Fujitsu and DHL use IoT to disrupt the logistics market
Fujitsu today announced a strategic co-creation partnership with DHL Supply Chain UK to develop new services based on wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Building on its successful managed procurement services collaboration with DHL, which provides a new business approach to procurement solutions including uniform and protective equipment, Fujitsu will share its industry and technology expertise to jointly develop innovative solutions that improve safety for emergency services, whilst delivering operational efficiencies. Fujitsu and DHL also plan to use the partnership to drive the creation of entirely new markets in other sectors, such as airline logistics.
In a first for the logistics industry, the DHL solution provides a personalized supply chain for emergency and other uniformed services, supported by Fujitsu’s ecommerce platform. This innovative concept reduces the cost of product and supply chain management, while facilitating innovation and delivering a user friendly, personalized experience for individuals.
The use of wearable and IoT technology such as Fujitsu UBIQUITOUSWARE will enable emergency services to track the well-being of individuals in the field, through a dashboard showing their status and location. This will help to ensure accurate and timely response in safety-critical or life-threatening situations, as well as providing real-time tracking for the location of vital protective equipment.
Paul Richardson, MD, Specialist Services, DHL Supply Chain UKI, said: “As the global logistics leader, we constantly seek out innovations that improve our customers’ lives. Wearable technology is going to transform the way we work, helping us understand the dynamics of what’s happening around us and providing real time insight on our environment as never before. I’m delighted to partner with Fujitsu in this area and am confident that, together, we can deliver a gamechanger in the market.”
François Fleutiaux, SVP, Head of Sales and Country Leadership EMEIA, Fujitsu, said: “At Fujitsu, our aim is to create meaningful, transformative innovation, which is precisely what we anticipate that this partnership with DHL will deliver. By combining industry expertise from DHL with our own insight, we can realize the incredible potential of new technologies in logistics, such as brand new functionalities, a step change in user experience and additional cost savings for organizations. In the age of digital disruption, the Fujitsu-DHL partnership underlines the value of pooling knowledge and ideas through co-creation to innovate and prosper.”
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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.