UPS set to add 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks to its fleet
The plans represent a three-y...
The logistics giants, UPS, has announced it is set to acquire over 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks from 2020 until 2022.
The plans represent a three-year commitment to invest $450mn in the expansion of UPS’ alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet. Set to be equipped with compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems provided under an exclusive agreement with Agility Fuel Solutions, a business of Hexagon Composites. It is anticipated that the investment will reduce UPS’s carbon footprint and have a positive influence on national CNG market growth.
“UPS continues to expand and improve our smart logistics network by implementing new technologies and creating a highly flexible, data-driven and sustainable network,” commented Juan Perez, Chief Information and Engineering Officer of UPS. “That is why we intend for 25% of our vehicles purchased in 2020 to run on alternative fuels.”
The vehicles which are equipped with CNG fuel systems can interchangeably use RNG and conventional gas. Having been produced from landfills, dairy farms and other bio sources, RNG consists of up to a 90% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to conventional diesel. Over the next seven years, it is expected that UPS will purchase 230mn gallon equivalents of RNG which will make the company the largest consumer of RNG in the transportation industry.
“We are proud to continue our collaboration with UPS, a front-runner in clean transportation,” added Seung Baik, president of Agility Fuel Solutions. “With our range of proven and reliable clean fuel technologies and aftermarket support capabilities, we will assist UPS in reaching its sustainability targets.”
Since 2016, Agility Fuel Solutions has provided natural gas fuel storage and delivery systems to over 1,700 UPS trucks. The firm is set to provide complete end-to-end natural gas systems for heavy-duty gas trucks, terminal tractors and medium-duty walk-in vans which are UPS’s familiar brown delivery trucks. Over the past 10 years, UPS has invested more than $1bn in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations to help meet its target of decreasing absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 12% across its global ground operations by 2025.
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Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.