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22: The Last Mile of E-Commerce - with Milo Stössel, the Co-Founder of Quickpac

Updated: Aug 21, 2023


Milo is 44 years old, born and raised in Saint Gallen, Switzerland. He studied at the University of Saint Gallen, where he completed a Masters of Law.


Since 2005 he has been working for the MS Direct Group, where he was the CEO from 2008 to 2022. He helped to create both Quickmail and Quickpac. He is passionate about investing in the early stages of startups and it a tesla enthusiast. In his home life, he is the father of two boys and and the husband to his loving wife.




You can listen to this episode here:


You can also listen to this podcast at Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or other major podcast distributors:


What is the last mile in eCommerce?


The demand for last-mile transport is increasing.


To satisfy customers’ ever-rising desire to buy products online, the number of delivery vehicles in the top 100 cities globally will increase by 36% until 2030. Consequently, emissions from delivery traffic will increase by 32%.


The study suggest to minimize the impact by following measures:



What is Quickpac:

Quickpac is Europes first ever parcel delivery service to fully rely on electric cars for the delivery of parcels. It was founded in 2019 as an extension of Quickmail AG.

They are currently partnered as a delivery service with many brands including Nespresso, InterDiscount, SmartPhoto, and Ackermann.


Quickpac uses an AI guided mapping strategy to optimize delivery route and prevent over-driving during delivery (Source: Quickpac)



Quickpac Quick Facts:

  • Quickpac has over 330+ Employees (Source: Quickpac)

  • They deliver over 5 million packages a year (and have delivered over 11 million since its founding in 2019 (Source: Quickpac)

  • Currently has a fleet of over 300 electric vehicles (Source: Quickpac)

  • Has helped avoid 5000+ tonnes of CO2 due to e-commerce (Source: Quickpac)


Milo's Quote of Choice:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."


Milo's Podcast Recommendation:

  • Humans and AI by Siemens


In this episode we address the following questions:

  • It would be great if you guide us through your entrepreneurial journey and what made you decide to start Quickpac as the first full electrical last mile provider? 2:30

  • What was the driving factor behind founding Quickpac? 5:05

  • Were you able to build off of the infrastructure from Quickmail AG? 7:07

  • How does Quickpac work? 8:04

  • How does E-comerce compare to in-person shopping for CO2 emissions? 13:30

  • It is good for returns to be made easier? 19:00

  • What strategies are you using to make it to net zero? 20:20

  • Where are we when it comes to electric vehicles? 22:45

  • Are electric vehicles or hydrogen vehicles better? 24:10

  • What other net zero initiatives are you a part of? 25:20

  • What are the plans for the future and what are the biggest challenges you face? 28:00

  • How have you seen the market cool down? 31:43

  • What is your advice to other founders? 33:00

  • What books or podcasts do you reccomend? 34:00

  • What makes you confident that we can solve the climate crisis? 36:15

  • How can people get in touch with you? 39:00



Memorable quotes from the episode by Milo:

"Emissions in commerce really depends on how you choose to consume."

"For us sustainability is a way of thinking and of working."

"What is very important [when folding a company] is the goal and mission of your company, and a reliable business plan."


"It makes me confident that we have many people, many organizations, many executives who really want [sustainability in business and commerce]."






Website Quickpac: https://quickpac.ch/en

Email: milo.stoessel@ms-direct.ch

Twitter: @Milostoessel

 

Transcript based on AI and beta- status:


Voice Over:0:00

You are listening to Sustain Now. In this podcast, you will learn from successful entrepreneurs and scientists about the newest climate change solutions to address the climate crisis, from food and agri-tech over energy material innovation to circular economy. This nonprofit podcast is hosted by Frederica. She is a tech entrepreneur and climate enthusiast. You can find show notes and background information on wwwSustainNowch. Enjoy the show.

