The five logistics teams Aindex.Ruhr, Cargo-Bay, DepotCity, freightpilot and Shippion joined the start-up platform program in March. The young companies have approximately one year to turn their innovative ideas into market-ready logistics products or services. Soon, employees of the Klöckner & Co spin-off XOM will also be using the co-working workstations at startport.
Erich Staake, Chief Executive Officer of Duisburger Hafen AG and initiator of the project: “We are taking an important step towards digitization. The demand proves that our concept is paying off. At the same time, we also need persistence and patience, because this project is not a sprint but rather a marathon.”
The founder teams have moved into one of the floors of the Werhahnmühle in the Duisburg interior port for a period of 12 months (with support from a team of Duisburger Hafen AG). Now the teams submit regular reports about their results - and receive extensive coaching services from partner companies and mentors.
Using this approach, the start-ups are supposed to develop their ideas into market-ready products in Duisburg. Additional teams are expected to join them in the Werhahnmühle by the end of 2018. “We expect a strong commitment and a success-oriented approach. Our support is based on the performance principle. It is not enough to have a good idea; one must also work to implement the idea. So far, we are very satisfied, because our teams are highly motivated,” says Staake.
The innovation platform startport also targets post-secondary students and graduates interested in starting their own companies. The founder teams receive advice from duisport and the logistics professionals at the exclusive startport partners Evonik, Klöckner & Co and Initiativkreis Ruhr.
Cisco, the world's market leader for IT and networks, and IT system vendor Bechtle have joined startport as technology partners. “The strong support from well-known companies in industry confirms that the idea behind startport, namely to bring together start-ups and industry, is the right way to go,” says Staake.
Additional assistance is provided by network/workshop partners such as Fraunhofer IML, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Zentrum für Logistik und Verkehr, Netzwerk DIALogistik Duisburg, consulting company Roland Berger, advertising agency dws, auditors from Ernst & Young, tax advisors from PKF, Deutsche Bank, IDE (Competence Center for Innovation and Start-ups at Universität Duisburg Essen), Instafreight, Digital Hub Logistics, lawyers from Taylor Wessing and Hochschule Rhein-Waal.
Expertise for Big Data and algorithms
The first start-ups at startport are experts for digital Big Data applications. These young companies are at different stages of development. They utilize the attractive work environment in the Werhahnmühle and the free IT infrastructure, and maintain close contacts with the managers, developers and logistics experts at Duisburger Hafen AG. Additional partners are expected to join. The initial discussions are very promising. The support that is offered is continuously optimized through closer relationships with the start-up scene and regional logistics companies, and the provision of additional consultative personnel support for issues such as apartment searches, customer acquisition and public relations activities.
The start-ups at a glance:
Aindex.Ruhr is working on the development of an app designed to guide users to the best possible location. It aims to facilitate the search for the perfect apartment or business location in the Ruhr region, and subsequently in other metropolitan areas. Customers can define their individual priorities. The founders of Aindex have already garnered positive attention: They are the winners of the “#Nextlevelruhr-Hackathon” prize awarded by the RAG foundation.
Cargo-Bay improves the distribution of products of industry, retail and logistics companies and delivers innovative information, management and control options. Through its platform, the company offers more than 1,000 verified freight forwarders in different regions, providing customers with a convenient option to check and compare the freight prices of different providers. Standardized input screens facilitate work processes and reduce errors. At this time, Cargo-Bay already has more than 1,100 customers.
DepotCity digitizes warehouse logistics and makes booking warehouse space and fulfillment as easy as booking a hotel room. This platform provides both professionals and laypersons with the opportunity to purchase professional eCommerce logistics services. All services from storage, packaging and franking to shipping, invoicing and dunning can be booked, and the entire process can be tracked in a transparent manner. The platform brings together seekers and providers of storage space. It also makes it easier for storage space providers to generate attractive additional business.
Freightpilot moves route scheduling into the Cloud with its own software platform. Companies that are currently working with their own, expensive or inefficient route scheduling system can now outsource this function for a competitively-priced monthly fee. The platform offers fully-automated route scheduling across the boundaries of the various senders. For example, two companies that supply the same customer can now share the trip to that customer. The software solution uses artificial intelligence to develop a route schedule on a fully automated basis, and forwards it directly to the suppliers. This creates synergy effects for all participants and reduces the traffic volume and the driving time of trucks and other transport vehicles.
Shippion brings transparency to the freight market. Until now, the process has been as follows: Large freight companies invite tenders, and smaller ones have to ask several freight forwarders for each shipment. Also, there is no uniform, efficient and rapid billing system. This increases costs and reduces profits. Shippion wants to fundamentally simplify freight shipments and offer an automated market place. Shippion automates freight calculation processes and simplifies freight shipments for exports and logistics services providers.
Other facts and figures
Managing Director: Peter Trapp
Werhahnmühle in the Duisburg interior port.
5th floor, Loft
550 m2 of office space
14 workstations for start-ups
2 conference rooms
Open kitchen, meeting points, tabletop soccer
Excellent transport connection:
From central train station: 14 min by bus, 18 min by foot, 5 min by bicycle
By car, via the A40, or A42 to the A59, three minutes from Exit
Move-in date for the five selected start-ups: 16 March 2018
Duration: 12 months of use, mentoring, PR and coaching
Offer for start-ups:
12 months office space in an attractive and representative location
Support in the form of on-site mentoring with professional workshops and events, assessment and reflection of the corporate development of the various start-ups
Access to the networks of potential customers, project partners, investors from industry and the logistics sector
Access to logiscs assets, collaboration in sub-projects
Networking, acquisition of potential investors
Promotion of media attention with in-house PR agency