TNT trials use of double deck trailers
TNT Express is running new double-deck trailers between its Midlands distribution hubs and the North East as part of a trial into the viability of longer semi-trailers.
One of the first to introduce loose-loaded double-deck trailers to its fleet, TNT hopes that increased load capacity will increase the efficiency of their operations. While double deck trailers have been utilised by hauliers with roll cage operations, they are far less common for loose load companies.
TNT is currently trialling Long Semi-Trailers, which are expected to greatly increase capacity, as part of a Department for Transport study into the impact of different size vehicles on British roads.
The double-deck trailers, which have a 42% greater load capacity than a standard 13.6m trailer, are being used between TNT’s Kingsbury hub and its Durham depot.
Simon Harper, Director of Operations TNT Express UK & Ireland, said: “Increased load capacity means we can be far more efficient on behalf of our customers whilst we can also contribute to the wider industry fact find of how this equipment works in day to day operations.
“Using larger capacity trailers enables us to reduce the number of trips required to deliver the same number of parcels and is therefore good news for TNT, the environment and our customers.”
The trailers, a bespoke design and manufacture for TNT Express by Cartwright Group, use an innovative rising platform which can carry up to eight tonnes. It then lifts to accommodate a second level of cargo, providing a total payload of 20 tonnes.
“This isn’t a normal double deck trailer,” adds Simon. “This is bespoke to TNT. They are 0.7metres taller than a standard trailer at the front end but the extended sloping tail end remains the same so we haven’t had to alter the fabric of our depot infrastructure.
“As well as cementing a long-term partnership with the Cartwight Group, we are delivering an innovative, low cost, environmentally beneficial solution for our network and for our customers.”
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.