Amazon invests in delivery start-up Deliveroo

Deliveroo has announced that Amazon is leading a new $575MM Series G shared funding round. This will make Amazon the largest investor in this round.
Amazon joins existing investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks.
According to the company, this series of funding will bring customers the food they want whenever and wherever they want it, offering even more work for riders, and helping restaurants to grow their businesses by reaching new customers.
“Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation. This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate,” Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo said.
“We’re impressed with Deliveroo’s approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options. Will and his team have built an innovative technology and service, and we’re excited to see what they do next,” Doug Gurr, Country Manager, Amazon UK said.
The new investment will contribute to:

  • Growing Deliveroo’s engineering team based in its London headquarters
  • Expanding Deliveroo’s delivery reach in order to continue offering its service to new customers
  • New innovations in the food sector, for example through delivery-only super kitchens “Editions”, as well as new formats that will help restaurants expand to new areas at a lower cost and lower risk, bringing more choice to local neighbourhood
  • Increased support for restaurant partners, and new tools to offer riders flexible and well-paid work

Read more about Deliveroo in Australia here.

Chevin expands its global team with new appointments in Australia

Chevin Fleet Solutions has announced the appointment of thirteen new team members across Australia, Europe and North America.
Laura Jones, joining as financial controller, will be responsible for managing the company’s accounts across the entire global operation.
Darren Trueman, Neil Robinson, Michael Kowalewicz and Cristian Tobol have been appointed as software developers alongside product developers Arun Purewal, Sam Hufton, Athanasios Kaloudis. Bringing young talent into the team, Alex Bright and Jay Smith take on the roles of IT apprentice developers.
Chris Cooper has joined as a junior business analyst and Simon Haley as a Project Manager. Audrey Guillet joins the marketing team as Marketing Executive on a six-month internship from France. Audrey’s role will support communications activity across the company’s French operation.
“We are very fortunate in being able to bring onboard such experience to the team. The company is entering another exciting growth phase following recent contract wins and these new appointments will support the existing teams in helping drive the business forward. I am delighted to welcome them to the team,”  Ashley Sowerby, Managing Director, said.

New truck design on the horizon: just add wheels

Prof. Amir Khajepour stands next to a vehicle containing his new wheel unit.

Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialised purposes using a sophisticated wheel unit developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
The self-contained unit combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension, steering and a control system in a single module designed to be bolted to any vehicle frame.
It would free manufacturers from making huge investments to develop those components from scratch and enable the economical production of specialised vehicles in even small quantities.
“The idea is modularity and plug-and-play control capability,” said Amir Khajepour, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at Waterloo. “Our wheel unit, in a sense, is a full vehicle with only one wheel. All that’s missing is a body.”
Automotive researchers first applied the concept to electric, two-seater urban cars, which promise to ease congestion and reduce pollution, but make up only a tiny fraction of sales because of high prices, space limitations and safety concerns.
Mass-produced wheel units would significantly reduce production costs whilst also creating space for passengers that would otherwise be devoted to mechanical components such as steering columns.

To improve the stability of the tall, narrow cars, researchers also designed and prototyped the units – which weigh about 40 kilograms and have about 25 horsepower – to enable active wheel cambering, or tilting.
“Companies will be able to produce a smaller car that is cheaper, too,” said Mr Khajepour, director of the Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Lab. “Right now, we are not there. You have to pay more to get a smaller car, to get less.”
The next step in the research involves scaling up the wheel unit, technically called a corner module, for large utility and commercial vehicles.
That would pave the way for more cost-effective production of low-volume, specialised vehicles with customised bodies in fields such as rescue operations.
“It’s an economy of scale problem,” Mr Khajepour said. “Corner modules would allow us, without enormous development costs, to make vehicles that are specific for each application, for each function, by concentrating only on the design of the body and the user interface.”
A paper on the research, Development of a Novel Integrated Corner Module for Narrow Urban Vehicles, was co-authored by Khajepour, former master’s student Mohammad-Amin Rajaie and post-doctoral fellows Alireza Pazooki and Amir Soltani. It first appeared online in Journal of Automobile Engineering in January 2018 and in print on February 1, 2019.
 

Airbus trials drone delivery to ships

Airbus has begun shore-to-ship trials in Singapore with its Skyways parcel delivery drone.
This marks the first time drone technology has been deployed in real port conditions to deliver a variety of small, time-critical maritime essentials to working vessels at anchorage.
The trials are being undertaken in conjunction with partner Wilhelmsen Ships Services,.
During the trials, Airbus’ Skyways drone will lift off from the pier with a payload capability of up to 4 kg, and navigate autonomously along pre-determined ‘aerial corridors’ to vessels as far as 3 km from the coast.
“We are thrilled to launch the first trial of its kind in the maritime world. Today’s accomplishment is a culmination of months of intense preparation by our dedicated team, and the strong collaboration with our partner, as we pursue a new terrain in the maritime industry,” A Leo Jeoh, Airbus’ Skyways lead said.
“We are also happy to be taking a step forward for Airbus’ urban air mobility endeavour, as we continue to explore and seek better understanding of what it takes to fly safe and reliable autonomous flying vehicles safely,” he added.
“The now proven, seamless operation of drone deliveries from shore to ship, in one of the world’s busiest ports proves the hard work, investment and faith we, and indeed our partners, placed in the Agency by Air project over the past two years was not misplaced,” Marius Johansen, Vice President Commercial, Ships Agency at Wilhelmsen Ships Services said.
“Delivery of essential spares, medical supplies and cash to master via launch boat, is an established part of our portfolio of husbandry services, which we provide day in and day out, in ports all over the world. Modern technology such as the unmanned aircraft systems, are just a new tool, albeit a very cool one, with which we can push our industry ever forward and improve how we serve our customers,” he added.

