Welcome to the May 2018 issue of “Across Logistics” news release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened in May.
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
- Hyperloop One and DP World introduce DP World Cargospeed
- Volans-i Performs a Successful Test of a High-Speed Drone
- DHL Supply Chain Introduces End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility Platform “MySupplyChain”
- Former Deloitte Blockchain Boss Joins Californian Startup to Build the Blockchain for Supply Chain
- VIL Tests Autonomous Last Mile Delivery Vehicle
- U.S. Government Announces Drone Test Programs Involving Apple, Uber and FedEx
- “When Freight Travels Underground” – Daimler Interviews the Technical Director of the Cargo Sous Terrain Project
Hyperloop One and DP World Announce a Cargo-Only Shipping Business
Virgin Hyperloop One and DP World have announced the launch of a new company, DP World Cargospeed, that aims to push the Hyperloop technology into the cargo industry. The new company will focus on building Hyperloop-enabled cargo systems to transport “palletized cargo.” Considering the fact, that DP World is a Dubai-based port owner that controls terminals all over the world, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, it would achieve a lot by establishing a fast-transit cargo line of its own.
“DP World could, theoretically, receive products from China by sea, and then zoom them to Europe in a matter of hours.” – the article points out.
A San-Francisco Drone Startup Reports a Successful Test of a High-Speed Drone
A San-Francisco based startup founded by ex-Tesla analyst, Volans-i, revealed that it had successfully tested its new delivery drone that is designed to carry heavier parts and equipment to construction sites, factories and to the vessels at sea. According to the startup, the drones can travel up to 800 kilometers at a speed of 320 km/h and carry up to 9 kg payload. The most interesting aspect of this drone is that it is powered by rechargeable electric batteries for vertical take-off and landing, and it uses aviation fuel for flying horizontally at high speeds. In addition to that, this drone could land on an area as little as 4,5-meter-by-4,5-meter flat surface, even on a moving boat at sea.
DHL Supply Chain Introduces End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility Platform
The latest DHL Supply Chain technology platform “MySupplyChain” will soon become available to customers, according to the company’s press release. The platform’s goal is to provide its users with access to track-and-trace data, inventory, operational performance and reporting, business analytics, customer service and more from any desktop or mobile device. The service will start rolling out in June in North America followed by several regional rollouts.
“Through MySupplyChain, DHL Supply Chain is helping customers successfully manage the complexity and maximize the efficiency of supply chain operations. Users will no longer have to access and interpret disparate systems to navigate their supply chain demands and analytics. Rather, this platform provides the whole picture, enabling customers to be agile and flexible,” – said Sally Miller, CIO, DHL Supply Chain, North America.
California-based Startup Hires Former Deloitte Blockchain Boss to Build the Blockchain for Supply Chain
This month, a California-based startup Citizens Reserve announced that they are coming out of stealth mode and shared that it hired a former Deloitte global blockchain boss Eric Piscini, along with at least two other former members of the firm’s blockchain division. The startup plans to launch a permission-based Blockchain protocol “zerv“, which should eventually become an “operating system for the supply chain.”
“We’re building a supply chain middleware that sits on top of the blockchain and gives you all the fundamental pieces of the supply chain,” Mr. Piscini explained further.
Although the company will grow its network by providing cryptocurrency bonuses to its users, the potential of permission-based blockchain for the industry could be less than in case of the permissionless blockchain, as a blockchain expert Martijn Siebrand pointed out in his interview with Transmetrics.
VIL Tests Autonomous Last Mile Delivery Vehicle in Belgium
On 25th of May, VIL, a Belgian Innovation Cluster for Logistics, successfully tested driverless vehicle to deliver parcels in the city of Mechelen. The demonstration test was carried out as part of the project ALEUS (Autonomous Logistics Electric Units for Cities). According to the press release, it was the first ever last mile delivery operated by a self-driving vehicle in a Flemish city. The electric vehicle used in the demonstration has already been tested in several European cities as a passenger transport.
“I strongly believe in the benefits of autonomous vehicles, not only for passenger or freight transport but also for last-mile solutions in cities. I am very pleased that we can test this with VIL in Flanders. Flanders once again positions itself as a living lab where smart solutions can be tested in real-life situations,” – Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Economy, Work, Innovation and Sport, pointed out.
U.S. Government Announces Drone Test Programs, Involves Apple, Uber and FedEx
The U.S. Transportation Department announced this month, that it has chosen 10 projects in order to assess how to regulate drones and integrate them safely into U.S. airspace. Among the selected companies for the projects were microchip maker Intel, plane manufacturer Airbus, Apple, Uber, FedEx and Microsoft. Although the fields of the projects vary from Apple capturing images with drones to Uber’s drone food delivery and FedEx’s aircraft inspection, the goal of the projects is to see the real-life applications of the technology and what aspects should be considered for the potential regulation.
Switzerland is taking the first steps towards building a fully functional underground freight transportation system. In the years ahead, the initiators of Cargo Sous Terrain are planning to build an underground system of tunnels that can transport packages, piece goods, and bulk goods on pallets and in containers. The plan of the consortium is to deliver freight through the tunnel network to the hubs in the cities, then distributing the deliveries among the final clients via self-driving and electric vehicles. In this interview, Daimler talked with Gabriele Guidicelli, the technical director of the Cargo Sous Terrain project, in order to learn more about the project specifics and its potential for other countries.
“We will conduct the first operational underground transports starting in 2030. By that time, the network from Gäu to Zurich will be completed. After the first section has gone into operation, we will continue with the construction of the next segments. We will have completed and commissioned the entire network by 2045,” – stated Mr. Guidicelli, talking about the timeline of the project.
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