Friederike :0:35

In today's episode, I'm speaking with Myles Stresl, co-founder and CEO of the Swiss Transvirtation Startup, quickpack. Their mission is to fulfill the transition of e-commerce to be more sustainable and seamless. Quickpack is the only one in Switzerland with a 100% electric vehicle fleet for last mile delivery. Founded in 2019, quickpack quickly scaled up to 6 delivery hubs, 300 vehicles and above 300 employees. At SwissCommerce, my former company, we were actually one of the first customers to use their services. In this episode, we will talk about the challenges to create a sustainable fleet, scaling up and how to balance shopping convenience with sustainability. Myles, thank you so much for joining my podcast, sustainnow.

Milo:1:29

Thanks for having me.

Friederike :1:30

Actually, we have known each other for quite some time in e-commerce space in Switzerland, so I'm even more excited about your journey of QuickPack. When I was researching it, I was really, really surprised because I've known you as the CEO of MS Direct for quite some time. We were in the same space doing fulfillment logistics and we were in a lot of conversations in many times. But what we really were surprised at me that you were also the founder of QuickMail and as well later on, of QuickPack. We actually used QuickMail. I remember that because we had a big catalog sending out every year and we were like we need to find a cheaper option in the Swiss post. In the end, we were actually using QuickMail. Now you founded QuickPack, I was wondering if you'd just like to create competitors to the Swiss post. That's your personal goal or your personal journey. I would like to know a little bit more about what has been your entrepreneurial journey and what made you decide to swap QuickPack as the first full electrical last mile provider.

Milo:2:36

Yeah, thanks for this question. Maybe I could look back in the past. My background is our family company, which is MS Direct Group, which is now a fulfillment provider for e-commerce Back in these days. My father founded it in 1978. We were a logistics and call center service provider for the traditional catalog mail order industry. That's where I'm coming from. In 2005, the company and that is my background, our main industry, were, at these days, mail order catalog companies and then more and more, online shop and e-commerce provider. We were founding QuickMail 2009 when the monopoly in Switzerland fell at least to the 50 grams. Fortunately, we still have now, 14 years After 2009,. We still have a rest monopoly on 50 grams. But yeah, we were seeing this as an opportunity for our clients and this is very important. We never founded not QuickMail, neither QuickPack against anybody, against Swiss Post or anybody else, but we founded it for something, for a more efficient way direct marketing, catalogs, mailings etc. To distribute in Switzerland. We were seeing we can make a model where it's possible to distribute these physical mailings. That was our goal, that was our objective. Still is our objective QuickMail to distribute these direct marketing campaigns over 50 grams in Switzerland. More or less the same was at QuickPack. We were founding QuickPack for the last mile, because we were thinking it needs a more sustainable and more flexible or agile way to distribute parcels in Switzerland. That's how the idea developed itself into a company which we have today, but also there, not against Swiss Post, tpd or anybody else. It was for this reason for our mission.

Friederike :4:47

When you started QuickPack, looking back, was it more about thinking about how can we make it more efficient? Because in one part, is this very innovative system of sorting what I would love to hear a little bit more about as well but the other part is really going full electric this last mile. What has been more the driving factor? Or was it thinking about what kind of more value can be bringing or what kind of more sustainability? What has been the driving factor to actually found QuickPack?

Milo:5:14

Yeah, frederic, I can remember this day very, very good. We were at the workshop at the Lake of Zurich with QuickMail and some other partners. After this workshop, having a beer, we were discussing about parcel. This was 2016. We were only distributing mailings and we had this chat. We said it must be possible. We have now a network covering Switzerland. We have over 3,000 employees. How can we use our systems, our processes, our network to distribute parcel? Because we have to think back at this day, the industry e-commerce was, let's say, in a very good shape. We were growing every year more or less 10 percent. The online retailers were thinking how can we differentiate ourselves? It was speed and sustainability started to come very important, become very important for many online retailers. Then we were thinking yeah, for me it was really the condition, without I wouldn't have found it co-founded QuickPack. I said we have to do it only electric because, first of all, for sustainability reasons, to differentiate ourselves from the other last mile carriers. This was really important for our team and myself. And the other thing, as you described, was we never can afford sorting machines, sorting centers like Swiss Post or DPD or others. So we were thinking how can we do it manually or by software or by process design, to achieve more or less the same sort in figures as the big providers. And then it took almost more than a year until this idea, after a workshop, was transformed into a business idea, a business plan, and then, in the end, convincing investors to invest in it. It was late 2018 and 2019. We started with Quipek.