DB Schenker and Einride partner to trial driverless electric trucks

DB Schenker and Einride have received approval from the Swedish Transport Agency to pilot driverless electric trucks on public roads.
In November last year, Einride and DB Schenker initiated the first installation of an autonomous, all-electric truck or “T-pod” at a DB Schenker facility in Jönköping, Sweden. It was the first commercial installation of its kind in the world.
“Autonomous trucks will become increasingly important for the logistics sector. Together with Einride, we are now able to introduce autonomous, fully electric trucks to a continuous flow on a public road – a milestone in the transition to the transport system of tomorrow,” Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker said.
On March 7 the Swedish Transport Agency and Einride conducted a so-called Site Acceptance Test (SAT) – a test under real-world conditions – at the facility in Jönköping.
The government agency concluded that the T-pod is able operate in accordance with Swedish traffic regulations. March 11, Einride’s application to expand the pilot to a public road was approved.
“Heavy road transport is responsible for a substantial part of global CO2 emissions. The pilot in Jönköping is a small but important step towards a sustainable transport system. The permit from the Swedish Transport Agency is an important testimonial to the safety of the solution,” Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride said.
Daily transport between a warehouse and a terminal will commence during spring.
The permit applies to a short distance on a public road within an industrial area – between a warehouse and a terminal – where traffic speeds are typically low. The permit is valid until December 31, 2020.
Einride and DB Schenker initiated their partnership in April 2018. The agreement includes the pilot in Jönköping and an option for additional pilots internationally.
Ericsson and Telia provides the installation with high performance, 5G-based connectivity.

3D printed steel tools can cut titanium alloys

High strength cutting tools can now be 3D printed, potentially saving time and money for aerospace and Defence manufacturers.
RMIT University PhD candidate Jimmy Toton received the 2019 Young Defence Innovator Award and $15,000 prize at the Avalon International Airshow for the research, which was conducted with Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) and industry partner Sutton Tools.
Because the metals used in Defence and aerospace are so strong, making high quality tools to cut them is a major, and expensive, challenge.
This collaborative project conducted at RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct is the first convincing demonstration of 3D printed steel tools that can cut titanium alloys as well as, or in some cases better than, conventional steel tools.
“Now that we’ve shown what’s possible, the full potential of 3D printing can start being applied to this industry, where it could improve productivity and tool life while reducing cost,” said Toton.
The team’s high-performance steel milling cutters were made using Laser Metal Deposition technology, which works by feeding metal powder into a laser beam. As the laser moves and the metal solidifies at the trailing edge, a 3D object is built layer by layer.
This additive manufacturing process also allows for objects to be built with complex internal and external structures.
Toton overcame significant challenges in getting the layers to ‘print’ to form strong, crack-free parts as he took this from initial concept through to development.
He is now working towards establishing a print-to-order capability for Australia’s advanced manufacturing supply chains.
“Manufacturers need to take full advantage of these new opportunities to become or remain competitive, especially in cases where manufacturing costs are high,” said Toton.
“There is real opportunity now to be leading with this technology.”
DMTC chief executive officer, Dr Mark Hodge, said the importance of productivity and cost-efficiency to Australian manufacturers should not be underestimated.
“Supply chain innovations and advances like improved tooling capability all add up to meeting performance benchmarks and positioning Australian companies to win work in local and global supply chains,” he said.
“The costs of drills, milling cutters and other tooling over the life of major Defence equipment contracts can run into the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. This project opens the way to making these high-performing tools cheaper and faster, here in Australia.”
RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct director and Toton’s supervisor, Professor Milan Brandt, said the work was a clear demonstration of the technology’s potential.
“Additive technology is rising globally and Jimmy’s project highlights a market where it can be applied to precisely because of the benefits that this technology offers over conventional manufacturing methods,” said Brandt.

Maersk to introduce a virtual assistant named Captain Peter

Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo.
Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform.
In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter.
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said.
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs.
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo.
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said.
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.

