Taking industry collaboration from a buzzword to practice
In September 2018, Cargotec announced it would be joining the Rainmaking Trade & Transport Impact startup accelerator programme to address the largest challenges in maritime, cargo transport and logistics. The real action is about to start soon as we progress into selecting the startups to work with and most importantly the actual collaboration with them. I already have high expectations that through this cooperation we will be able to truly make an impact to make our industry smarter and better - together.
I think it is great that companies in our industry, including Cargotec, have been talking about themes like improving efficiency, sustainability and safety through industry collaboration. Indeed, openness and collaboration are above all a mindset our industry needs to adopt in order to develop vital value drivers like data sharing across the whole chain. The challenge however can be walking the talk, as just bringing the pain points to the drawing board is simply not enough. We also need to be able to lead the way and actually solve these issues together with concrete actions.
This is one reason why I am especially excited in us being part of Rainmaking Trade & Transport Impact programme. In addition to startups with disruptive potential, there are also other corporates from our industry taking part - such as Inmarsat and Wärtsilä as main partners together with us. It is great to see that companies working on different parts of the cargo flow value chain can work side by side and have the will to solve industry challenges together.
In practice, our startup screening with Rainmaking is in full speed and is coming closer to selection of startups that will be taken on board the program. During the screening process, the startups will be grouped under specific themes, which for us are: intelligent on-board cargo handling, optimised terminal operations, and efficient & sustainable cargo flow. We will have a selection day event in March, where we jointly elaborate the common grounds with shortlisted startups with the aim to roll the sleeves together. In May, we will then announce the specific subjects we will start working on - which is naturally just the beginning of the concrete work.
The whole aim of the program is somewhat different from traditional accelerators, as the purpose is to find cases where we can do something concrete together towards near-term business impact. So everything revolves around what and how we can do together to serve the customers better - it is not about looking good and creating hype on startup collaboration. Personally, I hope to find 1-2 startups as collaboration partners for each of the themes to keep the required bandwidth on a reasonable level, but at the same time being able to make an impact.
We will keep reporting about this collaboration journey and I am already looking forward to sharing concrete outcomes of the programme. If you are interested in reading more about the startup scene and its current state in maritime cargo flow, check out my recent LinkedIn post.