Carriers, Forwarders, and Big Tech: The Three-Way Dance with Alexander Nowroth

This episode is the second half of our conversation with Alexander Nowroth, a 16-year shipping industry veteran and sales strategy consultant. 

We explore the complicated relationships between carriers, forwarders, and tech companies in the drive to logistics modernization. From track-and-trace to IoT solutions, the possibilities for innovation seem endless but are choked by data availability and bureaucratic obstacles. Alexander brings a wealth of insight and ideas on accelerating the process.

What You Will Learn In This Episode

  • The role shippers play in the adoption of innovative tech platforms
  • Why forwarders often have a cynical view of track-and-trace 
  • How forwarders can benefit from being more systems- and solutions-oriented
  • How control tower solutions have benefited shippers and large carriers like Maersk

Money Quotes

“Why did Flexport or Project 44 [come to market]? Why didn’t [DB] Schenker or Kuehne & Nagel create these companies and launch them under a different name? I think it’s because [they’re] busy … squeezing out the current business model and dealing with the bureaucracy they have built up over the last few years … there’s an absolute overburden of bureaucracy in most of these large companies. So they literally don’t have the time or resources to do that … Sometimes the non-established, non-conformists have to shake up the tree.” [12:25 – 13:12]

“There are startups like … Arviem, who put a physical device in a container and said, “here’s the uncompromisable, uncorrupted way to [track and trace]. If I put physical [technology] into it, the logistics are very difficult, and no one wants to pay for it. Because it’s only perceived as a diagnostic tool, not as much a business-critical surgery tool.” [15:56 – 16:17]

Mentioned in This Episode