Welcome to the June issue of “Across Logistics” news release. Today we want to highlight and discuss several important topics from the industry and try to give answers to several questions respectively. For example, what is the biggest threat to the IT infrastructure of your company in the 21st century and how you can prevent yourself from this threat? Or, why Uberization is unlikely to happen in the logistics industry, despite the fact that everyone is talking about that? Furthermore, you might be interested to know why the Alphabet’s autonomous car unit Waymo started developing their first vehicle with the steering wheel? If you want to know answers to these questions and to learn more about developments in the industry then – Enjoy your reading!
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
- Ransomware attack brings down IT systems of Maersk
- Waymo, an Alphabet autonomous car unit, tests out the driverless truck
- An opinion article by Aster Capital on “Why the logistics sector won’t create the next Uber, and where to look for opportunity?”
- Japan plans to launch AI-powered ships by 2025
- Cross-country truck roadshow sets a bar to demonstrate the advancements in fuel efficiency
Maersk suffers an IT system failure after “Petya” ransomware attack
Recently there was a wave of ransomware attacks around the globe which negatively influenced the operations of several companies including Russia’s biggest producer of oil “Rosneft” and governmental structures including Ukranian Central Bank. The latest one called “Petya” also attacked the IT systems of a shipping giant Maersk. According to the company’s statement: “The breakdown affected all business units at Maersk, including container shipping, port and tug boat operations, oil and gas production, drilling services, and oil tankers”. Considering the fact that Maersk handles one out of seven containers which are shipped globally, this may be a big hit for the industry and another sign that companies should invest more in cybersecurity of their IT networks, for example, by building a solid backup system for them. It is indeed costly, but that’s the way of preventing the most important asset the company can have in the 21st century – their data.
Waymo brings their knowledge to create a Driverless Truck
Waymo – Alphabet’s autonomous car unit – has been pioneering in driverless cars since it was just an R&D Project at Google. And from the very beginning, Waymo stated that the best way of operating an autonomous vehicle is without any human involvement in the process. However, it seems like the company is changing their approach now that they are entering the trucking industry. Waymo stated that their self-driving trucks will be able to operate without the human driver on highways but they would still require human involvement to do the more complex local driving. Besides, there are jobs that computer still cannot do like pumping the fuel or performing quick maintenance tasks. This collaboration between drivers and computers might be the best answer to the growing problem of truck drivers’ shortage.
Why the concept of Uberization is not the exact fit for the logistics industry
“Why the logistics sector won’t create the next Uber, and where to look for opportunity?” – does it sound to you like a provocative question in the era of a total “Uberization” of the world? We think it does – solutions based on the concept of Uber are clear examples of sharing economy and, although some of those examples have proven to be successful across several industries, it is not the same way with the Logistics industry. The article by Aster Capital smartly points out that despite a clear opportunity for the Uber-like solution in the Logistics sector, the way its core operations are done may slow down the process. Truck drivers do not want to take the risk of delayed deliveries and repacking of goods, which means that increasing the capacity factors of the vehicle is not the priority for them. However, asset utilization still remains a huge problem in the industry, and it can be tackled in different ways: by implementing Big Data predictive analytics solutions, for instance.
Japan plans to achieve fully automated shipping by 2025
In our previous news release, we’ve covered the project of fully automated Zero-Emission ship, that is in development in Norway. However, Norway is not the only country who is pioneering with this technology. At the same time, on the other side of the continent, in Japan, shipping companies are also working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. The result of such developments will be a ship operating with Artificial Intelligence on board which builds the safest, shortest and more efficient shipping routes. According to the plan, there is also a development of a data-sharing technology between ships to prevent collisions and to monitor vessel’s condition and performance. The project will be implemented in several stages with the plan to achieve full automation with the possibility of remote control by 2025. However, there are still several issues that this project have to solve and one of them being the problem of storms. As we know, any AI is constantly learning in order to make better decisions in the future, but how one can educate an AI on the ship about the threat and reaction to sea storms? This is one of the several questions the project has to answer, and it will be an interesting development to monitor in the future.
“Run-on-Less” cross-country roadshow to demonstrate the advancements in fuel efficiency
As we mentioned previously, truck drivers are not going to dissappear as a profession. However, there is still a long way before a seamless collaboration of a human driver and automated truck systems which has a potential to make the trips more efficient. While a lot of players in the industry are focused on those developments, it does not mean that there are no other ways to optimize the fuel consumption. For example, recently there was an announcement of “Run-on-Less”, a first of a kind cross-country roadshow in the US which aims to celebrate the advancements in fuel efficiency. According to the organizers, already 7 US fleets, representing nearly 11,000 tractors and 26,000 trailers, have already signed up to participate. Each of the company will represent a set of cutting-edge fuel-saving technologies along with the drivers who demonstrated their positive habits, contributing to the fuel efficiency. If you have a fleet of vehicles and plan to optimize the fuel consumtion, you shall definitely look forward to the technologies which will be demonstrated during this event.
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