Global supply chain woes continue to trickle down across industries as post-lockdown growth compounds supply chain bottlenecks.
The mass shortages, from materials to labour, have accelerated the need for innovative solutions that will ease supply chain disruptions and modernise legacy systems.
Logistics as a service (LaaS) providers have garnered interest in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, thanks to their digital approach to logistics issues. Research by Gartner in 2020 showed that more than 80% of professionals indicated intentions to increase their budget for outsourced logistics outside of warehousing and fulfilment.
The shift towards LaaS is partly due to increasing logistics costs. Although the global logistics market is valued at £6.5T, it’s severely fragmented and has been hampered by its archaic processes. Logistics plays an indispensable role in supply chain management and, despite its reliance on global cooperation, it’s one of the last to embrace technology and collaborative innovation. Several logistics processes are still paper-based, leading to high manual entry times and susceptibility to human errors.
LaaS has been spotlighted as a powerful technology that could increase efficiency and reduce costs through digitisation of these processes. It will also allow companies to redirect their attention and additional resources to other business functions. As a result, investors have turned their attention to companies such as KlearNow, which recently raised £38 million in a Series B investment round led by Kayne Partners Fund.
Founded in 2018, the company has pioneered an AI-powered approach to supply chain management. In its series A round in January 2020, KlearNow raised £12 million. Less than 2 years later, its significant funding increase demonstrates the urgent need for expert digital transformation, as industries have been forced to manage broken supply chains since the pandemic started in February 2020.
KlearNow’s platform eases import and export burdens by digitising and streamlining complex paper-based logistics processes. The AI-enabled platform uses the digitised data to power its customs clearance marketplace, providing an unprecedented level of real-time end-to-end visibility, collaboration, and cost savings for its customers.
In an effort to support the drayage companies that have faced planning and scheduling challenges, KlearNow has recently integrated a drayage marketplace to its smart LaaS platform. This platform will also provide importers with increased visibility.
With the view of both customs clearance and drayage marketplaces in one place, KlearNow is able to provide oversight of multi-leg shipments from port of loading to the warehouse on a single platform. The recent investment has been earmarked for accelerating expansion and development of this technology as KlearNow continues to pioneer growth in this space.
While industries continue to battle with shortages, the need to cut costs and achieve optimal efficiency is only increasing. LaaS has introduced new possibilities through technology and it’s clear that this trend will be beneficial for both companies and their customers.