DHL and Ford unveil their first jointly produced electric delivery van
Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford Motor Co. revealed the first of its line of new electric delivery vans in Cologne this week, known as the StreetScooter WORK XL.
The vehicle is based on a Ford transit chassis, with the body specifically designed to fit DHL’s specifications.
It is expected that 150 e-vans will be built for the remainder of 2017 in the StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany, with hopes of producing 2,500 units by the end of 2018.
“The new StreetScooter WORK XL expands our e-fleet in the commercial vehicle segment,” said management executive at Deutsche Post DHL, Jurgen Gerdes.
“It is the perfect vehicle for parcel deliveries in major cities and large urban areas, and will enable us to cope with the rising parcel volumes in an even more environmentally friendly and quieter manner. With this commitment, we are also underlining our claim of being the market leader in green logistics.”
Each vehicle could save up to five tonnes of CO2 and 1,900 litres of diesel annually, something that will provide significant environmental benefit.
“We’re really proud of this ambitious project, and of the strong partnership we’ve developed with Deutsche Post DHL Group and StreetScooter,” revealed Ford Vice President Steve Armstrong.
“This joint project will be Europe’s largest manufacturer of emission-free, medium-sized e-vans, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon.
“Buses, cars, and of course, delivery vans play vital roles in our daily lives, but we have to find a way to make them cleaner.
“This project is a great step along this path.”
Gartner: Women in supply chain at five-year high
Women now represent a greater percentage of the supply chain workforce than at any other point in at least the past five years, according to a recent Gartner survey.
The Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, conducted by Gartner and Awesome, surveyed 223 supply chain organisations with more than $100m in annual revenue from February through to the end of March 2021.
- Women represent 2% more of supply chain workforce than in 2020
- Women now account for 42% of the workforce
- Number of women in exec-level positions declined by 2%
- Just 15% of top leadership are women (17% in 2020)
- 84% of organisations say COVID-19 did not impact efforts to advance women
It found that women now represent two per cent more of the supply chain workforce than in 2020, accounting for 42%, compared with 39% last year. Dana Stiffler, Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, says the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain was significant, though different to other sectors.
"Contrary to other industries, supply chain’s mission-criticality during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many sectors did not reduce their workforce, but rather continued to hire and even faced talent shortages, especially in the product supply chains," she said. "This resulted in many women not only standing their ground in supply chain organisations but increasing their representation in organisations. We also recorded a record number of specific commitments and supply chain-led actions and saw existing programs starting to pay off."
Supply chain still lacks women in executive leadership
But the elephant in the boardroom remains. Though the figures present a positive step towards greater diversity and gender equality at all levels, the number of women in executive level positions declined by two per cent in the past year. Women represent just 15% of the upper echelons of supply chain leadership. Gartner did however record a rise in women at all other levels of leadership.
The vast majority (84%) of organisations surveyed said the outbreak had no discernible impact on their ability to retain and advance women. But more than half (54%) admitted that retaining mid-career women was becoming increasingly difficult. A lack of career opportunities was cited as the biggest challenge to this, while other blamed a lack of development opportunities.
Despite these challenges, companies of all sizes are becoming broadly better at gender diversity. Around a third more said they had a targeted initiative focused on attracting women and advancing their careers.
Stiffler said a push towards measurable and formal initiatives is at least pointing in the right direction: “It's encouraging to see that the larger share of this jump was for more formal targets and specific goals on management scorecards. For these respondents, there is greater accountability for results — and we see the correlation with stronger representation and inclusion showing up in pipelines.”