“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: June 2018

“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: June 2018

Welcome to the June 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 June.

Here is the list of topics in this issue:


World’s First Solid-State LiDAR Unmanned Logistics Vehicle Is Announced in China

Picture Credit: Alibaba’s Cainiao G Plus (PRNewsfoto/RoboSense)

In the recent announcement Cainiao Network, part of Alibaba Group, and Chinese startup RoboSense revealed the launch of the world’s first solid-state LiDAR1Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) driverless delivery vehicle – G Plus. According to the companies, this is the first time that solid-state LiDAR has been used in the development of an unmanned vehicle.

Alibaba’s Cainiao G Plus is equipped with three LiDARs, two in front and one in rear, to ensure the most powerful 3D perception for driving. This allows vehicles to clearly see the direction of travel: shape, distance, azimuth, travel speed, and the direction of travel of pedestrians, cars, trucks, etc. Based on that data, it selects the exact areas to drive, ensuring the smart flow of unmanned logistics vehicles in complex road environments.

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UPS is Set to Purchase 950 Workhorse Electric Delivery Vans

Picture Credit: UPS

This June, shipping giant UPS announced that it will buy 950 electric delivery trucks from Workhorse Group, an electric vehicle startup. This order adds to the previous 50 units for a total of 1,000 electric delivery. According to Workhorse, the design of the zero-emissions vehicles is the joint effort of two companies. New E-Vans can travel up to 160 km before they need to be recharged. The cost will be about $6 to travel 160 km, which is significantly lower compared to gas or diesel-powered trucks.

“This is a significant deal because it will be the largest order of electric vehicles in that class in the United States,” said Duane Hughes, president of Workhorse.

Picture Credit: UPS

This announcement followed the last month’s reveal of the innovative UPS smart delivery e-vans which are launching in London and Paris, demonstrating UPS’ efforts to update its fleet with eco-friendly and highly-efficient vehicles. According to the company, these delivery vans will have a futuristic design, zero tailpipe emissions, 240 km battery range and will be equipped with the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

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Panalpina Launches Digital Hub to Promote Innovation in Freight Forwarding and Logistics

Picture Credit: Bosch / Offenblende

This month, Panalpina announced that it has launched the Panalpina Digital Hub to embrace new technologies that have the potential to disrupt the business in the coming years. The Digital Hub will be focusing on innovative technologies with a potentially high impact on the freight forwarding and logistics industry, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. In addition to exploring innovative technologies, the new business unit, which reports directly to Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen, is set to develop new digital solutions for customers and engage with digital startups.

“We, like many of our competitors, are challenged by new market entrants with innovative business models and digital approaches that improve upon the old way of doing things. Additionally, our customers increasingly demand the digital experience they have become accustomed to as consumers: they now expect a similar experience in a business-to-business environment. It is therefore obvious that the frontier of freight forwarding and logistics does not lie in new modes of transport, but in digital transformation,” says Stefan Karlen, CEO of Panalpina.

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Daimler Establishes Global E-Mobility Group and Announces Two New E-trucks for the U.S. Market

Picture Credit: Daimler

During Capital Market & Technology Days in the U.S., Daimler Trucks revealed that it is establishing a global organization for e-mobility. The E-Mobility Group (EMG) will define the strategy for electric components, complete electric vehicles, and develop a standardized, global electric architecture across all brands and divisions of the company. EMG is set up globally with employees working in various locations worldwide including Portland (U.S.), Stuttgart (Germany) and Kawasaki (Japan).

The world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer also presented the new Freightliner eCascadia, which is based on the Cascadia, the most successful heavy-duty long-distance truck (class 8) in the North American market. Its batteries provide enough energy for a range of up to 400 km and can be recharged to around 80 percent within 90 minutes to cover another 320 km. the second truck, Freightliner eM2 106, is intended for local distribution operations and last-mile delivery services. The range of the eM2 is around 370 km and the batteries can be recharged to around 80 percent within 60 minutes, sufficient for another 300 km drive.

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Port of Rotterdam Partners with a Blockchain Startup to Innovate Cargo Tracking

Picture Credit: CargoLedger

As a part of its PortXL annual accelerator, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has partnered with a Blockchain startup CargoLedger to implement a Blockchain solution for tracking shiploads. The technology will be applied to improve quality control in supply chains and establish a transparent and secure system to innovate the cargo management and handling. The Blockchain solution, developed by CargoLedger will record and process data from labeled loads, which can be scanned by receivers in Rotterdam’s ports. It will allow them to gain prompt insights into the conditions of the load such as humidity and temperature.

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Canadian Company Tests the System That Converts CO2 Into Fuel

Picture Credit: Carbon Engineering

Carbon Engineering, a Canada-based clean energy company, announced that they are testing a system which converts carbon dioxide from the air into the fuel for cars, trucks and other vehicles. According to David Keith, a co-founder of the company and a Harvard University professor, Carbon Engineering system combines several common manufacturing processes and eventually will be able to produce fuel for about $4 a gallon (approx. 3.8 liters). Although this price estimation is about 40% higher than fossil fuels, it may be very competitive in the markets with strong fuel quality regulations. In addition to that, this kind of fuel can help companies with big fleets to reduce the carbon emissions and decrease the negative environmental impact.

“This isn’t some new clever piece of science or weird chemical we synthesized in some fancy lab. The key thing that the company’s done from the beginning is the focus on doing this in a way that is industrially scalable,” added David Keith.

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