New Irish start-up to transform milk collection logistics
Irish dairy production is the most efficient in the EU – with low levels of carbon emissions thanks to our temperate climate and grass-based, family-farming system – but is still a significant contributor to agricultural emissions.
Part of the mission of new Irish software start-up company OptaHaul will be to achieve major efficiencies for the Irish dairy industry and their hauliers by addressing a significant portion of their carbon emissions – the transport of milk from farm to plant.
The planning and management of raw milk collection from farms is a critical and costly procedure, representing over 30% of the total processing costs within the dairy industry.
Farmers, hauliers and factory personnel all play a role in these complex operations, which are dependent on a wide range of constantly changing parameters – including factory capacities, weather conditions, load limitations, bulk storage capacity and variations in milk supply.
OptaHaul uses advanced mathematical algorithms that automatically calculate optimal route plans, while at the same time controlling transport costs, maximising tanker utilisation and reducing carbon emissions.
Gary Gallagher, OptaHaul
The flexible system records and tracks all relevant information about milk suppliers, lorries, tankers and processing factories in a simple interface.
“Using OptaHaul technology ‘what-if’ scenarios allow users to model changes to plans resulting from machine downtime, supplier issues, variations in milk supply and changes to factory requirements,” said Gary Gallagher, who heads up the Mullingar-based company. “The system uses embedded interactive mapping technology to provide a visual representation of both optimised and actual routes so that dairy processors can easily identify cost saving opportunities or underperforming routes.
“Users can even manually add unsuitable roads based on local knowledge and include farm access restrictions in plans to deliver the best route optimisation results – a feature hotly requested by Irish dairy processors due to the access challenges some rural farms can pose for large milk lorries.”