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The Rise of Logistics Tech Activates Entrepreneurs

Given the complexity of supply chain evolution, companies that optimize across links in the chain may help to shape our future.
By George Shchegolev

The development has resulted in a powerful optimization platform that can manage routing for large and small companies that have basic though complex needs. These include vehicle capacities, traffic, weather, driver skills, compliance, demand shaping, multi-distribution warehouse centers and more.

With companies like Amazon, Google and UPS already set up for drone delivery, and with NASA currently plotting out acceptable flight paths for them, you will see even more calls for logistics tech entrepreneurs to deliver the goods, so to speak. Can you imagine the logistics tech required to execute such an enormous task?

Amazon will have their beehives delivering to places previously impossible to reach via traditional delivery methods. They can provide other incredible services, like getting essential medicines to places rapidly to save lives. We will see an entire revolution in the supply chain industry with drone technology.

Modern logistics and supply chain software is arguably one of the most complex problems to solve because it incorporates telematics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), spatial optimization, graph theory (think Good Will Hunting), statistics, data science, and machine learning to analyze, optimize and predict seemingly endless streams of inventory and order data; weather-related issues; airplane and cargo ship delays; vehicle breakdowns; driver errors; and customer rescheduling—not forgetting, all the while, communicating in real time with dozens of mobile applications and other systems. In each of these areas, there exists unlimited possibilities for entrepreneurs to come on board and work to fill the innovation and third-party resource gaps.

Investments and acquisitions in IoT, supply chain and logistics companies are heating up. In 2014, Quintiq, another supply chain optimization startup, was acquired by Dassault Systems for $336 million, and Verizon recently complemented its acquisition of Networkfleet by acquiring Telogis and Fleetmatics for more than $3.3 billion. Companies such as Convoy ($62 million) and Postmates ($278 million) have only recently landed further investments.

It's clear we are witnessing the next stage of supply chain evolution, which is far more complex than optimizing the last mile. Companies that can deliver significant value by optimizing across the links in the supply chain may help to shape our future.

George Shchegolev is the co-founder and VP of operations at Route4Me. He earned a dual bachelor's degree in molecular biology and bioinformatics, as well as a master's degree in molecular biology. Following graduation, George worked in marketing for Sony, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Verizon Fios. He spent a great deal of time on the road, where he found himself wasting a great deal of time, energy and fuel driving inefficient routes and sitting in traffic. Determined and inspired by his experience on the road, he co-founded Route4Me. An avid bicyclist and traveler, George is passionate about technology and its ability to improve our lives.

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