Friederike :7:24

Amazing. And did you already have infrastructure from QuikMails? Did you deliver it by your own people driving around? Did you do it by yourself? Right, had your own cars and deliver it everywhere right?

Milo:7:37

Yes, exactly, that's a very good question and we were thinking a lot about this and first, as I described, this was the idea let's use this network, these people, these systems and infrastructure. But more and more we were seeing that it is a different business, it is a different process. We need different infrastructure, people, processes, it systems, etc. So it developed that we really had to found a new organization apart. So that's why we have today QuikMail as an entity and Quipek as an other entity. But it was also a thinking process and the learning process for ourselves and it has to be also. The reason is also. One of the reasons is also that by QuikMail we only distribute two days a week, so Thursday and Friday, which, of course, you are an expert of the industry. It's not comparable to five days or even six days distributing parcels in the e-commerce.

Friederike :8:39

Yeah, absolutely so. When you started it. Maybe you can explain a little bit more to the listeners the e-commerce value chain and where you actually sit, because you know e-commerce is an extremely hard business and an extremely complex value chain to manage. So maybe you can quickly know what means really last mile, so what you're doing, what you don't doing, and maybe you can walk us through the process of how does actually QuikPak work from you know. Does the products get delivered to you? Do you pick it up just to get an overview of how this whole process works?

Milo:9:13

Yeah, I'd love to. So we are covering the last mile in Switzerland 100% electric. So far, we have 55% of Switzerland households and over 70% of the German speaking households, which are our main client groups, targeting the German speaking part of Switzerland. So it starts with multi-carrier availability or ability from our clients and which we believe in will be very important for the future of e-commerce, online retailers that most of them all of them should be multi-carrier, have the ability to be multi -carrier. That's where we start. So our clients they separate all the parcels for, let's say, examples we've posed and make another chain of QuikPak parcels and then they deliver to us or we collect them at their warehouses. Both of it is possible. Always depends on the line halls for our clients, how often they drive, how much space they have left, etc. How the routes are, but basically we collect the parcels and then they come into one of our depots.

Friederike :10:23

How many do you?

Milo:10:24

have. We have now 60 posts in Switzerland. Next year we should open at least one, maybe two. And the clients they can basically deliver into one of these depots. It's better if they deliver into the central depot in Neuendorf, but basically they can deliver in Winter Tour, in the Etikon, in St Gallen, in Lutsern, wherever, and then we distribute the parcels to all our depots. That can be during the day, most of the time it happens during night, and then the next day. We have two lines, so we go out in the morning and in the evening. That is also one of the things we do differently than other carriers in Switzerland, so we drive out two times a day every day. Yeah, so then this will be distributed. Then we have the evening chain where the other parcels go, and the same day delivery parcels, because we have also some clients they basically Swiss retailers. They use QuickPack as a same day chain and line hall, and then in the evening there comes the same day parcels. Yeah, so we are very flexible. Let's say we don't have very strict opening hours for the trucks. We can distribute them easily on the parcels because we don't have any sorting machine, any automated sorting machine. When we collect the parcels then they come to us, we scan the label of the parcels basically the same, more or less the same label as they use for Swiss Post or others and then we put on our own label. Our own label, which is very important, I think you come to this later. It's a colored label and we have our dynamic route planning in it hidden. So this is very important. We label it ourselves and then we can distribute our sort all these parcels manually. Our main power mostly, mostly the same people, also the drivers. They sort themselves the parcels for their tours, which is cool, because then they have their own responsibility, their own way of getting the parcels into their cars, so we don't have their different responsibilities.

