A home-grown Kiwi tech company is helping New Zealand’s largest primary industries cut travel by millions of kilometres, reduce fuel emissions, and improve animal welfare, all from a computer and smartphone.
M2X Transport Management System offers solutions for carriers and enterprise customers across industries such as livestock, milk, forestry, bulk, dairy and general freight. Its software uses advanced optimisation to improve the efficiency of transport across the supply chain.
The innovative technology is making waves. M2X won the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution at the New Zealand High Tech Awards this month.
The digital real-time transport management platform has already helped companies like Open Country Dairy and Silver Fern Farms significantly reduce the distance travelled by transport fleets carting their products. Silver Fern Farms alone is on track to cut its travelling distance by one million kilometres each year once the roll out of the platform is completed across its business.
M2X Director Krista McKay says as consumer demand grows for sustainably produced food and fibre and we work to meet climate change targets, the spotlight is not only on our farmers, but on our entire primary industry to produce more from less.
“M2X is a single platform that helps companies optimise transport, increase efficiency and reduce both costs and carbon emissions.
“We believe it is a truly sustainable industry solution – a platform where carriers and enterprise customers can work together to achieve and share the benefits of digital efficiencies and optimisation.
“M2X is helping companies reduce their kilometres travelled and ease the impact of labour shortages, while reducing the time animals spend on trucks, which has welfare benefits and reduces overall carbon emissions too. It’s a win-win across the board.”
The technology behind M2X has been nearly 8 years in the making, starting out with just a team of four people. Now, the company employs more than 40 people and has customers in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Krista says, on the face of it, M2X is a simple digital platform. However, behind the scenes, the technology is highly sophisticated and can be tailored to each customer’s business.
For Silver Fern Farms, M2X was able to bring together in one place all transport bookings for more than 150 livestock transport companies.
Silver Fern Farms General Manager Supply Chain Dan Boulton says through digitising and optimising the company’s transport bookings with M2X technology, it has seen exciting improvements in the efficiency of its livestock transport.
“We're on track for one million less kilometres for the same amount of work. That's via better utilised trucks and means we can have less trucks on our rural roads, and we can have less carbon emissions per livestock animal movement. Animals are also spending less time on trucks, which is huge from an animal welfare perspective.
“Silver Fern Farms vision is to be the world’s most sustainable red meat company. Our partnership with M2X is helping us fulfil that vision.”
Open Country Group Transport Manager Ginny Christians says M2X is helping the dairy company meet its carbon emission reduction targets by making sure trucks are travelling the shortest routes from farm milk collection to processing.
“The system has cut our transport planning time in half. It can automatically redirect trucks where they’re needed to collect excess milk, recognise the High Productivity Motor Vehicle Routes and ensure the right trucks are on the right roads. It even provides tanker drivers with useful details on farm tanker tracks.”
Krista says after starting from small beginnings, the results M2X is now helping its customers achieve demonstrate the enormous value of the solution.
“It’s an exciting time of growth for our company. It’s rewarding to see the impact of our work on our customers’ businesses, but the accolade from the New Zealand High Tech Awards is further validation that what we’re doing is making a real difference in our primary industries.”