DHL: transforming logistics with startup partnerships
When it com...
Supply Chain Digital gets an insight into DHL’s partnerships with startups to drive digitalisation and sustinability within the business.
When it comes to innovations at DHL, the company values its partnerships both big and small. In recent years many startups have entered into the logistics industry. Markus Kückelhaus, VP of Innovation and Trend Research at DHL raises the question of why?
“The logistics industry is a very fragmented sector that is still catching up. Which is why this industry is interesting to startups,” says Kückelhaus who highlights that due to the industry’s small attempts at digitalisation, in addition to growing investments into logistics, there has been an increase in opportunities for startups.
Founded in 2009, Effidence is a French research and robotics startup that develops collaborative robotic solutionsin logistics and agriculture. DHL has partnered with Effidence to develop its ‘follow me’ robotic trolleys.
Founded in 2014, Locus Robotics is an American robotic technology company that develops warehouse solutions to improve productivity. DHL has partnered with Locus Robotics to develop its Aisle picking robots.
University of Aachen
Established in 1870, the University of Aachen strives to drive innovative discoveries that impact global challenges. The German university partnered with DHL in 2012 on a new initiative to combat global warming. DHL worked with the university to develop its own electric vehicles as part of its mission to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. Currently DHL has 10,000 electric vehicles out on the roads aiming to replace all 55,000 global vehicles in its fleet to electric.
Want to know more about DHL’s robotics and RPA innovations? Watch out for Supply Chain Digital’s January 2020 edition!
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
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.
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