DHL launches its first fully-automated urban drone delivery service

DHL Express and EHang, an intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle company, have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China.

This launch makes DHL the first international express company to provide such a service in China.

“We are delighted to be partnering with EHang to set a new innovation milestone with this new fully-automated and intelligent drone logistics solution, which combines the strength of the world’s largest international express company together with one of the leading UAV companies in the world. This is an exciting time for the logistics sector, with continued growth of the Chinese economy and cross-border trade, particularly in South China and the Greater Bay Area, which is home to an increasing number of SMEs and startups. This means there is a tremendous volume of logistics needs, which in turn creates new opportunities for implementing innovative solutions that can continuously drive growth with greater efficiency, sustainability and less cost,” Wu Dongming, CEO, DHL Express China said.

“Together with DHL we are very glad to bring the first smart drone delivery service route to China in Guangzhou; this marks a new beginning in building air logistics for smart cities. Riding on today’s launch, we expect smart drone delivery as an innovative logistics solution to be expanded and realized in more areas, and we look forward to working with DHL in building the eco-system for a multi-dimensional urban air transport system,” Mr. Hu Huazhi, Founder & CEO of EHang, said.

The EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup, and smart and secure flight control modules. Its high-performance features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling. As a fully-automated and intelligent solution, the drones, which can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight, take off and land atop intelligent cabinets that were specifically developed for the fully autonomous loading and offloading of the shipment. The intelligent cabinets seamlessly connect with automated processes including sorting, scanning and storage of express mail, and will feature high-tech functions such as facial recognition and ID scanning.

Descartes acquires NZ logistics tech company

Descartes, a global software-as-a-service solutions provider for logistics-intensive businesses has announced that it has acquired Core Transport Technologies NZ Limited, a NZ electronic transportation network that provides global air carriers and ground handlers with shipment scanning and tracking solutions.

CORE has been connecting commercial airlines, ground handlers and the wider logistics community with trading partners and government postal authorities around the world for more than ten years.

Customers use CORE’s network to accurately track international mail, parcel and cargo shipments as well as US domestic mail and parcel shipments. CORE’s solutions leverage mobile technologies and data analytics to help customers automate processes and increase operational efficiency.

“As US domestic and international ecommerce continues to grow, more demands are being placed on carriers and their partners to deliver efficiently and report events in real-time. The CORE acquisition complements our recent investment in Velocity Mail, helping us to better serve the logistics service provider community working with postal authorities around the world. CORE’s solutions also extend beyond mail and parcel shipment tracking, with air cargo tracking solutions that we can add to our Global Logistics Network,” Ken Wood, EVP of Product Management at Descartes said.

“We continue to look for opportunities to add customers, solutions and content to our Global Logistics Network to help our customers manage the lifecycle of shipments. By combining with CORE, we’re strengthening our position in the growing domestic and global ecommerce market. We’re also adding new solutions to our Descartes Global Air Messaging Gateway that we believe will present a compelling opportunity for our global air cargo community to enhance real-time tracking and visibility of air shipments.,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO.

CORE is headquartered in Nelson, New Zealand. Descartes acquired CORE for up-front consideration of $US 21.0 million, plus potential performance-based consideration. The up-front consideration was satisfied with cash from Descartes’ existing acquisition line of credit. The maximum amount payable under the all-cash performance-based earn-out is $US 9.0 million, based on CORE achieving revenue-based targets in each of the first two years post-acquisition. Any earn-out is expected to be paid in fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022.

Brisbane company secures $US2.45m for high-tech defence drones

Skyborne, a Brisbane-based drone company, has secured $US2.45 million in international capital investment to expand its tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle business into overseas markets.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Skyborne received a grant through round two of the government’s Ignite Ideas program to develop their ground-breaking tri-tilt-rotor UAV, Cerberus GL.
“Since the government first partnered with Skyborne in 2017, they’ve created an extra 10 positions in Brisbane and are scaling up to export their technology overseas. This is a great example of a company that’s successfully leveraged government support to attract significant international investment from a private investor based in Abu Dhabi to continue growing its business and get closer to commercialisation,” she said.
The Cerberus GL UAV weighs less than six kilograms and has the capability to provide user aerial support on the battlefield, being classed as the lightest armed tactical UAV of its class, with applications in defence, counter-terrorism and law enforcement.
Skyborne Technologies CEO and Director Dr Michael Creagh said that although the Cerberus GL weighed less than six kilograms it was capable of providing aerial fire support at the squad and platoon level. It could also be used to deploy flash or smoke grenades to assist with counter-terrorism and law enforcement initiatives.
“It has been an amazing two years for Skyborne under Advance Queensland’s Ignite Ideas program, securing a Series A round of investment to expand our engineering team and manufacturing capabilities to deliver a commercialised product to interested parties,” Dr Creagh said.
“Raising capital for the next generation of tactical UAVs is not an easy undertaking and without grant programs like Ignite Ideas, companies like ours face an even greater struggle.”
Skyborne Technologies Chief Business Officer and Director Adrian Dudok said the support from the Queensland Government and recent capital raise has allowed Skyborne to employ seven additional staff and move to a larger commercial premise to support in-house manufacturing.
“With the continued support from the Queensland Government, Skyborne will contribute towards the focus on strengthening Queensland’s defence and manufacturing industry. The export opportunities are endless and we’ve received some serious interest from the US and Middle East.”

