DHL launches gas powered concept vehicle
DHL has today launched its new CNG-powered concept truck for use in towns and cities at Quiet Cities, the first global summit focused on enabling quieter deliveries of freight in urban environments.
The vehicle combines new engine and ignition technology with pioneering cab safety features to support the journey towards cleaner, safer, quieter, urban transport.
DHL has designed its new truck to be considerate of the environment in which it operates. The inclusion of a new spark ignition ‘Otto Cycle’ engine, which can reduce engine noise by up to 50 percent when compared to a standard diesel engine, is crucial for making quiet out of hours deliveries in urban environments.
Tim Slater, Managing Director, Transport at DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland said: “As part of DHL’s commitment to making transport safer, cleaner and quieter I’m incredibly proud to see our new concept-vehicle launched.
“While I truly believe this vehicle will be transformational in driving industry towards a better future, DHL will continue to invest in innovative vehicle technology, alternative fuels, accident prevention systems and driver training to ensure we’re always delivering the best service for our customers and supporting the UK’s environmental health.”
As part of DHL’s work to use more environmentally friendly vehicles, the new truck uses Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Bio-Gas to significantly reduce its CO2 footprint and harmful pollutants. Compared to a standard Euro 6 diesel vehicle, the vehicle produces 68 percent less Particulate Matter (PM) and 39 percent less Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), which is harmful to humans and damaging to the environment.
To ensure the truck is suitable for populated, urban environments DHL has included a range of innovative safety features in the vehicle. Identifying the most dangerous blind spots around vehicles, DHL has designed the new vehicle cab to ensure vulnerable road users are more visible to drivers. To extend the field of driver vision the new vehicle includes.
Claire Perry, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, said: “As cities and town centres become more populous, commercial transport companies face the difficult task of making journeys safer, cleaner and quieter.
“The new concept vehicle from DHL is a positive step in the right direction to addressing this issue and I encourage industry-wide adoption of the latest technology to ensure the highest standards of road safety."
Quiet Cities is the first global summit focused on enabling quieter deliveries of freight in urban environments. Alongside DHL the event is being held in partnership with Transport for London, Motor Transport and Route Monkey.
Deutsche Post DHL wants to minimise the impact of its business on the environment. On the road towards an environmentally responsible future, it has set the goal of improving CO2 efficiency by 30 percent by the year 2020 for operations throughout the Group, including all transport services provided by subcontractors.
For further information on the Quiet Cities event please visit: http://quietcities.com/
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.