“Digital innovation is necessary”

Since October 2023, Barry Gruijters has been Managing Director at Bulkio, Van den Bosch's data-driven platform. After working at Van den Bosch for 19 years, Barry made the transition to Bulkio. Bulkio focuses on sustainable road transport solutions through kilometre reduction and network optimisation, among other things. Barry sees the solution in digitalisation and efficiency through smart use of data.

"In short- and medium-distance road transport, I expect considerable sustainability in the short term, especially through innovations in digitalisation and the development of alternative fuels such as HVO100. This gives us the opportunity to make our carrier network more sustainable as well. And on top of that sustainability, also optimisation based on data and smart network solutions. For long distances, we do expect that it will take longer for significant change. This is because the deployment of alternative power sources on long distances takes much more time.

Bulk transport in particular will continue to depend on a diesel power source for a long time, partly because of its weight. The opportunities for sustainability there lie mainly in efficiency, as this subject is at this moment limited to the use of sustainable fuels. By making smart use of data – and that ultimately in combination with changing the fuel or power source. Data allows you to get a better picture of the road transport network, enabling better planning. This can be done on a micro level, with the carrier using its own equipment as optimally as possible. Bulkio acts as an overall road transport director by providing insight into the entire network. This allows us to see which equipment is available and which empty can be filled. This cannot be done without our AI tool and good data analysis. The outcome of these developments is a high planning density and thus an overall efficiency advantage. This means less equipment, fewer emissions.

A side note is the high conservatism in the market. I notice that the old way of working is deeply rooted and hat many companies find working with data and online platforms complicated. After all, it is not tangible. Before long-distance traffic can use alternative power sources, we also need to think about the long term”.