Friederike :12:47

Okay. So it's like they sorted as well, then they tell as well which one goes like totally in the front of the car, which was the last parcel has to go in to actually make the route quite efficient. And right now you're doing this last mile. So just for people who may be not coming out of the e-commerce space, that means if you select in an online shop, you will have different options how to ship a parcel. So either here in Switzerland, swiss Post, it's DPD or it's QuickPack, and when you select QuickPack, it's that moment the fulfillment centers are packaging it and sometimes it gets picked up by you. Sometimes you know you, we as an e-commerce provider, shipping it then to one depot and you are actually taking care of that last mile to the actual consumers. And there have been a lot of discussions as well about is that actually less CO2 intensive than persons are driving to, let's say, to a city to buy the product? I think there have been a lot of studies about and a lot of discussions about is e-commerce actually worse or is e-commerce actually better in terms of CO2. Do you know more about that, especially coming in with your perspective of last mile being electric, etc.

Milo:14:02

I mean, as you say, frédéric, there were many, many studies for the one argumentation and for the other. My main takeaway of all these studies was it really depends how you consume. Let's say like this if you go by bicycle or by public transportation to the city once a week and then you buy your new shoes and your eggs and your milk and your books and maybe your sport, wear whatever, and take this home also by bike or public transport, I think it's clear, it's obvious that this is more sustainable than doing it by mail or by e-commerce. But I think that is not the reality. I mean, people buy goods, stuff, when they want it, when they need it, and so that is the main differentiation. So if you go into the city by car only to buy a pair of shoes and the next day you go and buy the milk and egg and whatever, I think, then at least my study I have in mind and of course, I orientate myself then it's more efficient or more sustainable by e-commerce. Why? Because we have central warehouses. So from a central point, from central warehouses, not many retail stores in the country. So this is a differentiation. From there, all the orders go directly to there, where it's bought and it only goes there when it's bought. Of course, we have returns, but it's not shipped to any store with the possibility that it will be bought someday. No, it goes there when someone clicks the button online and buys it, and I think this is generally the differentiation and the huge potential of e-commerce in terms of sustainability. But of course, it depends how the line hall is organized and that's exactly where we went into 2016-2017, saying one of the main critic factors of e-commerce is this diesel transportation coming later during the day into your street, and that's why we went in there. And our goal is to make this last mile which, by the way, makes, I think, 85% of the whole CO2 emission of a parcel is the last mile. So this is the most effective way of making e-commerce more sustainable. Our goal is to make this net zero, I think 2028.

Friederike :16:37

The 85. I guess that's without taking the scope 3, so the actual products into account. If probably the, the t-shirt or whatever is shipped in there, is probably having way more CO2 impact where it's produced Sure.

Milo:16:50

not only that.

Friederike :16:50

Then yeah, I think that's always important to look at when we look at all these CO2 optimizations we sometimes forget is that the actual production, the cotton production, the coloring, that transportation is actually? And then it doesn't say it's not as important, but it's like I think it takes 5 or 4-5% of the actual product. The CO2 footprint is transportation, but it doesn't mean that it should not get optimized. But I think what you exactly said is a lot about shopping behavior as well, what you're shopping, and one of the part is as well returns, what you just mentioned before. Do you cover as well returns right now, or is your plans to go there, I think, still in Switzerland, I think the average is 25%, 22, 25% of returns. Of course, fashion has way more, but then you have the hobby, other products which are way less. What are your plans there?

