Data analytics innovator Entopy has won a share of the UK government’s new £7 million fund to boost innovation in the freight industry. The funding will enable the company to extend the use of its unique software to help address the issues caused by a lack of large-scale cross-industry data collection and sharing.
Entopy is already working in partnership with IT services company Fujitsu UK & Ireland on the pioneering Atamai Freight solution, which is unlocking supply chain benefits for businesses that move goods via road freight – increased visibility of consignments, for example, load integrity assurance, load security and more efficient movement of goods. The solution has been proven to minimise stoppage time and foster trust across the supply chain and between port authorities.
Now the two companies will explore how Atamai Freight – which is underpinned by Entopy’s software – can be expanded to include other modes of transport. The Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) backing will also help Entopy to extend its software into other areas of the supply chain – such as port operations – to improve efficiency and co-ordination. By looking at data through the lens of each ‘entity’ it relates to – the goods being shipped, the transportation vehicle, the ferry ports involved and so on – Entopy’s technology is able to uncover multidimensional insights in real time and capture events hidden in complex datasets. It can accurately notify relevant organisations of the arrival of a consignment at a port of exit, for example, or give advance warning when goods are likely to be late reaching their destination.
Entopy’s software depicts data in a way that represents the real world – creating ‘digital twins’ of entities, with algorithms ensuring only relevant data is captured from each connected system. Building on the ‘consignment journey’ digital twin within Atamai Freight, Entopy is now looking to extend the technology across the supply chain. As well as integrating other modes of transport, it plans to build a more detailed port model to enable the delivery of new data services to support the management of port freight flows.
“A key challenge in today’s freight networks is that data is fragmented across many disparate systems – meaning supply chain leaders can’t access the information they need,” said Entopy CEO Toby Mills. “On top of that, reports suggest only a third of businesses are able to realise tangible and measurable value from data. Our intelligent data orchestration technology acts as a gatekeeper to ensure only relevant data is captured and shared – and only shared with the organisations that need to see it. So everyone involved can be confident their data is in safe hands. The data is then turned into actionable insights, delivered in real time, to provide valuable business benefits.
“The FIF support gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our software capabilities to a wide range of stakeholders – across the supply chain and in a variety of other markets – as well as continuing our work with Fujitsu to further develop our positive impact on the UK freight sector.”
The three-year FIF programme will involve up to 36 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They will work with industry-leading companies to develop innovations to make freight more efficient, resilient and greener. By giving innovators the opportunity to test their ideas, the fund aims to help SMEs roll out new technology and ways of working to unlock potentially huge efficiencies and emissions reductions across the sector. As well as a £150k grant, Entopy will receive access to an FIF accelerator – providing bespoke business support to innovators – as well as a freight innovation cluster, a community of innovators within the freight industry that hosts regular networking events and activities.
Christian Benson, Vice-President and Client Managing Director at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: “Each year, the UK transports 1.6 billion tonnes of freight using many different modes of transport. The freight sector plays a vital role in bolstering economic activity – from the transportation of raw materials to factories right the way through to the delivery of goods to ports or retailers. Exploring how Atamai Freight can be used with other modes of transport, alongside road freight, is set to improve efficiency across the sector.”
Fujitsu UK & Ireland is also using Atamai Freight as part of the government’s Ecosystem of Trust pilot scheme, which aims to demonstrate how new technology can be incorporated into a border operating model that increases the efficiency, speed and safety of the EU-GB trade border.