“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: September 2017

“Across Logistics” Innovation News Release: September 2017
4 min read

Logistics connects the world through complex delivery networks, Innovation unites the globe by bringing the power of technology to its every corner. While we are reading the news about IoT application at the Chinese manufacturing sites, Switzerland is testing drone delivery networks to service their healthcare systems. And while the government and retail businesses are collaborating to decrease traffic and pollution in British cities, more and more players appear in the US electric semi truck market creating an environment for healthy competition. The logistics industry of every country has its specifics. We should explore and study successful local innovations because everything local has the potential to become global.

Welcome to the September 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:

A drone delivery network to be launched in Switzerland

Often, we think of drones as of flying toys which still need to go a long way to uncover their full potential. However, there is one example of a drone delivery system which can potentially save lives. In March 2017, US-based drone manufacturer Matternet became the first company in the world to receive an authorization for full operations of drone logistics networks over densely populated areas in Switzerland. The first Matternet Stations will service healthcare systems in Switzerland to automate on-demand transportation of blood and pathology samples between hospital facilities.

In September, the company unveiled an automated take-off and landing terminals, which are the essential part of the planned network. Those stations will provide the exchange of batteries and packages which could be extracted from the terminal by scanning a QR code. In case the project proves to be successful, Matternet is planning to expand it to Germany and the UK.

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Pooled delivery services are cutting traffic in British cities

With the higher demand for online shopping in British cities comes the greater amount of delivery vans in the urban areas. Not only does it worsen air pollution, but it also creates traffic jams, making transportation in the cities slow and unreliable. The suggested pooled delivery solution might have been surprising for the UK businesses, but it definitely proved to be effective. By operating a pooled delivery model, multiple firms arrange deliveries to a particular hub in the outskirts of the city, after which the goods are distributed to the final clients by a sole company with fewer and more eco-friendly vehicles.

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A diesel-engine maker Cummins unveils its electric semi-truck

While everyone is waiting for the reveal and the first test ride of Tesla semi truck happening on October 27th, a diesel-engine manufacturing company Cummins took a brave step and presented its first electric semi-truck. Cummins states that the Urban Hauler Tractor weighs 9 tons, and its 140 kilowatt-hour battery pack weighs roughly the same as a traditional 12-liter diesel engine. At this point of time, the available range of the Urban Hauler Tractor is only around 160 km, while Tesla’s semi-truck will reportedly have a 300-400 km range. Cummins forecasts that the mass production of the vehicle will start at the end of the decade. According to the company, by that time they will have more powerful and efficient batteries allowing their trucks to travel larger distances and therefore creating a good competition for Tesla and other players.

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DHL Supply Chain trials IoT to reduce truck wait times

In the May issue of Across Logistics news release, we presented an example of the successful Internet of Things (IoT) implementation in a warehouse by DHL. There is no surprise that even more news about IoT is coming from the same company. DHL Supply Chain China in cooperation with Huawei Technologies has launched a trial of a Narrowband IoT at one of the manufacturing sites in China with a goal to improve the inbound logistics process. One of the main applications of the technology might be a solution to the problem of misdirection between trucks and docks, which leads to delivery and pick-up delays. A set of sensors, connected via the cellular network will enable the increase in efficiency by directing the trucks to the right locations and checking the availability of docks.

“Within each terminal, DHL Supply Chain is now able to automatically collect clear dock availability in real time, which in return provides visibility to the dispatcher and drivers” – the company highlighted in their statement.

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Daimler partners with StoreDot to accelerate the adoption of 5 minute charging technology in electric light-duty trucks

Light-duty delivery trucks are also experiencing a wave of electric disruption. To support the innovation in this area Daimler forms a strategic partnership with an Israeli startup StoreDot, which claims that it has developed a battery needed for electric trucks that can be recharged in as little as 5 minutes. According to the companies, the partnership will accelerate the adoption of the “Flash Battery” technology by the market. The fast charging technology can possibly bring a higher utilization rate of the vehicles. Additionally, for some companies, the fast charging might be a strong argument when they decide to switch their fleet to electric trucks since it will take the same amount of time to “charge” the vehicle as it takes to fill it with fuel.

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