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3M reduced transport costs and emissions with a new logistics process

5 minutes read

Together with MIXMOVE and DHL, 3M devised an innovative, autonomous logistics process to manage their logistics network as a dynamic, real-time operation. Now they are reaping the benefits.

As a Fortune 500 multinational corporation that produces more than 60.000 products, every major business decision they make can have a huge impact. With operations in 70 countries, as well as sales in virtually every country on earth, 3M covers industries such as worker safety, healthcare, and consumer goods.

Ensuring that the goods they produce get delivered swiftly and efficiently from their factory to their customers is a key factor to their continued success. Coupled with a strong dedication to reduce CO2 emissions, 3M EMEA were on a quest to find a better logistics process.

The company used to produce pallets for each customer at the same factory where the goods were produced. However, with more than 60 000 products, these pallets were irregular and not possible to stack efficiently for transportation. Consequently, the trucks and containers were only about 35-45% loaded. The rest was just air. For 3M, this situation was not sustainable, neither in terms of cost, nor emissions.

– Half-empty trucks and containers is a common problem across the industry. In fact, the average truck rate in Europe is only 52% – meaning that almost half of the capacity is carrying air. This is one the main issues we are trying to tackle every day, says Knut Fredrik Ramstad, CEO at MIXMOVE.

Half-empty trucks and containers is a common problem across the industry. In fact, the average truck rate in Europe is only 52% – meaning that almost half of the capacity is carrying air.
- Knut Fredrik Ramstad, CEO at MIXMOVE.

A tailormade SaaS solution

Thanks to a close collaboration between MIXMOVE, 3M and DHL, an innovative, autonomous logistics process was devised. It allowed 3M to manage their logistics network as a dynamic, real-time operation with focus on optimization. The software was based on smart algorithms.

The implementation of this new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution made sure that close to full trucks were now moving cargo between hubs, and customer pallets included goods from all factories. Today, the same solution is used in all the relevant hubs – and across all carriers – in the 3M EMEA network. It supports daily operations and has shown to significantly improve the company’s productivity. It also gives 3M full visibility of all logistics operations throughout the complete European logistics network.

Fantastic results

According to Patrick Van De Vyver, the former Head of EMEA’s logistics operations at 3M, their solution has had a significant impact on 3M´s operations in Europe. After the implementation, trucks were filled up to 70-90%, which lead to massive reductions of CO2 emissions. 3M also benefits now from a much greater choice over which hubs and carriers they want to use.

– By using the MIXMOVE software, 3M managed to reduce transport costs by 35% and CO2 emissions by 50%, Van De Vyer said at the time of the implementation.

In the past, different software at different hubs made it difficult to ship the flow of goods from one to another. Now, carriers involved in the «3M Network» are instead cashing in on the new efficiencies and translating these into competitive offers for other shippers. They can offer full trucks – and guaranteed «delivered in full, on time».

Bundled and customized deliveries also benefit those on the receiving end of the goods, in terms of meeting customer-specific packaging requirements.

– The benefits from using a solution like this are numerous; From increased fill rates and reduced inbound processing time to lower transportation costs and higher delivery accuracy. It also leads to better reliability, better planning and less emergency hiring, MIXMOVE CEO Ramstad concludes.

Are you interested? Use the form to contact us or get in touch with me directly on: allard@mixmove.io 


Allard Peeters
VP of Global Sales, MIXMOVE

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