Surely it is no easy challenge to take on: resolve the inefficient trucking, millions of empty miles, wasted space, and excessive CO2 emissions that plague the shipping industry. But start-up Merge from Egypt nailed it. And earned first place in the African Regional Final of ClimateLaunchpad 2023.
“We are ready to make an enormous difference with our freight matching platform. And now we can. So we are very grateful for this opportunity,” said a very happy co-founder, Marina Danial after the jury declared Merge the winner of the Regional Final Africa on November 3rd 2023.
The traditional model of shipping often results in empty truck space, known as empty miles, which leads to increased costs, longer delivery times, and excessive carbon emissions. The fragmentation and volatility of shipping makes it difficult for shippers to optimize their daily freight spend. Start-up Merge decided to tackle this logistics inefficiencies head-on.
Merge developed a cutting-edge digital freight matching platform that optimizes routes, consolidates shipments, and maximizes truck space utilization, through a shared truckload model. This approach minimizes empty miles, reduces the environmental impact, and offers cost savings to shippers as they share the transportation costs.
In the race to victory in the African Final, Merge outpaced 681 other teams from 12 African countries. According to the ClimateLauchpad jury, it is important for start-ups to link their realistic green business idea to social development as well. And Merge did just that. “Our digital freight matching platform can slash costs for shippers by 50% and reduce CO2 emissions by 20%,” Danial says. “But it also increases Logistics Providers’ revenues by up to 30%.”
‘We can’t wait’
To realize these ambitions, Merge will spend the prize money of € 4,500 euros on scaling up the Merge operations team and getting the freight matching platform up and running. “Merge creates a win-win situation: to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping and help shippers get better lives. We can’t wait to get on with this.”