Published: 10:00, 09 September 2015
| Updated: 10:39, 09 September 2015
A company which describes itself as the Uber of the freight industry has won £555,000 of investment on a crowdfunding website – and could hold a key to alleviating Operation Stack.
TGMatrix, which aims to save hauliers billions in wasted miles by coordinating lorry operations, will use the money to develop its high-tech software.
The company, based in Leigh, near Tonbridge, launched on crowdfunding site SyndicateRoom last month having already been backed with a £250,000 grant from the government.
It aims to reduce the number of lorry movements across the UK by 1.5 million a year using software which drivers and companies can download using a free app.
It could also reduce the queues of trucks waiting to cross the Channel during the disruption of Operation Stack.
“This has never been done before because the technology has not been around to do it,” said founder Brian Bolam.
“It gets trucks off the road, reducing congestion and emissions, which ticks all their boxes...” - Brian Bolam, TGMatrix
“The logistics industry is currently extremely inefficient and still heavily reliant on laborious manual processes.
“Using smart technology to bring the industry into the Internet Age will benefit shippers with lower prices, carriers with better margins and society at large due to reduced emissions and congestion.”
He added: “This makes sure all the lorries are full. On average they travel a third empty and trucks are replicated across different routes. This will change all that.”
This €900 billion (£656bn) freight market is “inefficient, expensive, polluting and living in a pre-internet age” according to managing director Patrice Schneider.
The firm believes it can shake up the sector in much the same way Uber transformed the taxi industry by matching drivers directly with passengers at lower cost.
Mr Bolam said: “We describe it as the Uber of the logistics world but it is much more complicated than putting someone in a taxi.
“There are thousands of variables before we can match a driver with a company distributing something, which is why we are investing so much in the technology, which works 800 times faster than normal software processing.”
It aims to launch in the UK later this year, then into Europe next year and the US the year after that.
The company could help bring about a reduction of two million tons of CO2 emissions a year in Europe alone.
“This is the sort of stuff the EU want,” added Mr Bolam. “It gets trucks off the road, reducing congestion and emissions, which ticks all their boxes.”