We are happy to present the Start-up of our alumni Mr. Sotirios Ptochos, i-MBA Part Time 15, Co-founder of PEOPLE (https://www.people-techsolutions.com/)
In September, the PEOPLE team was nominated by the MBA International for the AMBA & BGA Excellent Awards 2021 in the category Start-Up of the Year.
The future of supply chain is happening now.
The transport and logistics supply chain can be complex, inefficient, and problematic, while consuming billions of barrels of fossil fuel annually to transport freight around the world, emitting enormous quantities of greenhouse gases in the process. Several strategies can be deployed towards making the transportation system more sustainable. An extremely efficient strategy is the introduction of innovative lightweight technologies to reduce the weight of logistics units and packaging, such as trucks, rail cars, containers, and pallets.
“In PEOPLE by combining lightweight with connectivity and analytics, we can instantly create a more Eco-friendly supply chain, increase efficiency, productivity, and, ultimately, financial return.”
How does lightweight technology help?
All logistics units are susceptible to limitations, the most important ones relating to the weight and the volume of the cargo. Weight-sensitive cargo is the type of cargo that reaches the weight limit before reaching the volume limit. In contrast, volume-sensitive cargo is the type of cargo that reaches the volume limit before reaching the weight limit. In both cases, the utilization of lighter logistics units can result in CO2 emission reductions, and fuel savings/ kg of cargo moved, either by transporting more cargo without changing the gross weight of the transportation method (weight-sensitive cargo) or by consuming less fuel for transporting the same amount of cargo due to lower gross weight (volume sensitive cargo).
PEOPLE, following the completion of its first funding cycle, started its operation in 2016 in London. The team focuses on a holistic, long-term strategy, where lightweight, intelligent, and connected logistic units enable the transition towards a responsive and insight-driven future, contributing to opportunities of unexplored revenue streams. PEOPLE has developed and certified the lightest (up to 21% lighter than the existing containers) and the most eco-friendly standard maritime container globally. The applied lightweight technology allows the minimization of the amount of used material to reach minimal weight and minimal material cost with no change in the highly standardized production line and optimizes its performance concerning strength and payload while remaining fully compliant with ISO standards. Moreover, the traditional wooden floor of general-purpose dry containers has been replaced by a 100% recyclable and lighter metallic floor, contributing to the limitation of deforestation, which is a major environmental problem.
“In PEOPLE, we believe that by making small changes, we can have ground-breaking large-scale benefits.”
In 2019 more than 160mn TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent) containers were moved around the world. By making them lighter by 250kg/ TEU, PEOPLE will be able to move 40mn tons of cargo annually without any additional cost and CO2 emissions. According to a recent study by National Technical University of Athens (2020), the gradual replacement of the existing container fleet, by containers based on PEOPLE’s technology worldwide, can save 6.6 billion liters of fossil fuel every year, reduce 22.2 trillion of gCO2 annually and save 205 million trees. PEOPLE will apply its lightweight technology to trucks, pallets, and all types of containers. They have also manufactured and certified the world’s first smart dry container from the ground up. PEOPLE’s smart solution can be applied in both new and in-service units and has received the appraisal and certification from Lloyds Register.
PEOPLE’s solution for shipping containers is a part of its integrated approach for an Eco-friendly and connected supply chain. The team has developed smart devices that can be installed to any logistics unit, turning it into smart, and a real-time monitoring platform, which allows continuous monitoring of transported goods. PEOPLE’s approach is the only currently in the market to combine lightweight and smart technology. It increases payload and reduces CO2 emissions while enabling 24/7, door-to-door visibility of the cargo, analyzing the real-time monitoring data over time, and predicts future trends and performance. Presently PEOPLE holds four families of patent applications, including fifteen separate patent applications filed throughout Western Europe, North America, and Asia. Two of those patent applications have granted, and third grant is imminent.
Global partnerships to respond global concerns.
Companies worldwide are increasingly targeting to reduce their carbon footprint, making them potential users of the PEOPLE’s container. PEOPLE’s solutions are of particular interest to container manufacturers, owners, and users as well as appeal to markets where traceability and monitoring of goods are of importance such as pharmaceutical and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods.
PEOPLE has signed mass production agreements with containers manufacturers in China and smart devices manufacturers in Europe. The team is running the last phase of its solutions’ pilot cases, and it is looking to expand, speed up its operations, and become a market leader by opening offices in the USA, MENA, and ASIA areas.