May 17, 2020

Plug and Play: investing in digital green logistics

Georgia Wilson
2 min
Aerial view of cars on a road between two fields
Best known for its early investments in PayPal and Dropbox, Plug and Play has announced its expansion into digital green logistics.

On average - global...

Best known for its early investments in PayPal and Dropbox, Plug and Play has announced its expansion into digital green logistics.

On average - globally - transport vehicle drivers, drive loads that are half full or empty. With this in mind Plug and Play has invested in Mixmove, an innovative startup provider of software solutions for logistics operations. 

corner of a green van driving on a road

Mixmove’s solutions uses data to consolidate shipments to ensure that each vehicle has optimised fill rates, to reduce the number of vehicles needed. As a direct result, this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions within logistics due to a more efficient use of vehicles.

“Our solution makes logistics more efficient and sustainable,” says Knut Ramstad, CEO of Mixmove. “The result is lower transport cost and environmental benefits throughout the supply-chain, the global potential is huge.” Ramstad highlights that the transport industry is lagging behind when it comes to global digital development, “many still remaining in the paper-era, and far from utilising the potential of digitalisation. We are happy that Plug and Play sees the same market potential as we do,” says Ramstad.

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Plug and Play is one of the largest global innovation platforms that is based in America and established in 2006. The early stage accelerator and investor has partnered with more than 300 renowned venture capital firms to grow and connect partners and investors. “The fact that Plug and Play believes we are beyond the stage of their accelerator program and are now investing directly is very exciting. We see this as a solid proof-of-concept for our technology and business model. The network of Plug and Play can open a lot of doors for us globally,”  concluded Ramstad.

Plug and Play’s partners within logistics include: Walmart, ExxonMobil, Panasonic, United States Postal Service, DHL, Coca Cola, FedEx, Ericsson, Shell and DB Schenker.

For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - 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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