“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: January 2019

Logistics Innovation News January
6 min read

Welcome to the first issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release in 2019, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened in January.

Here is the list of topics in this issue:

Continental Unveils Robot Dogs Delivering Packages

Autonomous Robot Dog Delivers a Package at CES

This month was extremely rich for the announcements about robotics in logistics. During the press conference at CES 2019, Continental presented their vision for the future of goods and parcel delivery. The concept is based around Continental’s driverless electric vehicle, the Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE), a minibus-sized pod which interior can be reconfigured to fit different purposes. The vehicle will contain robot dogs taking care of the last steps of the delivery chain. The robot prototype slightly resembles the one developed by Boston Dynamics.

“With the help of robot delivery, Continental’s vision for seamless mobility can extend right to your doorstep. Our vision of cascaded robot delivery leverages a driverless vehicle to carry delivery robots, creating an efficient transport team,” said Continental’s Ralph Lauxmann, who is head of systems and technology in the chassis and safety division.

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JD.com Launches Smart Delivery Stations in China

JD Changsha Smart Delivery Station

Prior to debut at CES 2019, JD.com has launched two smart delivery stations in the cities of Changsha and Hohhot. China’s largest retailer makes this move in order to strengthen its autonomous logistics capabilities.

According to the company, one of the essential parts of the delivery stations are robots that can be loaded with up to 30 parcels and are able to deliver them within a 5-kilometer range. The vehicles can plan routes, avoid obstacles and recognize traffic lights. In addition to that, the facial recognition enables clients to easily and securely collect their parcels. The delivery stations, operating with a half-half split between robots and couriers, can deliver up to 2,000 packages a day, running at full capacity.

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Amazon Tests Delivery Robots

Amazon Scout

Amazon has started the test of a new fully-electric delivery system – Amazon Scout, which is designed to safely get packages to customers using small autonomous delivery vehicles. According to the company, the robots are developed in-house and are aimed to drive along sidewalks at a walking pace. The tests began on 23rd of January, when these devices began delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington, US.

“We’re starting with six Amazon Scout devices, delivering packages Monday through Friday, during daylight hours. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee. We developed Amazon Scout at our research and development lab in Seattle, ensuring the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path,” added Sean Scott, Vice President of Amazon Scout.

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Panalpina Announces New Digital Tool for Charter Network

Logistics Innovation News January
Picture Credit: Panalpina

Panalpina has announced the launch of a new online platform for customers of their charter network. Aircharter.panalpina.com gives an up-to-date overview of scheduled cargo flights available for chartering on any given day. The tool provides an easy-to-use interface giving its users a simple access to global reach and vast capacity of Panalpina’s fleet while offering more flexibility and control over the chartering services.

“Especially during seasons with high and ad-hoc demand or in case of emergencies, customers can rely on the charter tool. The semi-annual retendering of our subcontractors and respective framework agreements keep the Charter Network up-to-date and agile, ensuring that Panalpina can always provide a reliable and secure transport across the globe at any given time. We are the only freight forwarder that can offer this type of network and the charter tool provides easy access to it,” shared Lucas Kuehner, Panalpina’s global head of Air Freight.

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ZIM Moves Forward with Its Blockchain Bills of Lading Initiative

Logistics Innovation News January
Picture Credit: ZIM

Following ZIM’s 2017 Announcement and the successful pilot of Blockchain-based digital Bills of Lading (B/L), accomplished with the cooperation of Wave Ltd. and Sparx Logistics, ZIM continued to evaluate the platform in different trade lanes with more customers.

According to the company, “In two recent transactions, original B/Ls were transferred to the receiver within under two hours from Vessel’s departure, a process that ordinarily takes days or even weeks. All documentation processes, including endorsements, ownership transfers etc. were performed over the blockchain-based platform.”

After successfully completing dozens of shipments, ZIM is ready to begin the next phase of the initiative. In the first quarter of 2019, the shipping line will open the opportunity to move to the Blockchain-based B/Ls for all ZIM customers in selected trade lanes including Asia-South Africa and North America-Mediterranean.

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Volvo Group Invests in Wireless Charging for EVs

Logistics Innovation News January
Picture Credit: Momentum Dynamics

Volvo Group Venture Capital AB, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, announced an investment in Momentum Dynamics Inc. – a leading company in high power wireless charging of electric vehicles. This move allows Volvo to introduce the wirelessly charging batteries for any type of vehicles and is suitable for commercial electric, autonomous and connected vehicles. The application of this technology has a big potential especially for the fully autonomous cargo vehicles such as Volvo Vera.

“Momentum Dynamics’ technology and competence within the inductive bi-directional transmission of electrical energy and information safely through air, water, and ice will fit the harsh conditions under which our customers operate. High capacity charging up to 300 kW for trucks, buses, construction equipment, industrial and marine applications will support the electrified transition,” added Per Adamsson, Vice President at Volvo Group Venture Capital.

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