LF Logistics/GLP develop digital dock management solution
Announced by LF Logistics, the organisation has launched a new digital dock management solution at its new transportation superhub in Shanghai alongside GLP - global investment manager and business builder in logistics, real estate, infrastructure, finance and related technologies.
LF Logistics provides supply chain solutions for consumer brands and retailers, its new transportation superhub in Shanghai occupies a total of 6,600 square meters, enabling fast cross docking for the sorting and transportation of merchandise. The hub harnesses an advanced sorting system of conveyors and robotics to achieve a throughput of 5,00 CMB a day, resulting in a faster sorting process of 50%.
The efficiency of the distribution centre is said to be directly linked to both the operations inside the warehouse as well as the flow of vehicles and merchandise entering and exiting. However, the high volume was putting a strain on the dock space.
In partnering with GLP’s technology division - G2Link - the two organisations have developed a solution to better match trucks and merchandise with available docks, in addition to enabling an overall ‘entry-assign dock-park-unload-load-confirm-exit process’ to minimise time spent.
The organisation implemented a cloud based digital dock management solution tailored to the superhub, that applies algorithms and computer vision. The solution is said to accelerate and automate the queue management process in the warehouse, reducing overall waiting time by 90%, as well as enhancing the visibility for better scheduling and matching of trucks to available docks. The entire process is paperless, and can be done via an app.
“The Super Hub represents the first of many steps in the partnership of Li & Fung and GLP. I am proud to see the efficiency and synergies of the two teams in bringing the dock management solution to life so quickly. I look forward to deepening our collaboration in looking for new ways of working and new digital solutions to bring efficiency to our customers,” commented Dominic Gates, President of LF Logistics.
“Li & Fung and GLP have a shared vision of driving the digital supply chain of the future, and the Super Hub is an important milestone in our partnership. Our collaboration highlights how GLP and Li & Fung are co-creating tools in AI, IoT, automation and other areas that will optimize costs and increase efficiency across the supply chain,” concluded Victor Mok, Co-President of Logistics and Industrial Real Estate, Chairman and CEO of Asset Service Platform, GLP China.
DHL Express Invests in Electric Cargo Plane Fleet
DHL Express has ordered 12 fully electric cargo planes to supercharge efforts in reducing carbon emissions across its US delivery network.
The Alice eCargo planes are manufactured by Seattle startup Eviation, and are designed specifically to be configured for either cargo or passengers. The first planes are expected to be delivered to DHL Express in 2024.
“We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.
The purchase forms part of DHL’s €7bn investment in reducing CO2 emissions by 2030, with a zero emissions target set for 2050.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” Pearson added. “On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions.”
What is Eviation's Alice Aircraft?
- Manufacturer: Eviation
- Capacity: 1,200kg
- Range: 815km
- Charge time: 30 minutes
- Launching: 2024
Eviation’s Alice aircraft enable cargo and passenger airlines to operate zero-emission fleets. The plane can be flown by one pilot and is capable of carrying 1,200kg, with a maximum range of 815km.
The aircraft can be fully charged in 30 minutes, which can take place while the vehicle is loaded and unloaded between flights. Eviation says that, because the aircraft has fewer moving parts - or points of failure - than traditional aircraft, they are more reliable and reduce maintenance overheads and downtime.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” said Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express. “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions.”
How Does Alice Compare with UPS’ eVTOLs?
DHL Express is not alone in electrifying the skies. In April, UPS announced a new fleet of eVTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, from Beta Technologies, which will enter service in 2024.
UPS’ vehicles can carry 635kg with a 400km range and cruising speeds of up to 170mph. The eVTOLs can carry cargo to several short-hops or one long route on a single charge, and are aimed at healthcare organisation, SMEs and businesses in small or remote communities.
“These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer.
The first 10 eVTOLs will be delivered in 2024, with the option for UPS to order up to 150 more.