Start-ups challenged to address supply chain issues

British logistics company Wincanton is once again challenging start-ups to pitch their solutions for industry challenges as part of its W2 Labs innovation program, which is open internationally.
Run in partnership with L Marks, the corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor, this is the second year that the program has run with start-ups invited to demonstrate the value of their work which will span four categories:

  • Maximum visibility. The judges are looking for better ways to see how everything moves through the whole supply chain, from source to destination; every product, every asset, everything. Customers, and the customer’s customer, want to know where it all is, all of the time. What can you bring us to help them see?
  • Warehouse of the future. In the future, we know that there will be more automation and greater efficiency, but as the High Street transforms, warehouses become the new ‘storefront’. So how will the best warehouses actually be run? What breakthrough technology, tools, working practices will make them smarter, happier, places to be? People, process, technology – what do you do that will be a major part of this seismic shift?
  • Intelligent decision making. Data, data everywhere and never stopping to think. Because it’s not just about big data, it’s about big decisions, based on intelligent input. It’s about anticipating, pre-empting, reacting… Everybody wants to be able to predict outcomes, monitor quality, plot demand, etc. Have you got data to add? Have you got smarter sensors? Is your intelligence artificial and adaptable to the world?
  • Open season. This is the wildcard. The judges are looking for the best and brightest ideas that can light up logistics, to change the game, be disruptive and surprising. Must be super-safety conscious, and focused on being industry-leading in health & safety, this year your ideas should focus on ‘SafetyTech’, in particular, for both employees and the general public. If you think that you have something that will help make the world a safer place, now is your chance. Bring it on!

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to develop their business proposition with Wincanton and will receive intensive business mentoring from the company’s senior executives, with a view to securing an ongoing commercial agreement.
ZigZag, a technology business, which helps online retailers improve their customer service and international returns proposition, is just one of last year’s W2 Labs success stories.
Al Gerrie, ZigZag founder, said of working with Wincanton: “We’re already confident in our ZigZag solution yet logistics is a huge industry and there are many verticals we have not yet touched on. With the guidance and support of the Wincanton team we have been able to look at new and innovative ways of using the ZigZag platform to improve the returns process in other sectors.”
Wincanton CEO Adrian Colman said of the W2 Labs 2018 launch: “Following the success of last year’s program, which had over 90 submissions from 12 countries, we are excited to see the breadth of talent this year’s W2 Labs brings. At Wincanton, we recognise that to innovate we need an open and curious mind; an approach where we combine our own experience with that of the best start-up businesses from around the world. Together, we can exploit the possibilities of the digital supply chain to the benefit of our customers.”
Applications for W2 Labs are open until 21 October 2018, with the best entries invited to pitch in late spring. A 12-week intensive collaboration period between Wincanton and the selected start-ups will then follow, with concepts being demonstrated at the end of the process.
For more information or to enter your company for consideration, visit www.W2Labs.com.
 
 
 

2018 Mercury Awards to recognise supply chain excellence

After a brief hiatus, the Logistics & Materials Handling Mercury Awards will be relaunched in 2018 for the ninth annual instalment, in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The Awards, featuring a new design, will recognise the outstanding achievements and successes of companies across the logistics, supply chain and materials handling sectors.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, a business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain. MEGATRANS2018 incorporates all forms of freight transport, logistics and materials handling, infrastructure and storage and warehousing, providing perfect alignment with the Mercury Awards.
Twelve awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations across the supply chain:

  • Supply Chain Innovator of the Year
  • Safety Advocate of the Year
  • Best Technology Application
  • Sustainability Initiative Award
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Road
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Rail
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Air
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Sea
  • Outstanding Graduate Program
  • Best Storage Solution
  • Best Infrastructure Innovation
  • Victorian Government ‘Contribution to Industry’ Award

The 2018 Mercury Awards sponsors include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and SICK. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information please contact Simon Coburn on 03 9690 8766 or simon.coburn@primecreative.com.au.
Nominations details will be announced soon.

Manhattan Associates wins logistics innovation award

Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) has won the Logistical Innovation award at the 2017 Australian Business Awards.
“This recognition reflects both our 27 years of focus and investment in supply-chain and omni-channel commerce innovation and how our solutions are enabling Australian organisations to respond to their customers’ rapidly changing needs,” said Raghav Sibal, Managing Director – Australia and New Zealand, Manhattan Associates.
“The expectations of today’s consumers are soaring and they want their goods delivered faster and more conveniently. With our WMS and complementary solutions, such as Distributed Order Management, retailers, manufacturing brands, wholesalers and distributors are equipping themselves with flexible fulfilment capabilities. By enabling them to work their whole network harder – leveraging inventory in transit, within stores, at suppliers, as well as in distribution centres – they can fulfil orders quicker and more profitably.”
Manhattan Associations supports Country Road Group, Casella Family Brands, eStore Logistics and Jeanswest, among others.
“Today, companies are facing a highly competitive and continuously changing business landscape,” said Tara Johnston, Program Director, Australian Business Awards. “In this context, the performance of companies depends more than ever on their flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness.
“New technological possibilities have the potential to transform the way companies operate within their respective industries with long-term gains in efficiency, productivity and customer loyalty. Each year, the ABA100 Winners are recognised for their commitment to business and product innovation and for their achievements in transforming business practices and end user experiences.”
The Australian Business Award for Logistical Innovation recognises products and services that provide innovative solutions for new and existing market needs in the fields of logistics and supply chain management.
 

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