Across Logistics: March 2018

Across Logistics: March 2018

Welcome to the March 2018 issue of “Across Logistics” news release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened in March. 

Here is the list of topics in this issue:


UPS Introduces a Super-Charging Electric Delivery Fleet in London

Picture Credit: UPS

The UPS-led consortium announced the breakthrough in the charging technology that allows to simultaneously recharge an entire fleet of electric vehicles without an expensive upgrade of a power supply grid. Recharging a fleet of electric vehicles can be extremely expensive as it often requires upgrades to the external power grid, an option not attractive to most businesses or operators. According to the press release, this breakthrough in supercharging technology opens up a way for UPS to increase the number of EVs from 65 to 170 trucks operating from the company’s central London site. It became possible due to a cooperation project between UPS, UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership with the funding provided by the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

“UPS thinks this is a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city. We are using new technology to work around some big obstacles to electric vehicle deployment, heralding a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world.” – shared Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability at UPS Europe.

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Alibaba Subsidiary Successfully Tests the Blockchain Technology for Cross-Border Logistics Business

Picture Credit: Reuters

Lynx, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced the successful integration of Blockchain for its cross-border logistics operations. According to the company’s statement, the system is capable to keep track of all the relevant data about an imported shipment such as the details about the production, transport method, customs, inspection and even third-party verification. Considering the fact, that Alibaba is a parent company for the two biggest e-commerce websites in China, it makes sense that it aims to streamline its logistics processes. However, this is not the first attempt of Alibaba to introduce the Blockchain Technology into its operations – previously the company launched Blockchain-based solutions for food quality control and healthcare industries.

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Uber Self-Driving Trucks Now Operate for Uber Freight Customers

While other companies are still testing the self-driving systems for future implementation, Uber’s autonomous trucks are already operating for Uber Freight customers. The first commercial runs are being done in Arizona, with hauls operated by both human drivers and autonomous trucks in a tandem.

The tandem operation works by the following scheme: Uber loads the freight from the shipper on a conventional, human-operated truck, and then delivers it to a transport hub. Then the cargo is loaded onto an autonomous long-haul freight truck, which handles the highway driving, as it is the longer and a more streamlined part of the trip. After it reaches the local transport hub at the destination, the cargo is handled to a conventional truck again, so it can be delivered to the endpoint. Watch the video above for more details.

Although an autonomous part of the trip only involves a highway driving, the concerns for the technology arise following the death of the pedestrian during this month’s accident involving Uber’s self-driving vehicle.

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Singapore-Based Moscord Claims to Become a Maritime Amazon

On March 12th, the Singaporean company Moscord announced the launch of an online procurement platform, which connects buyers and suppliers by providing them with simplified purchasing and pre-priced logistics fulfillment options. According to the company, the platform creates an online community which gives managers and shipowners which gives an access to a fully transparent, data-driven purchasing. The concept has already been proven with Singapore-based companies Berke Bulk and MMC and the deals have been signed with GAC, Steder Group and SG Shipping for the order deliveries.

“Moscord represents a major evolutionary step in the maritime industry’s purchasing supply chain, bringing a new approach to a process that has been crying out for change.By combining data management, contract pricing, fulfillment and logistics, Moscord can improve product quality and buyers can deal directly with suppliers, cutting costs and time that the middlemen in the market currently add to the process.” –  stated Freddy Ingemann, a founder of Moscord, in a press release.

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The Economist Takes on the Issue of Paper Trail in Trade

Stacked office files: pile of paperwork in an office

Picture Credit: FT

This month, The Economist published an article, which discusses the issue of the paper trail in trade. The main opportunity here, according to the article, is that now the companies have ways to digitize the paperwork which goes along the supply chain, thus decreasing the cost of transporting documents. Although Blockchain-based solutions are being actively tested by such giants as Maersk and IBM, there are still some institutional obstacles to digitization that the industry needs to overcome in order to go completely paperless.

“According to the World Economic Forum, the costs of processing trade documents are as much as a fifth of those of shifting goods. Removing administrative blockages in supply chains could do more to boost international trade than eliminating tariffs. Full digitization of trade paperwork, reckons the UN, could raise Asia-Pacific countries’ exports by $257bn a year.” – the article highlights the positive outcome of such digital transformation.

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