May 17, 2020

XPO Logistics: at the forefront of technology in logistics

Logistics
Warehousing
Technology
Georgia Wilson
2 min
XPO Logistics robotic arm operator
Following research into leading logistics companies and their technology innovations, we take a look at the mindset behind XPO Logistics’ recent deplo...

Following research into leading logistics companies and their technology innovations, we take a look at the mindset behind XPO Logistics’ recent deployments. 

XPO Logistics lorry parked outside an office building

Image source: XPO Logistics

Automation, artificial intelligence, connectivity, standardisation and real time analytics, these are just a few of the buzzwords that are mentioned day to day in modern day logistics and warehousing. With this industry being known for its complexity and legacy systems, key players within the industry have been leading the way when it comes to harnessing innovative technology within their operations to battle this challenge. 

One of these key players is XPO Logistics, a global provider of transportation and logistics services that help its customers manage their goods to the highest efficiency throughout their supply chains.

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When it comes to technology, the company is devoted to rapid-fire innovation, utilising significant resources to technological development on behalf of its customers. “We believe that innovation, propelled by scale, creates better ways to move goods into the hands of the people who need them,” says XPO Logistics. 

Each year the company invests US$550mn into its technological innovation and has over 1,800 technologists that focus on four core areas of innovation: automation and intelligent machines, visibility and customer service, the digital freight marketplace and dynamic data science. “We’re taking the lead in integrating emerging technology throughout our business,” says Troy Cooper, Chief Operating Officer of XPO Logistics.

Current ways the company is using innovative technology include: 

  • XPOConnect - a multimodal digital freight marketplace that increases connectivity within transportation networks. The platform is unique to the industry and uses self learning architecture and predictive data to improve efficiency.

  • Proprietary warehouse management platform - a cloud based command center that reduces the time required to deploy collaborative robots and automations.

  •  C3-XPO - an autonomous security robot that monitors the car parks and exterior of the company’s sites, 24 hours a day. 

To read the full feature on the future of logistics warehouses check out February’s edition of Supply Chain Digital. 

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - 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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