May 17, 2020

DHL: accelerating its digitalisation drive

Logistics
Supply Chain
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
The leading logistics firm, DHL, is set to continue to invest in its digitalisation initiatives through 2025. 
The leading logistics firm, DHL, is set to continue to invest in its digitalisation initiatives through until 2025.

Cost challenges are a serious conce...

The leading logistics firm, DHL, is set to continue to invest in its digitalisation initiatives through until 2025. 

Cost challenges are a serious concern for many online retailers and logistics partners, particularly in fulfillment and last mile delivery operations. Following its latest white paper, the company has revealed it is set to invest at least $2.2bn in digitalisation and automation in the supply chain through until 2025. 

The white paper, “Change at the Speed of the Consumer: How E-Commerce is Accelerating Logistics Innovations,” looks at several principal areas where e-commerce is challenging the supply chain.

These are: 

  • The challenging of the supply chains of merchants and logistics companies. customer expectations.

  • The customer expectations for a perfect buying experience.

  • The consumer’s desire to buy and receive goods anywhere, anytime.

  • Exploding demand for urban delivery.

  • Competition for labor and wage inflation.

  • The emergence of new online sales models.

  • The unexpected surges in demand.

  • Environmental concerns.

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Digitalisation is already helping to support better demand forecasting and enabling inventory to be well-positioned to the end customer, optimise transport routings and decrease time on the road. With technology set to evolve further with new innovations coming to the market over the coming years, companies able to deploy them effectively within their supply chain will be best positioned to address the costly inefficiencies, volatile order trends and demanding customer expectations that demonstrate the competitive e-commerce market.

“The insights from this new white paper show that profitability is still a major challenge for many e-commerce companies, despite - or often actually because of - the dynamic growth of the sector. It also gives our customers a comprehensive overview of the specific areas where that challenge is most prevalent, and which technologies currently offer the most potential to support them,” said Ken Allen, CEO, DHL eCommerce Solutions. “DHL's innovation approach is targeted at identifying, piloting and deploying across our global network the most effective technologies and solutions in each of these areas. We will continue to actively expand robotics and automation across many parts of our operations, for example, and we see artificial intelligence becoming an enabler throughout our business in the future.”
 

To read the full white paper, click here!

 

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

BoringCompany
supplychain
freight
elonmusk
2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 

 

Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely
 

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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