While we are almost ready to step into the new year, 2017 still has some aces in the sleeve for the logistics industry. This year, in a nutshell, was a year of non-logistics players entering the industry through innovations. For example, in May Uber officially announced the launch of Uber Freight to tackle the logistics market, Alphabet’s autonomous car unit Waymo brought the power of driverless driving to trucks and just this month Tesla presented its Semi Truck with specs that are beyond industry’s standard. The only way for the industry players to respond to such rivalry is to invest time and resources in new technologies like UPS did while exploring the blockchain. The shift in logistics is happening. The question is, as a logistics player, are you doing anything about it? As one famous Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Welcome to the November Issue of “Across Logistics” Innovation News Release, where we are presenting you the latest innovative technologies in logistics.
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
Tesla reveals its long-awaited Tesla Semi Truck
This month was remarkable for the industry, because of a sole event – the reveal of the Tesla Semi. On November 16th, in Hawthorne, California, Tesla’s CEO and a famous entrepreneur Elon Mask presented the new Tesla Semi truck, which is set to change the trucking industry. The vehicle can go as far as 800 km on full batteries and can get a 600 km range with just 30 minutes of charging, which is 10 times more powerful than one of the fastest battery-charging networks in the world today—Tesla’s Superchargers. In addition to that, Musk revealed that the truck will have enhanced auto-pilot features, which allow it to drive itself on the highway, staying in its lane and a safe distance from vehicles and obstacles.
However, two of the interesting things about Tesla Semi are its speed and acceleration. The average speed of the truck will be as fast as 105 km/h when climbing a five percent grade, while a diesel truck only manages 73 km/h. The same “wow” principle is applicable to Tesla Semi’s acceleration. The truck itself can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5 seconds, compared with 24 seconds for a diesel truck. Even fully loaded, the Tesla vehicle accelerates to 100 km/h in 20 seconds. The implications for the logistics are clear – faster freight transportation and faster reallocation of assets. Combined with great technology and with a 1,6 million km warranty against any breakdowns on every truck, Tesla proves that Semi is the best alternative for the current market offerings. The company set the price affordable for the industry – $150,000 -$180,000. The vehicle will begin production in 2019, and by that time we can only wait and hope that Tesla will enlarge its production capacity in order to avoid new assembly bottlenecks and respond to some questions from real-life truck drivers.
BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen cooperate to build a high-power charging network in Europe
Tesla brought electrification to the new level by creating the charging infrastructure – Tesla supercharger network. It supported the usage growth of the electric cars as well as created a better image for the company. However, car manufacturers are competing with Tesla, and not only production-wise, but infrastructure-wise. Therefore, such giants as BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen announced their cooperation in creating Ionity – a high-power charging network across Europe consisting of 400 charging stations across Europe by 2020. Each charging point will have a capacity of 350 kW and will use the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard to work with most of the electric cars and perspectively electric trucks.
CMA CGM and MSC order the biggest container vessels to be ever operated
CMA CGM and MSC recently placed an order for twenty 22,000 TEU ships, which could end up with a capacity of 23,500 TEU when delivered in 2019 and 2020. According to the estimates, the vessels will be the biggest container ships to be operated. Although the length of the vessels would still be around the 400-meter mark set by Maersk’s Triple-E class ships, the width is likely to be increased to 61.4 meters. The orders from both companies were similar, however, CMA CGM requested all 9 of its future ships to run on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). According to CMA CGM group chief executive Rodolphe Saade:
“By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a leading force in the industry in environmental protection by being a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies.”
With more emission restrictions and with an uncertainty in oil prices, and it is a reasonable move for ship owners to start considering other options for the driving force such as LNG.
Amazon launches an app to go after truck drivers in the US
Amazon never kept hidden its ambitions towards the logistics and transportation. This month, the company launched an app called “Relay”, which is designed to help truck delivery drivers get in and out of warehouses faster. However, it would not be Amazon if the release of this app was not the part of the strategy to tackle the sector of truck deliveries. While there are insights that the company is working on an app that matches truck drivers and cargo shippers, “Relay” might be the first step to connect Amazon and more than 1 million truck drivers in the US.
UPS joins Blockchain in Trucking Alliance
While we are aware that pilot projects for Blockchain in logistics are ongoing in such places as Port of Antwerp and Maersk, the other logistics giant announced this month that they are taking the step towards Blockchain. On November 8th, UPS joined Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) to explore the blockchain applications for its customs brokerage business.
“Blockchain has multiple applications in the logistics industry, especially related to supply chains, insurance, payments, audits and customs brokerage,” said Linda Weakland, UPS director of Enterprise Architecture and Innovation.
“The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders,” she added.
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