UPS consortium introduces new EV charging technology for its fleet in London
UPS are leading a consortium that aims to deploy a new electric vehicle (EV) charging system in the UK’s capital city for its delivery fleet.
The system uses a smart-grid powered by a central server connected to EV charging posts, the power grid supply, and on-site energy storage.
The vehicles are charged overnight, allowing the building to use the energy during the day for logistics, and ensuring the EVs are fully charged for the morning when they will be needed, all the while the maximum power from the grid is not exceeded.
The Smart Electric Urban Logistics project will enable UPS to more than double the number of vehicles it currently deploys in London, from 65 to 170 – aiding to firm’s transition from combustion engine vehicles.
“UPS thinks this a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city,” stated Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability at UPS Europe.
“We are using new technology to work around some big obstacles to electric vehicle deployment, heralding a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world.”
“Electric vehicles are an integral component within UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet.”
“Our collaboration with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnerships marks a major turning point in the cost effective deployment of electric vehicles which in turn will play a key role in ensuring the global trend towards urbanization is sustainable.”
“We are applying new technology to make the charging process smarter and our delivery service cleaner.”
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.”