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Social Entrepreneur

327 EpisodesProduced by Tony LoydWebsite

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.


Delivering Efficiency with Marc Kuo, Routific

Routific uses AI to cut mileage and drive time by 20%-40%.

Marc Kuo is the Founder & CEO of Routific. He is a routing expert with nearly a decade of experience in last-mile logistics. But he didn’t always work in logistics.

“Being a fresh grad out of school, I just wanted to get into either management consulting or investment banking, simply because of its prestige,” Marc told me. “I was ambitious. I wanted to aim for something challenging.

“Once I was in finance, I was on the equity trading floor for one of the investment banks in Hong Kong. It was a glamorous dream job. I was sitting on the fifty-first floor of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Hong Kong. But I just felt a little empty. I was quickly disenchanted by this glamorous job and the corporate life.

“I wasn’t adding much value to society, using algorithms to move money from the retired pensioners to the rich bankers. I didn’t feel like it was value added to society.”

After being on the job for a year, Marc decided to go back to what he studied in graduate school. He wrote his thesis on route optimization algorithms.

From his perch on the fifty-first floor, he watched the ships, trucks, and logistics in the harbor.

“I felt a calling to move physical goods and rout them more efficiently. Physical goods are being moved anyway. Why not do it that much more efficiently?”

The Big Problem

Transportation is responsible for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Imagine a delivery business that delivers to 500 locations every day with a fleet of 10 vehicles. The puzzle of deciding which vehicle goes where and in what order, while making sure the fleet operates as efficiently as possible, is extremely hard.

“Every day we optimize the routes of hundreds of delivery businesses around the globe to save them time and fuel,” Marc explains. “Our mission? To make route optimization software accessible to every delivery business. We are passionate about helping businesses thrive and creating a more sustainable world.

“Routific surveyed 11,246 businesses and found that 72% still plan routes manually. That means they plan routes using tools like spreadsheets, pen and paper, and Google Maps. Businesses dependent on manual route planning struggle with the consequences of inefficient routes—hours of manual route planning time and inflated delivery costs.

“It’s hard work. And humans are not particularly good at it. Businesses report spending anywhere from one to three hours a day trying to plan delivery routes – many of which are not efficient nor optimal.”

This is where route optimization software can help.

“Aside from saving the manual route planner a lot of time, we also cut mileage and drive time by 20%-40% by generating more efficient routes than humans can ever find.”

The fact that most businesses are still manually planning routes is a big problem for the environment. Third-party environmental consultants estimated carbon emission reductions equivalent to planting 86 trees/year for every driver that switches over from manually planned routes to one optimized by Routific.

In 2019 alone, Routific helped delivery businesses around the world save 11,322 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of planting more than 500,000 trees.

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