Yojee signs three-year deal with Geodis

Yojee, an Australian logistics technology start-up, has announced a three-year master services agreement with global logistics provider Geodis.
The Agreement will govern multiple projects across Asia Pacific where Yojee will provide its SaaS logistics and supply chain management technology on a project by project basis on standard commercial terms over three years, with: setup; subscription; professional service; and transaction fees applicable.
“We are excited to be selected for this opportunity as we have strategically aligned ourselves to the current needs of the market with innovative technology and are uniquely positioned both technically and geographically to understand and deliver a solution against the requirements of Geodis, a true global leader. This milestone validates our mantra of any business of any size, and also proves the capabilities of our world leading logistics technology,” Ed Clarke, Managing Director at Yojee said.
Geodis aims to digitise its logistics operations, optimise efficiency and enhance customer experience across Asia Pacific for land transport and cross-border logistics.
Land transport includes express, line haul and container trucking and can be both domestic and across borders in Asia, where Yojee’s proprietary software provides unique advantages in areas such as visibility, compliance and invoicing.
“After searching the market it became apparent that Yojee has built a unique solution that supports modern logistics requirements, drives efficiency and supports customer requirements. We work with over 1,000 partners across the region and face challenges in cross-border trucking which is solved by Yojee’s enterprise grade solution,” Dinesh Kenapathy, South East Asia Road Network Director at Geodis said.
Read more about Yojee: https://logisticsmagazine.com.au/a-rising-force-in-freight-movement/
 

DuluxGroup commits to new $27m facility in WA

DuluxGroup has committed to a 10-year lease on a new $27 million purpose-built facility in Maddington, Western Australia.
The new facility is being developed by Richmond and owned by the firm’s investment vehicle, Juceda Investments.
DuluxGroup partnered with property and supply chain firm TM Insight to design the property and will now project manage the build of the facility.
The facility is expected to be operational in mid 2020.
The 17,000-square-metre facility will be located at 4 Bickley Road, Maddington. The
development will feature significant levels of racked storage locations to accommodate a
vast range of product types, a mix of recessed loading docks and on-grade roller doors and a cross-docking facility design to create two large staging areas for inbound and outbound
freight, including customer pick-ups.
The state office for the DuluxGroup WA businesses will also be based within the facility.
“This new commitment in Maddington will consolidate multiple operations into a purpose-built facility to enable efficiency of storage, handling and distribution of multiple brands into common end points. This will allow us to support our growth in Western Australia,” Neale Rodgerson, National Distribution Manager at DuluxGroup said.
Milan Andjelkovic, Director at TM Insight, who is involved in the property procurement and
project management of the build, says the location was specifically chosen because of its
optimal positioning for DuluxGroup.

CEVA Logistics signs three-year deal with LUSH

CEVA Logistics has announced it has been awarded a three-year deal to manage and deliver LUSH products to its stores across the UK and Ireland.
With this new agreement, CEVA will be responsible for moving the full range of items sold by LUSH.
As a further part of the value-added solution, CEVA’s shared user network will be utilised to perform final mile delivery to almost 80 stores and ensure full visibility of all products as they are moved.
“We are delighted to be working with LUSH Cosmetics as their official supply chain logistics provider. Our shared values mean LUSH will benefit from CEVA’s approach to minimising our combined impact on the environment through environmentally responsible logistics solutions. We will use our experience and expertise to deliver and add value to their supply chain operations and ensure a focus on continuous improvement,” Eddie Aston, CEVA’s UK, Ireland and Nordics Managing Director said.
“CEVA really stood out during the tender process with their dedication and hard work to deliver precisely what we need across our distribution network. We are delighted to be working with them,’ Dan Payne, LUSH’s Logistics Manager said.

