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Express-online optimizes freight-vehicles’ reloading across Europe

SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the pan-European Express-online platform to optimize the loading rate of light commercial vehicles. The company’s multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys and demand for express freight deliveries across 30 European countries in real time, and then puts the interested parties in touch with one another. Express-online represents a win-win innovative solution for both haulage companies and freight forwarders.

Following the development of international goods traffic across Europe and the integration of new member states into the European Union, the road transportation of goods has grown threefold in Europe over the past 40 years (from 1970 to 2010). In light of rising energy and environmental costs, it is more important than ever to maximize load rates in utility vehicles.

Close to 60% of all light commercial vehicles carrying out urgent deliveries come back empty on the return leg of their long-distance journeys: this represents more than 200 million miles travelled in Europe every year. In order to address this environmental and economic aberration, SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the Express-online platform.

The platform offers an online matching service whereby its multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys, on the one hand, and requests for express freight deliveries, on the other, across 30 European countries. The Express-online service is delivered in real time, putting the interested parties in contact with each other. As SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM points out, this represents a winning formula for both haulage contractors and freight forwarders.

Haulage companies often use light vehicles with limited loading capacity. This means that they are unable to find cargos at good rates on the standard freight exchanges for their return journeys. In turn, this results in the light vehicles having to go back to base empty.

The Express-online platform is particularly well-suited to the needs of haulage companies: it can help them get their reloading requirements met. The platform puts hauliers in contact with freight forwarders with urgent freight-transport needs — needs that, more often than not, only involve a few pallets, and which can be addressed easily, as soon as the haulage company’s vehicle arrives on site for collection.

Via the website, the express-freight haulage company gives details of the unladen journey that its light vehicle will be making; the haulage contractor must provide all the vehicle’s specifications. The haulage company can then quickly view any reloading opportunities that fit in with its spare capacity and with the route that the vehicle will be following.

When the Express-online system identifies a freight/vehicle match, it immediately alerts both the haulage company and the freight forwarder via their respective dashboards, as well as by email if required. Each player is then free to contact the other party or not.

Unlike traditional freight exchanges, the Express-online servers automatically calculate how far each vehicle has moved in terms of both time (i.e. the length of a journey) and space (i.e. the distance covered). The haulage company can also adjust this by itself, in the event of its vehicles being ahead (or behind), as compared with the initial estimates.

Because calculations are carried out dynamically, the haulier is able to find suitable reloading opportunities (i.e. requests for picking up freight items) in the middle of a journey. Conversely, a warning system alerts freight forwarders of the passage of a suitable vehicle at the required time: then, ordering customers get directly in touch with the carriers.

By ensuring that the light commercial vehicles used for deliveries are loaded on their return journeys — and not only on their outward journeys — Express-online helps to reduce congestion on roads and to cut CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the freight forwarders and haulage companies negotiate the reloading tariffs between them, which represent another benefit for both parties. As a result, the light haulage firm can reload its vehicle (instead of the vehicle going back empty) and the express freight-forwarding company pays between 40% and 50% less than it otherwise would for a standard urgent delivery.

Express-online covers all of Europe and the platform interface has so far been made available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The website is for freight forwarders as well as hauliers whose paperwork is fully up to date and who specialise in urgent long-distance transport. The specialist haulage companies are also rated for each of the journeys that they make. Their ratings are then posted up on their profile pages, assisting potential customers in their choice of haulage contractor.

Both the Centre Francilien de l’Innovation, i.e. the Paris Region’s centre for innovation, and OSEO Innovation, which supports innovative businesses and technologies in France, provided the Express-online website with their support during its development. A patent has been registered for the website by SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM.


SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM is headquartered in Nanterre, in the Paris Region. The company has launched the Express-online platform with a view to providing an innovative web-based service that can interconnect and serve transport professionals, more particularly in the express-transportation segment of the market.

Thanks to the Express-online service, light commercial vehicles used for express deliveries across Europe can optimize reloading rates, thus cutting the proportion of empty returns. This, in turn, reduces road traffic and cuts carbon emissions.

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Quote ref. : FTPB3867
Philip Jolly- Press Office Manager
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Philip Jolly | UBIFRANCE
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