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Even though it might seem like there is never enough space to store your inventory, especially since the beginning of COVID-19 when goods started stockpiling at ports in countries including the UK,(The Financial Times reported tens of thousands of grounded shipping containers), the opposite is actually true.
There are literally billions of square feet available.
And the problem persists in Asia as well where as much as half of all warehouses are vacant.
In response to this predicament, start-ups around the world are creating location-enabled warehouse platforms, to help logistic suppliers curb inefficiency and make better use of space.
SpaceFill, a French logistics and technology company founded in 2018, is helping businesses and warehouse owners temporarily store goods, respond to challenges and distribute inventory via their Software as a Service (SaaS) logistics platform.
HERE360 spoke with Maxime Huzar, SpaceFill's CEO and co-founder, about their new solution and how they're changing the world of storage for the better.
“Warehouses typically carry more than 25% of vacant space... shippers are often building new warehouses to store their goods. As the market is hardly transparent, those needs rarely meet and there is a lot of inefficiency..." - Maxime Huzar, co-founder and CEO of SpaceFill
All around the world there is an accessibility gap between available warehouse space and those than need it, the SpaceFill team is here to help. Image credit: SpaceFill
In a nutshell, they assist companies that have empty warehouse units make profit from unused space. And, simultaneously, help those who need to optimize their storage options by reserving and managing multiple spaces according to changing needs.
While they're geared towards the French logistics industry, they also support other EU companies aiming to set up in France. Their clients are retailers, e-commerce start-ups, logistic service providers (3PLs) and other companies in need of flexible warehousing options ie, seasonal businesses in need of an adaptable lease. Huzar says they serve a wide variety of clientele, with a customer satisfaction rate of 99.97% in the area of palletized goods.
SpaceFill solutions include:
Huzar describes SpaceFill's customer base: “From the medium-sized company that might want to increase its footprint... to a big group that wants to “flexibilize" its storing network, or is facing unexpected storage needs."
SpaceFill's SaaS platform helps clients with administrative work (according to Huzar most companies spend 2 hours every day on “tedious tasks"), and offers real-time visibility via location tracking of their cargo.
“...We know that logistics is a location business first and we aim to give our shippers instant visibility on the storage market around them [and] their needs. This is why a map of the network is a pillar of our product."
“We are big users of maps!" exclaims Huzar. Image Credit: SpaceFill
The logistics industry has been in the spotlight since the beginning of COVID-19, but thanks to what Huzar calls an “agile mindset", the pandemic actually helped SpaceFill focus on improving their organizational processes.
Coronavirus has also underscored the need for many companies to streamline their methods through automation and being that SpaceFill considers themselves both a logistics and a tech company, their focus has been on providing excellent digital tools. “In hindsight, we think that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for a more flexible and technological approach to storage. Times are changing..." said Huzar.
“Using location technology is... a great tool for us. It gives us precious insight in order to better understand the warehousing market in Europe... It really is a great asset to help our customers build the best flexible supply chains." - Maxime Huzar, SpaceFill CEO and co-founder
As as much as the start-up helps business owners increase their earnings, it also works towards environmental initiatives by curbing inefficiencies. Better management of stock allows businesses to reduce transportation costs and in turn, decrease associated CO2 emissions. It also increases the speed of ETAs by increasing access to available, local storage centers.
SpaceFill's team is composed of 40% of software engineers, who help to ensure the best possible tools for shippers. And according to Huzar, they have “the densest network of warehouses in Europe": currently more than 3000 and growing 10 percent each month.
See how HERE's Warehouse-to-sale visibility can take the stress out of storage.