The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.
Maritime supply chains have captured the public’s imagination as never before in recent memory. This is happening because of the shipping container shortage that is affecting how quickly consumers receive goods being shipped from Asia as the pandemic has unfolded.
The importance of maritime supply chains and logistics was brought into stark relief when the Ever Given remained stuck in the Suez Canal for six days in March, bringing the flow of up to 12% of global trade to a halt, and symbolizing the precariousness of global maritime supply chains.
Within maritime logistics circles, an effort is underway to update the technology the industry relies on to take advantage of recent advancements in hardware and software technology. The pandemic has given strength to those efforts, and it is in this context that startups like Klaveness Digital, which is based in Oslo, Norway, exist.
What is the problem Klaveness Digital solves for customers? Who is the typical customer?
Klaveness Digital originally existed as the innovation lab of Torvald Klaveness, a Norwegian Shipping company with a heritage that has been built over 75 years. The innovation lab was spun out into an independent company in 2015. Klaveness Digital’s mission is to bring maritime shipping and logistics into the future by developing modern technologies that the industry can rely on.
The company develops solutions and services using the latest advances in technology to solve everyday problems in the maritime supply chains of some of the world’s largest companies. Klaveness Digital’s flagship product is CargoValue, which provides customers shipping raw materials by sea with actionable insights that enable them to optimize their maritime supply chains by infusing those operations with advanced digital intelligence to augment the work that is done most effectively by people.
The company’s other product, K-Platform, is a cloud based, multitenant platform for secure storage, processing and analysis of data.
According to Aleksander Stensby, CEO at Klaveness Digital, “Many of our customers are Fortune 500 companies delivering goods vital to our everyday consumption; this means they have vast and complex supply chains that interweave many stakeholders. Yet much of the planning and execution has lived throughout spreadsheets and disconnected processes. CargoValue bridges those gaps and helps our customers to build resilient, cost-effective and decarbonized supply chains.”
CargoValue is used by customers like EGA, Hydro and Alba — leading players in aluminium — with other industries that transport bulk such as cement, agriculture and energy also working with Klaveness Digital.
What is the secret sauce? What is unique about Klaveness Digital’s approach?
Klaveness Digital is distinct from other startups that are doing something similar because of its access to more than 75 years of proprietary insights about how global maritime supply chains function. In addition, its relationship with Torvald Klaveness means it has easy access to a large base of potential customers from whom it can learn, and from whom it can start generating revenues. In fact, it is a point of pride for Klaveness Digital that it involves customers and potential customers at every stage of the product development process in order to ensure that the products it brings to market are aligned with industry pain points.
As Mats Oustad, chief product officer, puts it, “We strive to solve complex problems in a simple and intuitive way — providing a ‘B2C experience’ for our B2B customers. To do that we must always have a customer-first approach and close collaboration with our customers when developing new, or refining existing, features in our offerings. Combining this with our internal industry knowledge and technical know-how makes sure that we are evolving CargoValue in the right direction.”
One recent outcome of Klaveness Digital’s Customer Discovery Program was the launch of a Digital Twin solution to help customers model scenarios and anticipate the ‘what-ifs’ and uncertainties that occur throughout commercial supply chains.
“We are now excited to be engaging with several of our customers to explore solutions for how to capture, measure and benchmark Scope 3 emissions,” adds Oustad. Scope 3 emissions are defined as the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organization.
How customers experience Klaveness Digital
Stensby says CargoValue currently has customers across a range of industries and that some of these customers have incorporated global operations and hundreds of individual stakeholders into the platform.
He adds that Klaveness Digital’s customers view it as a partner on the journey to make their supply chain operations more software-centric. The Klaveness Digital team often functions as an extension to its customers’ supply chain management team. The customer journey begins with a pilot or proof of concept of the product as the first phase of a stepwise digital transformation journey designed to create value at each step.
The company adds that new pilot projects launched in the past month include Australian mining giant SIMEC and Latin American cement leader Argos Cementos.
The competitive landscape
Klaveness Digital’s biggest competitor is typically a homegrown system of spreadsheets. There is no single turnkey solution that can meet the needs of any given company’s supply chain and internal operations requirements. Stensby says the company is currently focused on solving pain points in the bulk commodities domain — a space that is progressing with modernizing the software technology that it uses to power its value chain but that still has a very long way to go.
Stensby adds that Klaveness Digital sees a future where multiple systems coexist and are seamlessly interoperable — creating a supply chain ecosystem. And that truly connected, real-time, intelligent and autonomous supply chains will spur new business models and offer a new degree of resiliency and responsiveness, enabling companies to react to disruptions, anticipate and adjust in real time as conditions in the supply chain change.
If you are a team working on innovations that you believe have the potential to significantly refashion global supply chains, we’d love to tell your story in FreightWaves. I am easy to reach on LinkedIn and Twitter. Alternatively, you can reach out to any member of the editorial team at FreightWaves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author’s disclosure: I am not an investor in any early-stage startups mentioned in this article, either personally or through REFASHIOND Ventures. I have no other financial relationship with any entities mentioned in this article.