Milo:17:41

Yeah, that's a very good timing because in this summer we are starting now with the H&M with our product called QuickPick, which is seamless way of picking up returns at your home. For us it's like the reverse process of delivering a parcel, picking up a parcel, but it's not so different in the tour planning etc. Because it's just not a drop-off, it's a drop-on point which we include in our routing Basically. Yes, we start in these days, as we speak, with the first clients. For us it's very important because at QuickPick we have a lot of fashion clients and it's very important. We believe there that one thing is the picking up by electric cars makes it more sustainable, but the other thing is it has to be more seamless because it's still a hassle if you have returns taking sometimes the big parcels into the city. You have the opening hours. It's not that easy as it should be. There are many examples. If you look at globally commerce development, for example, I know that in India this is a very important step for the success of e-commerce. It's the seamless picking up of returns at home. That's where we go into in these days with our product called QuickPick.

Friederike :18:58

You could probably say, the philosophy questions. Is it good to? That's what many are discussing. Is it good to promote more returns, that it's actually easier? I remember these discussions where I was running Swiss commerce. What about making it for free? What about making it easier and more seamlessly? Are we going to promote returns? But, as you said, I believe as well, returns are just part of the e-commerce game. When you're in it, you have to handle returns and you have to handle it properly. Then at least you know, do the returns more sustainable in that sense, how you transport it. I think it's a good step in the right direction.

Milo:19:34

My personal opinion. First of all, in this word nothing is free. So free returns or free parcel delivery means you pay it somewhere else, so nothing is free in that sense. On the other hand, I think what we want to achieve is that the returns gain more value. I mean, it is part of the shopping experience and it is the same when you go into a wardrobe, when you try yourself different shirts and one of three you take home. Then you have two lying there and someone has to make them nice again, to sell them again. So you always have this try-on process in shopping, especially when we talk about fashion. And I think what we can achieve is that with QuickPick it's more like a finishing of the shopping experience. It's like, let's say, like this making returns can be fun or something like this. So it's just easy, but it's not the hassle. We want to make it hassle-free and of course we believe it will be maybe a little bit higher than the return rate, but it's also customer retention possibility that you have just happier customer.

Friederike :20:45

You spoke before about NetZero. I think you said 2028 or something. Netzero what about the whole company? If you take QuickPack as a whole company, what's your? Do you have a NetZero goal? How do you want to achieve it? Besides having, instead of fossil fuel cars, e-cars, what are the other initiatives you're driving to actually go to NetZero?

Milo:21:11

For us, sustainability. It's a way of thinking and of working, so it's very important that we try all the best to achieve it in our whole company. We must say we are a startup, we are ramping up. We have lots of challenges about ramping up the infrastructure and all these things to do, so that's why we are focusing on the last mile, and now we are focusing on the line haul from the warehouses into our depots or between our depots, as I mentioned before. Of course, we have a lot of transportation within the depots and that's our main focus now that we make this line haul zero emission by electric trucks, by that trucks with e-fuels or other sustainable fuels, and that's what we want. Of course it's a long journey because most of the trucks are still diesel trucks and so a cost factor cost factor, anybody has to pay so but that's, that's our second big leverage we can do.

Friederike :22:09

Just to understand it first, so for the others as well to understand. So of course, if you pick up in a fulfillment center, you have like thousands of parcels which you have to pick up from one fulfillment center and bring it to your depot. So it's it's not possible to do that in your small cars. You will have to have a big truck actually to pick it up.

Milo:22:25

Yeah.

Friederike :22:26

Where are we standing right now in this? I've seen like one electric truck I think it was a test in St Gallen, I think which they try to use, but it's quite difficult because they have to be longer because of the battery they're actually storing. So there's a lot of discussion there. How do you see that? Where do we stand right now in the transportation business in overview no, like thinking about the truck business what do you think like, where do we stand there and how long is going to take actually that you can use it? There will be probably no price parity to right now. It will take some time to get the cream premium down, but how do you see that in general? And then let's go to the next zero. What else are you doing?