New Board member for Yojee

Yojee has announced the appointment of David Morton to its recently announced Advisory Board team.
This is the final appointment to the existing Advisory Board, rounding out the strategic and operational growth focus of the Company for 2019.
David is an experienced Corporate Banker with a successful career spanning 40 years at Westpac and HSBC.
He has recently returned to Australia after 12 years working in Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong) in a number of pan Asian roles including Managing Director, Head of Corporate, Financials and Multinationals Banking, Asia-Pacific.
David Morton is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, GAICD and holds a Business Studies degree (Accounting) from Victoria University.
“I am excited about the opportunity to assist Yojee in executing its strategies within the Asian region and scale across the world. The Company has a wonderful opportunity for its platform to support all stakeholders in the supply chain and logistics ecosystem, from shipper to carrier and from governmental and financial institutions where data and transparency is key. It’s recent announcement with a multi-national organisation shows the true potential of this early stage business,” David said.
“The Company has been strategically building its board and advisory structure with globally proven talent across technology, supply chain, automation and finance and capital markets with David being a great addition to complete our advisory structure. We are very pleased to have David joining us and look forward to our group of experienced board and advisors engaging the executive team in robust discussions around strategy and growth along with providing public market strategy and strong corporate governance,” Ed Clarke, MD, Yojee said.

Qube Holdings snaps up LCR Group for $135 million

Qube Holdings has announced the acquisition of LCR Group for $135 million.
LCR is a specialist provider of outsourced industrial logistics services, operating across mining, heavy transport, mobile crane and renewable energy industries including Oil and Gas.
“The acquisition of LCR is significant as it provides Qube the ability to deliver enhanced broad spectrum mining and industrial services to its existing and future customers. LCR is well known for providing innovative lift and shift materials handling solutions across Australia and PNG,” Paul Digney, Chief Operating Officer, Qube Holdings said.
Qube is Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services. The acquisition provides Qube additional geographical diversity and service capability to enhance the company’s ability to provide reliable integrated logistics solutions.
According to Qube, both organisations are aligned in their business models which are driven by a strong safety culture, a solid and stable team, and a strong ethos to work with our local communities rather than simply in them.
“This alignment will continue under the support umbrella of Qube which will drive our collective goal to increase our presence and customer focus both in Australia and internationally. I am very excited for the staff and customers of LCR; Qube offers a great opportunity for all parties to be part of a growing national logistics business,” Col Partington, CEO and Managing Director, CEO said.
“Qube is committed to developing strong business units that deliver value for our customer base. I am delighted to welcome all LCR staff and management to Qube and l look forward to seeing the expanded service offering benefiting the combined customer base,” Paul Digney said.
In an announcement, Qube stated that there are no immediate changes forecast for the business, the initial focus of the combined business will be to work with the management team to ensure the same high level of service continues and the new opportunities identified are delivered upon.

Ford trials self-driving robot to deliver parts

Ford is trialling a self-driving robot to deliver spare parts around one of its manufacturing plants. The robot, nicknamed “Survival”, can dodge unforeseen objects, change its route if obstructed and stop whenever necessary.
Developed entirely by Ford engineers, the company says it is the first of its kind to be used in any of the company’s European facilities.
“We programmed it to learn the whole of the plant floor so, together with sensors, it doesn’t need any external guides to navigate,” Eduardo García Magraner, engineering manager, at Ford’s state-of-the-art body and stamping plant in Valencia, Spain, where the robot is being trialled, said.
“When it first started you could see employees thinking they were in some kind of sci-fi movie, stopping and staring as it went by. Now they just get on with their jobs knowing the robot is smart enough to work around them.”
According to Ford, delivering spare parts and welding material to different stations around the plant is a crucial element in keeping Kuga, Mondeo and S-MAX production going. For Ford workers though, the task is time-consuming and relatively mundane.
In a statement, the company said the robot does not replace employees but can save up to 40-employee hours every day by taking over this role, allowing operators to use their time on more complex tasks.
The robot is equipped with an automated shelf that has 17 slots to hold materials of different weights and sizes. To avoid errors, the opening and closing of these slots is automated, meaning operators in each area only have access to the materials assigned to them.
“Survival” is one of a number of smart robots employed in Ford’s European facilities, including the “Robutt” and co-bots in Cologne, Germany. The self-driving robot uses LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to visualise its surroundings, a technology also used in Ford’s prototype autonomous vehicles.

DHL Group grows revenue and earnings in Q1 2019

DHL Group has increased both revenue and operating profit in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the prior-year period.
The company generated revenue of EUR 15.4 billion between January and March, an increase of 4.1 per cent on the previous year.
Operating profit (EBIT) was up 28.1 per cent to EUR 1.2 billion. In particular, the earnings contributions from the DHL divisions were again encouraging – while the surge in earnings was driven by non-recurring income from completing the Supply Chain partnership with S.F. Holding in China initiated at the end of 2018. Previously announced restructuring costs at Supply Chain and in the new eCommerce Solutions division slowed EBIT growth.
“The first quarter played out as we expected. We achieved growth in all five divisions. This shows that we are very well positioned in attractive markets and that our fundamental growth drivers are intact. E-commerce continues to boom all over the world and although some momentum has been lost, global trade is still on the rise, just as we expected for 2019. We are therefore on track towards our target of generating more than EUR 5 billion in EBIT in the coming year,” Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group said.

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