Welcome to the February 2018 issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened in February.
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
- Amazon announces an end-to-end shipping solution
- Embark self-driving truck completes 3,860 km trip across the US
- China is building the biggest autonomous ships test ground
- Blockchain-based Bill of Lading platform receives $7 mil. in funding during the ICO
- UPS sues EU for $2.1 billion after the veto of TNT bid
Amazon launches an end-to-end shipping solution
Amazon continues its path of entering the logistics industry. The end goal here is clear – Amazon wants to control every step of delivering goods and it already has extensive data for any package or a box they deliver. This month, the company also announced that they will launch a so-called “Shipping with Amazon” program which is an end-to-end shipping solution with pickups from merchants and shipments delivery to the customer. According to the Wall Street Journal article, with this move, Amazon wants to directly compete with UPS and FedEx. Although the first rollout will happen in the upcoming weeks in Los Angeles, Amazon still needs to rely heavily on its shipping partners to deliver the services across the US.
A self-driving truck completes 3,860 km trip across the US
Embark, the startup which develops self-driving trucks, announced that they have completed a test run of their autonomous vehicle from Los Angeles to Florida. According to the company, it is the first ever coast-to-coast trip of a truck with such technology. However, for the safety and security reasons, the driver had to be behind the wheel all the time, watching the road and being ready to take over the driving if it was necessary. That is also a reason why this trip took 5 days since the driver had to take rest breaks to be able to control the wheel if needed. Embark stated that in the best case scenario, instead of 5 days such journey would take only 2 days, however, their tech needs to be further developed and tested in order to achieve such results.
Chinese city Zhuhai leads the effort to test autonomous ships
This month China announced that they have started building the largest autonomous ships test ground in the world upon completion. According to the plan, Wanshan Unmanned Marine Testing ground will cover 771.6 sq km of water and land area combined. The testing ground is expected to become the main Chinese research base for the autonomous ships. In order to achieve that, China Classification Society, Yunzhou Tech and Wuhan University of Technology will work jointly on developing the technologies required for the base to operate including Big Data solutions, communication terminals and cyber safety.
A Blockchain-based Bill of Lading platform developer raises $7 million through ICO
Although Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) often unveil to be a scam, there are examples of valuable projects that can be funded by an ICO. One of such examples is the recent success of the blockchain startup CargoX that has raised $7 million for its Blockchain-based Bill of Lading platform in just less than 8 minutes. It does not only show the interest of people in such a solution, but also demonstrates the interest from the industry in blockchain-based projects. Smart Bill of Lading solution can offer a low-cost, safe and reliable alternative of transporting and storing the documents, which otherwise have to be stored and transported physically. According to the company, the platform will also feature a set of securely integrated financial services as well as cryptocurrency payments for the entire logistics industry.
UPS sues the EU after its veto for TNT bid
This February United Postal Services Inc. (UPS) is filing a lawsuit against the European Union for $2.1 billion dollars to receive a compensation for the damage that regulators created due to the veto of UPS acquiring TNT Express BV. UPS approached the European Court asking for the compensation plus interest and taxes they would pay on any windfall payment in case the deal was successful. According to Bloomberg, the EU became one of the toughest regulatory challenges the companies are facing during the M&A process due to the fact that the EU is defending the free competition in Europe.
“The compensation being sought corresponds to what we believe, through objective assessments verified by expert third parties, to be the value of the opportunity wrongly prohibited by the European Commission,” United Postal Services Inc. said in their statement.
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