Milo:23:06

Of course we are still very much in the beginning. I can tell you a figure, but I can only look at our own line hall and I think we have only two clients of about 70 clients. They want that we only transport within the depots, so by electric cars, electric trucks or the fuel. So it's a mindset still has to come and on the other hand, of course, the technology. I think an electric truck costs you almost a double but it comes down rapidly and costs and so, if you ask me, I don't know, I think in two years, maybe in two years, the market share of electric trucks will be massively until maybe 40, 30, 40 percent. Speaking of quick pack, yeah, but it's still a way to go. And, as I mentioned before, our central depot, hegendorf, where we distribute the parcels. There we can look in two years maybe, how many electric trucks come in there, but it's hard to predict, to be honest. But, as I said, we focus on this beside of the last mile and also pushing our clients into these sustainable line halls. It's a cost factor, so it takes time and costs of the trucks have to come down and we have to get this cost into the pricing.

Friederike :24:25

So do you see rather electric, or rather hydrogen trucks coming up?

Milo:24:29

I think two years ago everybody was talking about hydrogen trucks in the logistics industry. But now more and more electric trucks come, and I think especially for us, for quick pack, which use these trucks only within Switzerland, I think electric trucks can be the solution, or let's say, the more obvious solution, because we have the charging infrastructure, can charge by night. You don't have to have other infrastructure. I mean, we are not buying any trucks, so we just work together with our logistics partners. But to be honest, we don't mind if it's hydrogen or electric. But I think, as I see a little bit more now, it's electric trucks are coming.

Friederike :25:19

So you would actually this line hall coming from the e-commerce provider to you. Right now you're using third party providers who are actually doing the transportation.

Milo:25:28

Yeah, exactly.

Friederike :25:29

So what else kind of net zero initiatives you're having as a quick pack?

Milo:25:34

As a quick pack. Of course, we have the employee sector, where we try that the employees come by public transportation to work, and all these measures. We are also able to join, which is from our family company, ms Direct Group. There we are part of the science based target initiative and I think this is a very good initiative and we have their cooperation that we all also can make some projects. So far we don't have any actual project I can talk about. As I said, we are very much in the ramping up and focus on these two line houses, as I talked before. One thing to add, because I forgot this, because it's just so daily business. I mean what quick pack also does in some way of differentiate ourselves in the market is we have a dynamic route planning which means that every day, two times a day, the morning and in the afternoon, we are calculating the routes or the tours of the parcels lying into our six different day posts, which is very much different, that the others do only drive, let's say, into a certain area when we have to distribute their specific parcels. And it can be that the driver which is also a little bit challenging, but it can be that the driver has not completely but has quite different routes a Monday compared to Tuesday. But that makes us also more sustainable or CO2 efficient because we only drive there if you have to. We don't have any static tour planning. We don't have always the same tour, and sometimes you stop at the number X, epsilon, or you don't, but you drive the same tour as others do. So this is also, I think, one very important measure we can do.

Friederike :27:24

So this is how you try to reduce energy consumption by this dynamic plan.

Milo:27:30

It's always choosing the ideal combination of the delivery address. And we have the cool, modern AI powered tour planning software we use for that.

Friederike :27:42

Super interesting. So you just mentioned several times, like the scaling up pain, which I think everyone knows how that is, who's running a startup and trying to scale, and especially transportation or logistics, is a very tough business to be in because you usually get squeezed from all the sides. So what are the key challenges you're facing in the next two, three years? What kind of plans of future do you have? Are you planning to go outside of Switzerland? Do you want to? Right now, probably just conquer Switzerland. So what are the plans for the future and what are the biggest challenges you're facing to actually reach them?

Milo:28:19

Big question. I mean, where do we come from? Where do we come from? We founded the company just right before COVID and then COVID came. On the one hand, it was good for us because the whole industry was looking for alternative last mile carriers because they were main most of them. They were only working together with one last mile carrier and then suddenly they were thinking we cannot be dependent on only one and but we were not ready. That was the problem. We had 20% coverage.

Friederike :28:52

These days, I think we were one of the first ones, I think we were the second or third, or something Exactly.

