gain significance and will assist in better predicting problems – but this requires access to data. By increasing transparency and real-time access to information, logistics has the potential to become a more fluid and dynamic network of transport capacity. This will make it possible to re-allocate supply and demand much more effectively than it is being done today: closer to real-time and with a high degree of automation. The truth is that the capacity on our roads is almost full today but the potential of efficiency is still partly untapped. Roughly one-third of kilometers are driven empty today and at InstaFreight we strongly believe that better information efficiency and technology can help solve this issue.

These are a few things I am sure we will see in the next few years but only time can tell…

2. What role does the InstaFreight platform play for the future of the transport market?

Our data driven approach shows which problems need to be solved today but also gives indications about the problems of tomorrow and what needs to be solved then. 

Today the logistics industry has a very fragmented IT landscape with very limited capabilities to connect and exchange information. We believe that the future holds a unified, transparent landscape where different systems will communicate with each other. There already exist innovative and useful partial solutions but no one has tackled the problem end-to-end yet. That’s what we do at InstaFreight. We already built an end-to-end digital process for the whole transport handling: from quotation, order placement and tracking to digital document management and reporting. We can thus easily work on adding even greater transparency, automation and intelligence in all areas of the value chain. 

One current project is for example higher productivity for shippers, carriers but also our internal operations, sales and accounting teams by building optimal workflows to solve key tasks of the daily operational work. 

3. How can a small team have an impact in such a wide-ranging transformation?

Our structures and processes are flexible and we work iteratively. This is critical because – as already mentioned in previous interviews (Part 1, Part 2) –  the logistics industry is very complex and changes over time. We are able to quickly react to changing challenges and support the transition towards a more connected logistics industry with our technology. 

Having a vision for the future of LogTech is great, but putting it into action is what separates the sheep from the goats. The key to innovation is to move fast and to learn fast. This is reflected in our processes: Our several small, cross-functional enabled teams each have their own sprints with their own goals and outcomes. We use a blend of Kanban / Scrum methodologies to organize our sprints and releases to consistently deliver value on a weekly basis. The tasks needed to accomplish those objectives are defined and assigned independently within the team. 

To get back to the question: You don’t need to be a large player to have an impact. Instead, small teams are most of the time way more agile and able to execute innovative ideas. After all, it’s not the size of the team but how effectively it delivers solutions. 

4. Which equipment and technologies support you in achieving your plans?

Our employees use state-of-the-art equipment and modern web technologies. People are free to choose between Linux and MacOS and we also provide best-in-class tools, such as IDEs.

Our main tech stack consists of PHP, PostgreSQL and JavaScript (React and node.js), but we also use Python and Golang for some projects. On the DevOps side we rely on Terraform, Puppet, Jenkins, and Docker to manage our application infrastructure in the cloud. 

Of course there is also Redis, Elasticsearch, Logstash and many other amazing technologies, but maybe this is for another interview…

The future of logistics is promising!

As Markus has shown us throughout these interviews, tech plays a crucial role in InstaFreight’s success and growth. If you have any more questions for Markus or about our tech department in general, email us at media@instafreight.com. Happy to answer your questions and we might even create a fourth part of this tech-series. 

Want to join the tech team? Here you go!

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