Partner Spotlight: Revolutionizing transport & logistics, with Tobias Bohnhoff

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .


As part of the Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Initiative, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we’re continuing to highlight solutions that are enabling broader societal impact, and our partners’ journeys growing their business on the marketplace. With COP28 ongoing, sustainability is top of mind. In this edition, I sat down with shipzero Co-founder & CEO Tobias Bohnhoff to learn more about their story and partner journey. shipzero is also a participant of Microsoft Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact.


About Tobias: Tobias Bohnhoff is Co-founder and CEO of shipzero. In 2018 he, together with Mirko Schedlbauer, founded the Hamburg-based data platform for collecting, calculating and analyzing emissions data in transport and logistics. Previously, Tobias Bohnhoff worked as Head of Market Analytics at Statista and as senior strategy consultant at LSP Digital. As a graduate geographer and innovation manager he has been engaged in the digital and data-driven transformation of industries since the beginning of his career. Tobias Bohnhoff engages as an EU Climate Pact Ambassador and Deputy Head Region North of the German Federal Association for Artificial Intelligence.


About Anthony: Anthony leads the worldwide initiative Microsoft's Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact. 

Microsoft Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact supports the entrepreneurs, who are using technology to solve our world's most pressing challenges.



[AV]: Tell us about shipzero and its mission. What inspired the founding?

[TB]: shipzero is dedicated to revolutionizing the transport and logistics industry through innovative technology. Our mission is to simplify and harmonize disparate data sets across the logistics sector, enabling more efficient operations, proven and compliant reduction reporting, and insights to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of logistics activities. The inspiration for founding our company stemmed from the critical need to address environmental concerns in logistics as the only industry not managing to overcome rebound effects from growing global trade. We aim to empower businesses with accurate data to make environmentally conscious decisions. 


[AV]: Can you tell us a bit about the application you have available on the marketplace? How does it work? 

[TB]: Our application available on the Azure marketplace is a comprehensive solution designed to aggregate and analyze data from various sources in the transport and logistics industry. It utilizes Azure’s robust cloud infrastructure to compute the carbon emission footprint of individual shipments and logistics activities. The application works by integrating with existing systems, collecting and harmonizing data, and then applying advanced algorithms to calculate the carbon footprint. This data is made accessible to our customers via APIs, enabling them to make informed decisions about their logistics operations. 


[AV]: How has Microsoft supported you along your journey on the marketplace? 

[TB]: Our journey on the Azure marketplace has been significantly enhanced by Microsoft's support. Microsoft has provided invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of cloud-based application deployment and marketplace integration. Their technical guidance, market insights, and promotional support have been instrumental in refining our product and reaching a wider audience. 


[AV]: What Microsoft cloud products did you use in your app development, and how did you decide to use those products? 

[TB]: We have extensively used a range of Microsoft cloud products, primarily Azure services, in our app development. Key services include Azure databases and storage solutions for collecting and processing real-time IoT data, and the Azure Security Center for ensuring data security, integrity and availability. The decision to use these products was driven by their reliability, scalability, and the comprehensive nature of Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem, which allowed seamless integration of various services.


[AV]: How is shipzero leveraging or planning to leverage AI in app development? 

[TB]: shipzero is actively leveraging AI to enhance app functionality. AI plays a crucial role in predictive analytics, helping to forecast emissions in procurement and tendering processes. It also aids in optimizing and quality controlling data sets with flawed or missing records to ensure a comprehensive picture on carbon emissions without spending tremendous efforts on improving the data quality in manual processes. Our future plans include integrating more advanced AI features for deeper insights and automated decision-making capabilities. 


We are also using GitHub Copilot, which supports us especially in repetitive coding work, such as generating code-snippets (e.g. error handling, class skeletons, etc.), code-auto-completion, or automated creation of in-line documentation. This eases up parts of the work of our development team significantly.   


[AV]: How do you use user feedback to improve your app and user experience? 

[TB]: User feedback is a cornerstone of our continuous improvement strategy. We actively solicit feedback through multiple channels and use it to inform our development process. This approach helps us to identify and prioritize features that add the most value to our users, enhance usability, and ensure that our app continually evolves to meet the changing needs of the industry.


[AV]: How has networking with other ISVs and Microsoft experts influenced your app development and marketing strategies? 

[TB]: Networking with other ISVs and Microsoft experts has had a significant impact on both our app development and marketing strategies. Insights from these interactions have helped us stay abreast of industry trends, understand best practices, and avoid common pitfalls. It has also facilitated partnerships that have been instrumental in accelerating our growth and enhancing our product offering. 


[AV]: What excites you about the future of tech? 

[TB]: The rapid pace of technological advancement, especially in AI, cloud computing, and IoT, excites us immensely. These technologies have the potential to transform industries, making operations more efficient, data-driven, and environmentally sustainable. We are particularly excited about the prospects of AI in automating complex decision-making processes and driving the integration of sustainability aspects into the day-to-day operations in logistics.


[AV]: What advice would you give to other ISVs who are considering publishing their apps on Microsoft's commercial marketplace? 

[TB]: For ISVs considering publishing their apps on Microsoft's commercial marketplace, our advice is to thoroughly understand the marketplace’s requirements and leverage the resources provided by Microsoft. It’s crucial to focus on building a scalable, secure, and user-friendly application that addresses a clear market need. Networking and collaboration within the Microsoft ecosystem can also provide valuable insights and growth opportunities.


[AV]: Are there any best practices or lessons learned that you would like to share with aspiring ISVs? 

[TB]: Key lessons we’ve learned include the importance of building a flexible and scalable architecture, ensuring strict compliance with security standards, and maintaining a user-centric approach in development. Regularly updating the app with new features and improvements based on user feedback, and regulatory adaptions is also crucial. Lastly, effective marketing and clear communication of the app's value proposition are essential for success in the marketplace.


[AV]: shipzero is a part of Microsoft’s Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact, supporting the UN SDGs. How does being a part of this program align with the values and mission of your company?

[TB]: The program aligns with our values and mission in the sense that we strive to tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Currently, the transport and logistics sector is responsible for about a quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and it is the only major industry with emissions continuously rising. Decarbonizing this industry plays a crucial role in achieving ambitious climate targets and mitigating climate change. But this cannot happen in isolation. As Entrepreneurship for Positive Impact rightfully emphasizes, it takes synergies between the right technology, partners and resources. With shipzero, we facilitate collaboration and make the process of collecting and analyzing emissions data accessible, efficient and user-friendly. Ultimately, it takes a net-zero movement to succeed, and with our work, we strive to accelerate it. 



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