Irish start-up aims to cut emissions from dairy sector

New software system will help make transport routes more efficient

An Irish start-up is aiming to help cut carbon emissions created by the dairy sector, with a new software system that will help make transport routes more efficient.

An Irish start-up is aiming to help cut carbon emissions created by the dairy sector, with a new software system that will help make transport routes more efficient.

 

An Irish start-up is aiming to help cut carbon emissions created by the dairy sector, with a new software system that will help make transport routes more efficient.

OptaHaul said its system will address the transport of milk from the farm to plant, automatically calculating optimal route plans, controlling transport costs, maximising tanker utilisation and reducing carbon emissions.

It records and tracks relevant data on milk suppliers, lorries, tankers and processing factories in a simple interface that provides access to key data.

OptaHaul’s technology allows users to model changes to plans resulting from machine downtime, supplier issues, variations in milk supply and changes to factory requirements, allowing users to identify cost saving opportunities or underperforming routes.

The system can also be modified to take account of local knowledge, such as farm access restrictions or unsuitable roads.

Collection

“OptaHaul is a specialised route optimisation solution designed with, and for, the dairy industry,” said OptaHaul chief executive Gary Gallagher.

“Milk collection transport poses a unique challenge in terms of logistics. Not only is milk a perishable good requiring time-sensitive transport planning, but once it is collected from farms it may be delivered to any one of a number of possible destinations, including factories, depending on prevailing business requirements.

“This complexity adopts a different approach to that of traditional logistic software solutions which were designed to plan deliveries to pre-determined destinations according to the capacity of the fleet. To achieve real carbon emission reductions in milk collection it is imperative that all of its unique factors are taken into consideration.”

According to figures from the EPA, agriculture was responsible for more than 35 per cent of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Dairy production is considered a significant contributor to overall agricultural emissions.

Processor

The company developed its technology with a large dairy processor in Hungary, and has now undergone rigorous testing with Ireland’s dairy operators. The company is targeting a global market, fielding interest from milk processors in Ireland, Continental Europe and the United States.

“From a financial point of view the OptaHaul solution also makes sense. Instead of implementing traditional on-premise systems, OptaHaul’s ‘software as a service’ platform provides a timely return on investment by eliminating capital expenditure, while becoming operational within a short timeframe,” Mr Gallagher said.

Among Optahaul’s backers are former Aurivo chief executive Aaron Forde, and with Zoosh Investment Partnership, a private fund of Irish angel investors led by Bert Farrell.