Corporates move into logistics - Chances for logistic startups?

In a previously unheard move, more and more companies are answering the supply chain crisis by building up their own logistics capabilities which might fuel the need for modern supply chain software products.

Prequel Ventures

In a previously unheard move companies are answering the supply chain crisis by building up their own logistics capabilities.

Companies like Walmart, Homedepot, Target and IKEA are chartering containerships, while Warsteiner and LIDL start their own logistics business that will also serve external customers.

In an attempt to not only protect their business performance but creating a competitive edge corporates are moving into logistics as the segments becomes a tempting business opportunity worth a significant investment

For logistic and supply chain startups this might open up a new customer group as the demand for supply chain software soars.

More and more major retail and industrial companies are taking previously unheard-of measures to overcome the everlasting supply chain crunch. Companies like IKEA, LIDL or Trumpf are taking previously unheard measures to gain back control over the supply chain, secure production and bring their products to market.

With skyrocketing freight rates and logistic companies announcing record profits the market sees a move of retailers and industrial companies into the logistics market. Companies are building up their own logistics and transportation capabilities in an attempt to control their supply chains. The list of companies is getting longer. US based Walmart, Homedepot, Target and Swedish IKEA have announced plans to build up their own transportation capacities by chartering ships and buying containers. Only recently the brewery company Warsteiner announced the plans for its logistics subsidiary BOXX Intermodal which will also serve external customers. While machinery producer Trumpf owner family Leibinger in a remarkable move charters and operates ships to deliver products to their customers, the furniture maker and retailer Loctek ordered a 1.800 TEU container ship in a $32.6 million deal with Huanghai Shipbuilding. And retail giant LIDL is buying container ships and apparently plans to start its own shipping business under the registered trademark Tailwind Shipping Lines.The reasons for that are manyfold and among others include:By taking control over their logistics companies prevent negative effects on their business performance by securing timely delivery and securing product availability and consequently revenues.In an attempt to protect their brand equity companies take over these activity and secure full control over the customer experience.With freight rates soaring across the board, moving into the market not only prevents stock outs and saves cost. All of the sudden in housing these activities might be great business opportunity worth significant investments.It remains to be seen whether this is a short term answer or a long term trend. In any case the development once more underlines that supply chain management has moved away from a pure cost center thinking. It is finally recognized as a critical success factor for any business securing its competitiveness and might even give corporations a competitive edge above their competitors. However, taking more control over their supply chain operations comes at a cost.

A great chance for logistics and supply chain startups?

As corporations are building up their own transport capacity they will also need to build up operational processes and know how. For startups that are selling to freight forwarders and logistic companies this might be a new and much bigger target group for their products and services.Here’s a selection of startups offering useful solutions that help managing logistic and supply chain operations for corporate customers.

Logistics Operations

Taking transportation and logistics into their own might fuel the need of corporations for tools helping with managing the daily operations. From planning and executing container shipments to customs declaration. Here are 3 examples of startups that help with that:


BuyCo is a collaborative SaaS platform enabling exporters and importers to simplify, optimize & better control the planning, execution & tracking of their maritime container shipments. Find out more about BuyCo.


Freightify is a freight-tech start-up aiming to revolutionize the trillion-dollar international freight industry. Freightify empowers freight forwarders by providing white-labeled rate automation solutions to digitize their rate procurement, rate management, and quotation processes with ease. We also provide track and trace solutions helping forwarders to get the latest milestone location of vessels. Find out more about Freightify.


Traide is the first AI based customs compliance system, which identifies the correct product classification number based on the individual product description. By using the correct customs tariff number, traide can derive the customs master data, making customs processes efficient and secure.Traide is applicable to all commodity groups and does not require any setup, due to pre-trained AI models. Find out more about Traide.

Visibility Solutions

One of the main motivations for corporates to build up their own capacity is to keep their supply chains under control and ensure timely delivery. The need for supply chain visibility tools might soar when companies take things into their own hands. Here are 3 companies helping with supply chain visibility:


Shippeo is a leading vendor of supply chain visibility solutions. Shippeo offers a real- time transport visibility platform to shippers, carriers, and 4PLs. It enables instant tracking of every delivery, and enables proactive communication with end customers. Find out more about Shippeo.


Wakeo unlocks the value of your supply chain through real-time visibility of your shipments. It is the data hub that you need to monitor your supply chain. Accerss to all of your shipments in one platform, with multimodal door-to-door visibility across all modes of transport including sea, air, FTL & LTL, rail. Find out more about Wakeo.

Box ID Systems

BOX ID Systems helps industrial customers to optimize handling processes & costs related to operating returnable logistics packaging. Customers gain immediate digital transparency of inventory availability & status throughout their entire supply chain. We provide real-world insights to help detect handling irregularities, reduce loss, increase availability, and avoid shortages. Find out more about Box ID.

Emission Management

The need to manage CO2 emissions through the entire supply chain will only go up. In their approach to control the entire supply chain including all logistic processes demand for emission management tools will most likely increase further. These 3 startups offer a solution to managing CO2 emissions:


zero44 supports shipping companies, ship managers and charterers with the planning and optimisation of their carbon management. It focuses on the commercial planning and contract negotiations in light of increasing carbon costs as well as carbon trading strategies. Find out more about Zero44.


Carbmee is an Enterprise Software Company on a mission to empower businesses to get carbon under management through the use of automation technology. Through our patented Environmental Intelligence System, carbmee EIS™, we allow companies to reduce their carbon footprint by analyzing CO2 hotspots throughout the value chain. By linking emissions derived from materials, transactions, logistics, and supplier data with globally recognized standards and methods, carbmee’s tools calculate CO2 footprints down to a supplier-specific level. Find out more about Carbmee.


Sweep is an enterprise carbon accounting and management plattform, measuring its clients carbon footprint based on technical integration and monitoring of all business processes along the value chain. Spee’s network approach to carbon management connects companies to their partners so they collectively measure, reduce and communicate their emissions all in one place. Find out more about Sweep.

Find Supply Chain Innovations through our Startup Database

Discover these and more innovative supply chain solutions with our SCM Startup Database and stay up to date on the latest tech trends in supply chain. We are constantly monitoring the supply chain startup ecosystem in Europe and helping companies to master their digital transformation. Discover more than 300 supply chain startups from all over Europe here: Supply Chain Startup Database.

Stay tuned with The Supply Chain Management Startups Handbook 2022

The Supply Chain Management Startup Handbook 2022 will be a comprehensive guide through the landscape of supply chain startups and will help to discover cutting edge technology and business model innovations.

The planned release date is the 30th September 2022.Sign-up for the waitlist to not miss out on the report here:Join WaitlistIn our 2021 version of The Supply Chain Management Startup Handbook we profiled 215 startups from all over Europe accompanied by great expert opinions. It is still available for download:In our 2021 version of The Supply Chain Management Startup Handbook we profiled 215 startups from all over Europe accompanied by great expert opinions. It is still available for download: Download The Supply Chain Management Startups Handbook 2021

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In our 2021 version of The Supply Chain Management Startup Handbook we profiled 215 startups from all over Europe accompanied by great expert opinions. It is still available for download: Download The Supply Chain Management Startups Handbook 2021

Written by
Mathias Bosse
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