Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maersk and Ericsson join Plug & Play logistics accelerator

Steve Rogerson
March 28, 2017



Maersk and Ericsson have teamed up with Silicon Valley veteran Plug & Play to launch a supply chain and logistics accelerator. Partners from a wide variety of industries have come together to create the 11th Plug & Play vertical focused on global start-ups that aim to rebuild the technology behind supply chain and logistics.
 
The model brings together a roundtable of complementary industry leaders to guide the direction of the programme.
 
Different from most accelerator verticals, the supply chain and logistics focus will incorporate a medley of partners and start-ups from across various industries given the need for supply chain management and effective logistical operations in almost every type of business. This will create added benefit beyond standard start-up scouting, as convergence of technology is often a trigger for success.
 
"Maersk intends to be the leading integrator of container logistics, providing simple solutions to complex supply chain problems,” said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer for Denmark-based AP Moller’s Maersk transport and logistics division. “Digital innovation plays a key role in delivering that ambition. We are excited about this new platform and its capability to bring the digital ecosystem together to create innovative digital solutions for the shipping and logistics industry."
 
Given the rise in quality of IoT devices and end-to-end digital offerings from a variety of players in the logistics space, there is increased need for innovation. The programme will present opportunities for disruptive business models given the ease of access to large amounts of data, new technology and more channels for engaging customers. Plug & Play is facilitating this process by creating a platform to connect corporations to start-up companies looking to change the game.
 
"With our strong background in mobility, connectivity and end-to-end data management, Ericsson will play a central role in enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem," said Thomas van Bunningen, head of business development for logistics at Swedish technology giant Ericsson. “The combination of those skills with Plug & Play and Maersk will enable fast and powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry.”
 
Plug & Play has launched innovation platforms in brand and retail, fintech, food and beverage, health and wellness, insurtech, IoT, mobility, materials and packaging, sustainability, and travel and hospitality, and will look to replicate the success of this model for supply chain and logistics.
 
"It is with great excitement to announce the launch of our supply chain and logistics innovation platform with Maersk and Ericsson," said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug & Play. “In this globally connected world, commerce and trade makes our world a better place, and without efficient shipping and logistics, this would not be possible. We look forward to working with Global 100 companies that ship their products and goods worldwide to do this more efficiently, more cost effectively and more sustainably for years to come."
 
Start-ups considered will be innovating in areas such as disruptive business models, improved customer experience, application of IoT devices, advanced analytics and future technologies connecting multiple parties such as blockchain. Companies accepted into the programme have the opportunity to receive funding from Plug & Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders, entry to 22 international locations, opportunities for potential pilot projects, and access to founding Anchor Partners, Maersk and Ericsson.
 
Maersk Container Industry has extended its controlled atmosphere system. Effectively controlling the ripening process, the Star Cool CA+ system extends the market reach of sensitive low-respiring perishables such as blueberry and lychee, reaching their destination in optimal condition without over-ripening or decaying during transit. The system provides shipping companies with direct access to data on the conditions inside the reefer throughout the entire transportation window, without needing to rely on a third-party controlled atmosphere provider.