Picture Credit: Plus.ai
Welcome to the last issue of “Across Logistics” in 2019, where we are presenting the latest logistics technology news and announcements that happened in December.
Here is the list of topics in this issue:
- Plus.ai Self-Driving Truck Completes First US Cross-Country Commercial Freight Run in Record Three Days
- Volvo Unveils E-truck to Deliver Beers with Zero Emissions in Brussels
- Coca-Cola European Partners Teams Up with Einride for Sustainable Transportation
- CMA CGM Accelerates the Deployment of Marine Biofuel
- Mediterranean Shipping Company Starts Using Biofuels on Its Vessels in Rotterdam
- Tel Aviv Robot-Powered Microfulfillment Center Begins Grocery Delivery
Trucking & Delivery Announcements
Plus.ai Self-Driving Truck Completes First US Cross-Country Commercial Freight Run in Record Three Days
Plus.ai, a leading provider of self-driving trucking technology, has announced the completion of the first coast-to-coast commercial freight run with an autonomous truck on behalf of Land O’Lakes, Inc. Spanning 2,800 miles, Plus.ai’s Level 4 autonomous truck completed the hub-to-hub trip in less than three days. This is the first Level 4 U.S. cross-country commercial pilot hauling a fully-loaded refrigerated trailer of perishable cargo.
The truck was equipped with Plus.ai’s advanced autonomous driving system which utilizes multimodal sensor fusion, deep learning visual algorithms, and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technologies. The journey was an important milestone in validating the system’s ability to safely handle a wide range of weather and road conditions. A safety driver was on board at all times to monitor and assume control if needed, and a safety engineer was present to monitor system operations.
“This cross-country freight run with Land O’Lakes shows the safety, efficiency, and maturity of our autonomous trucks, which are already delivering freight for other partners several days a week. Continued advances in our autonomous trucks will make it possible for these quick cross-country runs to be the norm in the future,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO, and co-founder of Plus.ai.
Volvo Unveils E-truck to Deliver Beers with Zero Emissions in Brussels
AB InBev, the world’s leading brewer, and Volvo Trucks have announced the order of a brand new Volvo Electric Truck, which will deliver beers in Brussels from April 2020. As the incoming European Commission begins work on the new European Green Deal, this Electric Truck, which will be one of Europe’s first-ever commercialized e-trucks, is a timely example of European companies collaborating to boost innovation and develop new technologies to shift towards a greener future.
The Volvo FE Electric truck, which runs on green electricity, is low noise and emits no CO2per ride, will be delivered to AB InBev in April 2020. The vehicle will be used to deliver its beers such as Jupiler, Leffe and Stella Artois, as part of a wider fleet of electric vehicles AB InBev is investing in across Europe, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
“First, the low noise levels make it possible to carry out deliveries and refuse collection in early mornings, late evenings or even at night, helping to improve transport logistics and reduce congestion during peak hours. Second, with zero emissions and less noise, electric trucks create new opportunities for city planning and road infrastructure. An electric truck can, for example, be used in indoor loading areas and environmental zones,” added Krista Walsh, Director EU Comm. & Sustainability Affairs at Volvo Group.
Coca-Cola European Partners Teams Up with Einride for Sustainable Transportation
Coca-Cola European Partners has revealed that it will deploy Einride’s autonomous, electric transport system to expand the digitalized distribution in its Swedish distribution network. A commercial pilot will be launched at Coca-Cola European Partners’ facility in Jordbro outside Stockholm, where Einride’s vehicle will be introduced into a real transportation flow.
“Our partnership with Einride is the start of a transformation journey to introduce a more sustainable and efficient transport system that will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint. As one of the leading FMCG-companies in Sweden, we strive to find innovative solutions to build future capabilities. Through partnerships in innovation, we can create synergies that take us forward”, said Sofie Eliasson Morsink, CEO Coca-Cola European Partners Sweden.
CMA CGM Accelerates the Deployment of Marine Biofuel
The CMA CGM Group has announced its partnership with Shell to supply tens of thousands of tons of marine biofuel to its fleet. This quantity, which is unique in the industry, will allow the Group’s ships to travel nearly 1 million kilometers, equivalent to over 80 round-trips between Rotterdam and New York.
This new partnership follows on the Group’s initiatives for environmental protection and confirms its pioneering role in the energy transition of the shipping industry. CMA CGM was thus the first shipping company in the world to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) for ultra-large container vessels, with the ordering of a series of a nine 23,000-TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) containerships powered by LNG. A genuine technological breakthrough, LNG reduces sulphur oxides and fine particles emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85% and CO2 emissions by around 20%.
Mediterranean Shipping Company Starts Using Biofuels on Its Vessels in Rotterdam
Following successful trials with biofuel blends earlier this year, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has decided to continue using biofuel in its vessels calling in Rotterdam on a regular basis. According to MSC, responsibly sourced biofuels could provide an alternative solution for the shipping sector to meet the 2030 IMO level of ambition for CO2 emissions intensity reduction, as well as to make significant progress toward the 2050 levels of ambition.
“We are pleased to see these trials completed successfully and look forward to now using biofuel on our vessels as a routine matter. When using such blended fuel, we can expect an estimated 15-20% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions. The potential CO2 reduction in the bio component of these fuels could reach 80-90%, which we will monitor and confirm over time,” confirmed Bud Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs, MSC Group.
Other Logistics Technology News
Tel Aviv Robot-Powered Microfulfillment Center Begins Grocery Delivery
In a proof of concept, Fabric, an automated micro-fulfillment center provider, announced that one of its grocery sites in Tel Aviv is now live and delivering orders to online customers. The site is located underground in a triangular space with low ceilings, which the company says is a testament to its ability to deploy “to any parameter.”
“It has become clear to retailers that they need automation close to their customers in order to be profitable, but there is now a new demand for flexibility. Whether a retailer wants to support 300 orders or 1,000 … in a real estate site with a footprint of a rectangle or triangle, we can do it all — whereas other solutions are restricted by conveyor belts and rigid design requirements,” explained Fabric’s Chief Commercial Officer Steve Hornyak.