A venture-backed startup today announced it has gathered $17 million in backing from high-profile supply chain firms for its plan to bring artificial intelligence to logistics yards, according to the new company, Terminal Industries.
Austin-based Terminal said it has emerged from stealth mode thanks to the seed funding from supply chain investor 8VC and from Prologis Ventures, the venture arm of the logistics real estate giant. The round also includes participation from RyderVentures, the corporate venture capital arm of Ryder System Inc., NFI Ventures, Lineage Logistics, Vehicle Velocity Group, the Friedkin Group International, and the venture firms 9Yards, Northstar.vc, Amplifier, and MS&AD Ventures.
Terminal says it is developing its platform in conjunction with the world’s largest logistics operators to solve critical problems that they confront daily. Those include global level issues—such as supply chain security, transparency, and reliability—as well as local issues demanding an increased focus on efficiency and resiliency in yard operations and the reliable movement of goods.
According to Terminal, 92% of yard facilities lack meaningful technology enablement, costing the industry up to $146 billion in wasted resources, unexpected charges, time, and general lack of efficiency in the movement of inventory.
Terminal was founded by CEO Max Constant and CTO Neil Robertson, along with 8VC and Prologis Ventures. The company’s president is Matt Yearling, who had previously served as CEO of PINC, the provider of yard management and visibility systems that is now a division of supply chain technology provider Kaleris.
According to 8VC investors Jake Medwell and Wesley Friedman, the yard is one of the last great frontiers of untapped value in transportation. Across the U.S., 80% of trailers are parked at one of some 140,000 manufacturing plant or distribution warehouse yards, most which rely on basic clipboards, whiteboards, and peg boards.
“Worse than being tedious, this means hidden costs can multiply as problems go undiagnosed, i.e. excessive truck wait times, chassis downtime, unplanned maintenance, and detention fees, just to name a few,” Medwell and Friedman said in a blog post. “Each challenge affecting global logistics is felt acutely in the yard. Labor and capacity shortages, volatile consumer demand, and high on-time, in-full (OTIF) expectations have made everyday operational inefficiencies that much more costly.”
8VC says that Terminal can solve those problems with a machine learning platform that will improve training and efficiency, consolidating workflows and capturing data exhaust to feed yet more workflows. Its potential applications range from yard management to regulatory compliance to payment processing, the investors said.