Milo:29:00

Thanks for that. Yeah, but this was really a hard challenge because most of them said, hey, cool that you do that, Cool that there is another alternative, especially a sustainable alternative. But the comeback when you have at least 50% of Switzerland, not everybody thinking like you. But and we're coming a little bit out of this now Now we gain big clients and this is now our biggest challenge to organize this ramp up Main means fleet. The fleet we have now over 300 electric cars. We have to have at least 20 to 40 more this year, not talking about about next year. It's according to our plans. It's not even half of the whole fleet. So this is very much cost intensive and a big investment for our investors. And then you have the depots. We have 60 posts we have do not cover the western parts of the French part and the Italian part of Switzerland. We have to think about these regions how and when, in which way do we cover them? And, of course, you have the people. And, as I mentioned before, we have a lot of changes almost every day with our software, with our processes, with our driver app and things like this, which is very good because we are a good learning and self learning organization, but it's also a challenge to always get these changes into the organization. And, of course, on the market side, it's about investment. We are in fundraising period, seeking for investors Just a tough environment these days. It's hard to understand it. I mean, one year ago, two years ago, we were talking about last mile e-commerce, electric zero-emotion. I think many, many investors would have given you the money you need or as much money you wanted, and now it's a completely different world. This is definitely our biggest challenge now because it's an infrastructure business, it's a scale business, it costs business. We need the cars, we need the depots, we need not the sorting machines, but of course there we need the software, etc.

Friederike :31:06

So it's a very complex, intensive.

Milo:31:09

Tech-lipped yes.

Friederike :31:10

Intensive industry. Absolutely I can't imagine. How do you see coming a little bit from the market perspective and hence you know I'm also on the board of other companies I've seen kind of a cool down of the whole e-commerce space as well In Switzerland. I was very surprised that actually Switzerland as well experienced that. Do you see that as well, that overall there's a little bit after the COVID race? I would say that has been quite a cool down this year. Do you see the same?

Milo:31:39

Yeah, of course I mean definitely logic of these two years it has to be different. But we see, of course. We see there is a market consolidation going on which maybe in the long run is not bad and maybe it's healthy for our industry In the short run. It's hard and painful for many people, many companies, many organizations. But I think you have the thing that now everybody, like we, also have to face more profitability than growth, and this is the main challenge, I think, for our industry. We were so into the growth the last 10 years and now everybody has to feel how it feels If you don't have growth, you lose market share or lose volume or lose orders a year, and what to do there. And so I think this is a hard but very important learning period we're going through.

Friederike :32:33

So you know, I have a lot of other founders that interview which are totally in different space, but not in transportation, not in e-commerce, but also in very capex heavy industries. I had an interview with someone who's doing plastic factories out of biodegradable plastic etc. And one which is doing a lot in cultivated meat. There's a lot of actually also capex which are totally different business there's. Coming now from your experience out of a very capex heavy, very efficiently driven, very price sensitive area, what would be your recommendation to these other founders who are maybe a little bit further behind than you are. What would your recommendation, coming from a totally different space but thinking about, if you have a capex intense business in sustainability, what would be your recommendations to them?

Milo:33:27

Okay, I thought you want to ask about the last month or twice will be Think twice before you go into the last mile, because this is very tough. This is very tough and low margin, high capex exposure and very, very tough. So I think in the end, what is very important is the goal and division of your company and a reliable business plan. I think this is my main advice I will give to anybody. It's not anymore these years where we can make only hoax sticks and visualize any hopes or dreams. I think we have to be realistic and maybe also more patient when you reach breakeven or whatever. So I think this is, especially for these capex intense businesses, very important. This is a reliable, good business plan for the investors because I mean never before, but in these days less you don't want to have bad surprises when you have such an exposure in any kind of infrastructure. You're investing in it because you want to know when is paying this infrastructure back.

Friederike :34:29

Are there any specific books, podcasts, resources that have a significant impact on your journey?

