Digitizing assets to make more sustainable decisions — Net-Zero Carbon

In this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves, is joined by Daniel MacGregor, co-founder of Nexxiot. They discuss how data can benefit different players and industries and how collecting operational data can improve business decisions.

Nexxiot provides hardware and software solutions to collect data and enable companies to optimize fleet operations. The company is trying to “hit the middle ground” – accelerating positive environmental change and making those changes commercially viable.

Collect useful railway data

Nexxiot noted that rail freight was “hemorrhaging money” due to inefficiencies, but it was difficult to pinpoint the problems because there are so many moving parts and types of assets in this sector.

“Most of the time you don’t know what caused something. People with primary knowledge may have a good guess, but they don’t have proof,” MacGregor said. This makes it difficult to make informed decisions for more efficient operations.

The company has created sensory devices that attach to train cars and send granular data to the cloud every five minutes. This helps railway companies manage maintenance, operations and route optimization.

“You can really reduce a lot of costs, but also a lot of environmental waste from manufacturing processes and recovering broken assets,” MacGregor said.

Provide data to different stakeholders

The data is useful for stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

Asset owners aim to optimize their operations, reduce maintenance costs and provide high quality service to cargo owners. Data relating to humidity, temperature and other loading conditions is valuable for freight owners to ensure that the products they transport arrive in optimum condition. Industrial operations depend on timely arrivals of goods to run their factories efficiently.

“It depends on who the speaker is. We try to think of the whole ecosystem, whether it’s customs [or] endpoints, everyone needs some of that data in order to optimize their own operations,” MacGregor said.

Data can help companies optimize upstream and downstream and facilitate greater efficiency with the competition.

“To me, it makes sense that we need complete end-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain. By necessity, this is going to cover a myriad of actors and stakeholders,” Cole said. “When I think of a solution like this, I think of it as a layer two blockchain that connects to and builds on all the different layer one systems.”

MacGregor said Nexxiot believes in integration, open-source, and connectivity to “deliver value as broadly as possible, even to our own competitors.” The company started by using technology and sensors that were already available instead of starting from scratch.

MacGregor studied environmental science but decided to go into industry rather than scientific research. “If you look at the governments of the world, they are quite concerned”, and he aims to “drive the positive change that we need to see now”.

See all FreightWaves’ Net-Zero Carbon Episodes and sustainability stories.

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