May 17, 2020

Ro-Ro Industry Blogs to the Future

back to the future
Sophie Ahmed
Freddie Pierce
2 min
You disintegrated Einstein!
Guest contributor: Amy Beringer-Smith The organisers of Ro-Ro, Europes only event dedicated to the roll-on/roll-off industry, have launched the first b...

Guest contributor: Amy Beringer-Smith

The organisers of Ro-Ro, Europe’s only event dedicated to the roll-on/roll-off industry, have launched the first blog devoted to the rolling cargo sector – The Future of Ro-Ro Blog went live on 13 February 2012.

The Future of Ro-Ro Blog has been developed to offer car manufacturers, shippers, equipment manufacturers, port and terminal operators and shipping lines a platform to debate and shape the future of the Ro-Ro industry. Throughout 2012, the blog will feature the thoughts of some of the sector’s leading figures and brightest minds.


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Click here to read the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital

The blog will explore the many challenges and threats facing the Ro-Ro sector and each week a special guest blogger will share their views on one of these issues. The posts will focus on experiences of new technologies, ways of improving terminal operations, changing environmental legislation and other topics affecting businesses.

Sophie Ahmed, Event Director of RORO, which takes place in Gothenburg from 22-24 May 2012, will be responsible for editing the blog.  She commented: “It’s an exciting time to work within the Ro-Ro industry – times are changing and the industry is being forced to adopt new ways of operating. There are significant opportunities out there, but there are also challenges, such as the environment, which will be high on the agenda throughout the next few years.

“People are increasingly looking to social media and the internet as a way of sourcing information, sharing views and networking with like-minded individuals. We launched The Future of Ro-Ro Blog to help operators share their best practices, knowledge and insights, and ultimately, grow their businesses.

“We are looking forward to working with people involved in ro-ro industry to discuss the wide ranging issues affecting businesses and building this forum into a one-stop shop for anything related to the movement of rolling cargo.”

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Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

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. 

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