Milo:34:36

On my journey. This is quite personal. I mean I read a lot, but I must say maybe really, the book mostly changed my way of thinking and maybe my life was really the biography of Elon Musk, which I think I'm not saying everything he does is perfect, but I think he had really early and entrepreneurial and a visionary view what to do and what to change in this world. I mean talking especially about electric cars and that electric cars must be fun. If they're not fun and not good and not fast, you would not sell it and think like this. So this is, for me, was one of the best book to read. Podcasts, of course, so stay now. I would recommend to everybody. Yeah, and the quick back news. I read a lot on LinkedIn. To be honest, linkedin for me, is a very, very important source of my network, of my community, which I learned from almost every day and I like it very much as well. Twitter, but I don't have any specific podcast listening to every day. I have one. I would recommend. It's on Apple and from Siemens, which is very good. It's more about artificial intelligence, but I think which is very, very important for everybody of us.

Friederike :35:51

We can otherwise distribute it over the block later on If you send it to me, I'll send it to you. That would be great. That would be great. You know, especially if you go through LinkedIn, sometimes I feel it's a little bit like a doomsday about the climate crisis. Follow a lot of ETH professors, follow a lot of different climate activists, et cetera, and sometimes I feel a little bit we talk about this climate crisis, but what makes you still confident that we can solve that climate crisis?

Milo:36:22

Before I answer you what makes me confident, I would also say what scares me a little bit, or what I'm afraid of, and especially also in this experience now in the last six months as an operative CEO not only as co-founder of QuickPack also, but as CEO and sometimes, I must say, I'm really really wondering how many people just don't really think. Let's say the same, to put it very diplomatic, about climate crisis, about sustainability, and when we say, hey, listen, we have here, I would say, the most sustainable last mile this day in Switzerland not all over Switzerland, but anyways but what we are covering, we are the only one doing it 100% electric. I mean, you can be critic about electric cars, whatever, but I think when we talk about local emission, let's put it like this we are the most sustainable last mile carrier, and so many don't really care about this and only ask about the price, how much more costs or less costs we are or more cheaper we are compared to others like Swiss post or anybody else. Then it's a little bit frustrating. Then you say, okay, why are we doing this, why are we doing this? But on the other hand, that makes me comfortable and also positive. You have especially our Nordic clients to be work for IKEA or H&M and really people from the Nordics. I think they're just ahead of us in terms of thinking about sustainability and that is really into the operational processes, not only into media and podcasts in Sweden or wherever here in Switzerland working for these companies. And that makes me confident that we have many organizations, many peoples, many executives who really want this, because, to be honest, to be really honest, if we would not have that, I think we cannot achieve our mission and we have. Our mission at QuickPak is to accelerate the transition of Swiss e-commerce into a more sustainable and more seamless experience, but that makes me confident that we have clients like this.

Friederike :38:26

I think I can really agree on that and that's right now growth still seen as the more important KPI than sustainability. But I also see in other countries that really changing and I think, yes, switzerland is there behind. But it also means it's a great opportunity for retailers and e-commerce to be actually now first in our country and there's still space to really fill that up and show that commitment, and I can't agree more has been super interesting with you talking about it. How can people contact you if they would like to reach out to you?

Milo:39:07

Yeah, I am on Twitter, on Instagram, on LinkedIn maybe the most efficient ways via LinkedIn, but also send me a WhatsApp or an email, whatever.

Friederike :39:17

Super cool. Thank you so much for joining I probably we could have talked more about different elements but it was very interesting to hear about your journey and quick pack journey and you're really trying to make that change in the last mile. It's super, super great to hear. Thank you so much.

Milo:39:34

Thank you for the RIKI. Thank you for your interest and for your time.

Friederike :39:41

Thank you for joining today's episode. You can find the show notes, background materials and contact details of our guests on our website. So stay nowch, Follow and share our podcast on any platform available. Do you have a comment or interesting solution to take a deep dive? Please don't hesitate to go to our website. So stay nowch and write us an email.

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