Picture Credit: Agility Robotics
Welcome to the May issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies and important news in logistics that happened over the last month.
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
- CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Yang Ming, and ZIM join Digital Container Shipping Association
- A.P. Moller – Maersk Joins CMA CGM and MSC as a Key Shareholder and Customer of Traxens
- MSC and CMA CGM Join Maersk’s shipping blockchain platform TradeLens
- United States Postal Service Pilots TuSimple Self-Driving Trucks
- DB Schenker’s and MAN’s Research Trial Reveals Great Potential for Platooning
- Honeywell Announces Fully Automated Robotic Unloader for Distribution Centers
- Ford Teams Up with Agility Robotics to Innovate Package Delivery
Digital Shipping and Smart Containers
CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Yang Ming, and ZIM join Digital Container Shipping Association
Following the official establishment last month, on May 14th Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has announced that five more ocean carriers have joined the association as members: CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services.
They join A.P. Moller – Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and ONE in the association which aims to enable digital standardization in the container shipping industry. The DCSA is a neutral and non-profit association headquartered in Amsterdam, and once regulatory approval has been gained, the members will represent 70 percent of the market.
“We are thrilled to have additional members joining the DCSA on our journey to drive standardization and interoperability in the industry, with CMA CGM joining as a founding member. It is critical for our success that the standards developed will be implemented, and the commitment and engagement of many container shipping lines is, therefore, crucial,” – stated Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.
A.P. Moller – Maersk Joins CMA CGM and MSC as a Key Shareholder and Customer of Traxens
Traxens, an IoT company providing high-value data and services for the supply chain industry, and A.P. Moller – Maersk have announced that Maersk will be joining CMA CGM and MSC as a key shareholder and customer of Traxens.
Following the agreement, Maersk will invest capital in Traxens, in which it will have similar shareholder rights as CMA CGM and MSC. Maersk also commits to order up to 50,000 Traxens devices, a similar order to those placed earlier by CMA CGM and MSC.
“Creating visibility into the condition and location of containerized cargo is bringing Maersk’s strategy to offer digital end-to-end solutions to life. Having pioneered IoT-technology in our reefer fleet, we are excited to join Traxens and collaborate on the huge potential within connected containers. With this investment we look forward to working with key industry players to advance a leading solution within connected products and technologies for high-value cargo while ensuring customer choice through interoperability and open standards,” – said Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard, Vice President, Head of Equipment, A.P. Moller – Maersk.
MSC and CMA CGM Join Maersk’s shipping blockchain platform TradeLens
CMA CGM and MSC have also unveiled that they will join TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform, jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM.
With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens. The addition of CMA CGM and MSC will provide a significant boost to the TradeLens vision of greater trust, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains to help promote global trade. The companies will promote TradeLens and create complementary services on top of the platform for their customers and partners.
TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secure, immutable record of transactions.
“I strongly believe that digitization will change the shipping industry, the same way as it has done in many other industries. Digitization will enable us to serve our customers better while at the same time becoming more efficient. These benefits will be realized faster if we work together, why I am pleased that more and more partners are joining the blockchain shipping platform TradeLens. The latest with CMA-CGM and MSC,” commented Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk in his article.
Trucking Technologies are Moving Ahead
United States Postal Service Pilots TuSimple Self-Driving Trucks
United States Postal Service (USPS) partnered with TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, to perform five round trips, for a two-week pilot, hauling USPS trailers more than 1,600 kilometers between the Postal Service’s Phoenix, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas distribution centers. The truck will have a safety engineer and driver on board for the duration of the pilot to monitor vehicle performance and to ensure public safety.
This new route is an important milestone as TuSimple scales its autonomous operations beyond Arizona and marks the company’s self-driving debut into Texas. The startup expects this to be a central route for them because there is already strong demand from other customers for runs between Arizona and Texas.
“Performing for the USPS on this pilot in this particular commercial corridor gives us specific use cases to help us validate our system, and expedite the technological development and commercialization progress,” said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer of TuSimple.
DB Schenker’s and MAN’s Research Trial Reveals Great Potential for Platooning
As part of a research project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the key results were presented by project partners DB Schenker, MAN Truck & Bus and the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences. Professional drivers drove two electronically linked vehicles on the Autobahn 9 between the Nuremberg and Munich branches of DB Schenker over the course of seven months.
Having covered some 35,000 test kilometers, the truck drivers, who drove at a distance of only 15 to 21 meters, praised the driving comfort and the general sense of safety. Active interventions by the driver were necessary only once every 2,000 kilometers, which is much less than expected. In addition, the pilot project demonstrated a 3 to 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption.
“We were able to show that platooning has the potential to contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. First and foremost, we are pleased that the system works reliably and can increase safety on the motorway. Accordingly, platooning is an important step for us on the way to automation,” said Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Management Board of MAN Truck & Bus SE.
Other Logistics Innovation News
Honeywell Announces Fully Automated Robotic Unloader for Distribution Centers
Honeywell announced a new automated robotic solution for unloading a wide range of packages from truck trailers and shipping containers at distribution centers.
The robotic unloader uses artificial intelligence to operate fully autonomously inside of a trailer, which significantly reduces the manual effort required to operate receiving docks for retail merchandise and parcel distribution centers. This new Honeywell smart robotics offering will help customers improve workplace safety, reduce staffing challenges and minimize damage to packages.
“For distribution center workers, unloading packages is labor-intensive, physically demanding and injury-prone work that is often subject to extreme temperatures. These factors lead to low employee satisfaction and high turnover – as much as 36 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said Matt Wicks, vice president of product development at Honeywell Intelligrated. “With our robotic unloader, we are using advanced machine learning to allow workers to remove themselves from the extreme environment and to oversee multiple unloading machines, increasing productivity and improving safety.”
Ford Teams Up with Agility Robotics to Innovate Package Delivery
Ford teamed up with Agility Robotics to explore a brand-new frontier in the world of autonomy. With Digit, a two-legged robot designed and built by Agility Robotics to approximate the look and walk of a human, the companies are also imagining how the deliveries of the future should be made. Built out of lightweight material and capable of lifting packages that weigh up to 18 kg, Digit can go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over.
“When a self-driving vehicle brings Digit to its final destination, the vehicle can wirelessly deliver all the information it needs, including the best pathway to the front door. Through this data exchange, Digit can work collaboratively with a vehicle to situate itself and begin making its delivery,” adds Dr. Ken Washington, Vice President, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, and CTO.