The story of TIMOCOM begins early in the morning in the parking lot of a German discount grocery store in Düsseldorf. In this week of 1997, desktop computers are on sale, which freight forwarder Jens Thiermann can put to good use for his IT start-up project. His goal is to develop a pan-European platform for placing transport orders that will help freight forwarders and carriers find short-term loads, reduce the number of empty kilometers and thus achieve better utilization of their vehicles.
“It all started when I was looking for a pan-European platform for placing transport orders in order to reduce the empty runs of my transport company. However, I couldn’t find one that met my requirements,” Thiermann explains. Together with business partners, Thiermann spent months tinkering with software for his own freight exchange. And finally the time had come: The founder of Timocom Soft- und Hardware GmbH pressed the start button and watched the freshly launched freight and cargo exchange Truck & Cargo fill up with offers.
The task now was to expand the network of the new freight exchange and enable logistics to go digital, because even modems were still uncharted territory at that point. “It was a feeling of absolute joy, relief and, at the same time, the announcement of a great responsibility – even though we didn’t know at the time how everything would develop,” Jens Thiermann recounts when he thinks back on it today.
Measurable benefits spur the freight exchange
The Freight Exchange was what road freight in Europe had been waiting for since the invention of the fax machine. That’s because it brought measurable benefits. His company owes an 80% time saving in processes to TIMOCOM’s applications, says Wilhelm Dallmann, an early customer with Dallmaco Speditionsges. mbH. After just a few years, the young TIMOCOM company opened locations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to better serve the key markets in Eastern Europe and exceeded the 10,000 customer mark.
Today, the company has over 50,000 customers with more than 147,000 system users in 46 European countries. Every year, they perform the incredible number of 1.5 billion freight queries in the system. And for a long time now, TIMOCOM has not just been initiating deals, but has been working on the digitalization of the entire transport process.
“Our vision is a world without logistical challenges,” says Tim Thiermann. The eldest son of the founder took over the management together with Sebastian Lehnen in 2019. This means that the IT company is now managed by the second generation. And the new company bosses have set themselves the goal of not only continuing the family business and the freight exchange, but also making it the largest and most secure marketplace in the FreightTech industry. “To achieve this, we are investing around 100 million euros in research and development alone by 2030,” explains Tim Thiermann.
20 percent CO2 savings through digital applications
One of the areas of investment is sustainability, which has become increasingly important in all sectors in recent years. Digital applications and freight exchanges play a special role in reducing CO2 emissions in logistics. More than 20 percent CO2 emissions per kilometer driven can be saved through the use of TIMOCOM applications, as a study has shown – while at the same time increasing the utilization of the vehicle fleet by 30 percent.
Soon, TIMOCOM customers will be able to calculate their own carbon footprint via the marketplace. “By working with a young, innovative company, we are helping our customers to make the CO2 savings in their fleets visible,” says Tim Thiermann.
The potential of road freight transport is enormous. After all, the transport sector is the largest CO2 emitter in Europe, and road freight accounts for a quarter of this. At the same time, one in five trucks runs empty. The need for efficient use of resources is therefore just as topical today as it was in 1997.