UPS launches its new UPS My Choice for SMBs

UPS began onboarding customers for its new UPS My Choice for business service in the US. According to UPS, this is the first visibility and tracking solution in the US designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Read more

UPS supports vaccine drone delivery program in Ghana

The UPS Foundation and Gavi have announced support for the expansion of a medical drone network into Ghana.
Zipline, a California-based automated logistics company, will use drones to make on-demand, emergency deliveries of 148 high priority products including emergency and routine vaccines, blood products and life-saving medications.
The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from four distribution centers—each equipped with 30 drones—and deliver to over 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people across the country.
The partnership between the Government of Rwanda and Zipline, supported by philanthropic grants and in-kind support from The UPS Foundation and Gavi, pioneered just-in-time drone delivery of blood products to hard-to-reach clinics in Rwanda.
The Government of Ghana is building on that success with expanded Zipline services, supported again by Gavi and the UPS Foundation and joined this time by the Gates Foundation and Pfizer. The Zipline drone network will be integrated into the national healthcare supply chain in Ghana and will help prevent vaccine stockouts in health facilities as well as during national immunisation campaigns.
“The ability of the Government to supplement routine immunisation on demand will allow us to make sure that there will always be enough life-saving vaccines for every child in Ghana. This is an exciting development for Gavi that is ultimately going to ensure we leave no one behind and help us protect more children living in remote areas against vaccine preventable diseases,” Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said.
Logistics will be managed through Zipline’s hardware and software systems in each of the distribution centres, and deliveries will take place at hospitals and health clinics. The UPS Foundation will provide $3 million, including $2.4 million in funding and UPS will provide $600,000 of in-kind shipping services. Separately, UPS has already begun an analysis of Ghana’s healthcare supply chain, providing expertise designed to complement the government’s vision to continually optimise the delivery of healthcare products.

UPS launches drone service to deliver medical supplies in California

UPS has announced a new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through a collaboration with an autonomous drone technology provider, Matternet.
The program is taking place at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C., metropolitan area, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The program will utilise Matternet’s M2 quadcopter, which is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and can carry medical payloads weighing up to about 5 lbs. over distances of up to 12.5 miles.
Throughout the WakeMed program, a medical professional will load a secure drone container with a medical sample or specimen – such as a blood sample – at one of WakeMed’s nearby facilities. The drone will fly along a predetermined flight path, monitored by a specially trained Remote Pilot-in-Command (RPIC), to a fixed landing pad at WakeMed’s main hospital and central pathology lab. This will be an ongoing program at WakeMed, and UPS and Matternet will use the learnings to consider how drones can be applied to improve transport services at other hospitals and medical facilities across the U.S.
Enhancing the UPS Global Smart Logistics Network to support hospitals and other healthcare organisations remains a key element of the company’s transformation strategy.
Healthcare and life science logistics is a priority segment for UPS, and the company is building new relationships and technologies to deliver better patient care with streamlined logistics and supply chain.
This collaboration is the latest UPS program to utilise drone flights in support of healthcare logistics. UPS partnered with GAVI and Zipline in 2016 to deliver blood products to remote locations in Rwanda. The Matternet team has already completed more than 3,000 flights for healthcare systems in Switzerland.

UPS tops global logistics list for brand value

US logistics company United Postal Service (UPS) has been named the world’s most valuable logistics brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Logistics 25 report, despite a one per cent year-on-year decrease in brand value to US$22 billion ($28 billion).
UPS was followed by FedEx in second place, Japan Railways in third and DHL in fourth.
“There is no doubt that forging a distinct brand helps a business to build resilience,” said Richard Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance. “As Amazon prepares to launch ‘Shipping with Amazon’, having a strong brand can help protect incumbents from this new competition. Powerful brands alone will not be enough to prevent Amazon from gaining a foothold in the industry, however they will allow breathing room for the existing brands to riposte and limit their loss of market share.”
FedEx’s acquisition of TNT Express helped it achieve its second-place position, Brand Finance found, though notably the Petya cyber attack created a loss of revenue due to decreased volumes.

Amazon trialling own delivery service

E-commerce company Amazon is reportedly trialling its own delivery service, news site TechRadar reports.
According to news company the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s new service encompasses pick-up of packages from businesses sell on its site through its Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service, and delivery to customers, taking over the task usually performed by dedicated delivery companies such as United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx.
Although there have been no official reports from the company itself, the Wall Street Journal reports that the pilot scheme has already been launched in London, and soon will head to Los Angeles and other US cities.

US logistics union demands protection from automation

US labour union Teamsters has demanded that US delivery company UPS provide assurances that deliveries will not be automated through the use of drones or self-driving vehicles, as a part of a new collective bargaining agreement, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Teamsters represents the interests of more than 260,000 UPS employees in the US, and has a total membership base of more than 1.3 million workers.
Business Insider notes that UPS and other delivery companies including DHL and FedEx are looking into automation technology to cope with increasing delivery volumes brought about through the rise of e-commerce, and the country’s truck driver shortage.
In early 2017, UPS conducted a drone delivery trial, through which a drone would launch from the UPS van and complete parcel deliveries to addresses close by, while drivers also completed deliveries.
Research company Pew found in a 2017 of US adults that 72 per cent were worried about automated technology taking jobs, and 58 per cent supported government restrictions on the number of roles businesses can replace with machines.

Logistics Hall of Fame honours Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.
 

Seeing logistics in 3D

From hearing aids to jet engines, 3D printing is revolutionising the world of manufacturing.
Of all the ways 3D printing will change the world, the democratisation of manufacturing is perhaps the most important. Think of it as the Uberisation of manufacturing, where supply can be accessed anywhere in the world to produce goods at the click of button.
This is a once-in-a-generation logistics opportunity, as so-called additive manufacturing will optimise the time and cost of making and delivering goods. Mass customisation will be the new normal. So what does this mean for the future of logistics?
Modern delivery and manufacturing
We’ll see more direct-to-person manufacturing as well as delivery. Physical stores will be reserved for generic goods, not items customised to the individual. Hybrid customisation has enormous potential for logisticians.
Imagine thousands of products from cell phones to blenders, each made with a common core but customisable covering. Third-party logistics providers are uniquely suited to move these items.
Logistics companies like UPS would simply store the common core in their warehouse, print the custom piece and finish final assembly near the point of consumption.
This would also disrupt service parts logistics. Right now, companies make and store hundreds of thousands of critical parts around the world at tremendous expense just on the off-chance that they’ll be needed for an emergency repair.
In the future, these slow-moving parts will be stored virtually and printed on demand. As a result, import and export costs – especially important to small businesses – will plummet dramatically.
As companies begin to take advantage of designing parts for 3D printing, the manufacturing industry will re-invent itself. Machines designed to construct a specific product will give way to 3D printers capable of making many different items.
This will be the sparkplug for efficiency across supply chains. It will revolutionise how we get items to your doorstep. And it will forever alter how you search for and purchase goods every day.
Even though 3D printing is a 30-year-old technology, we’re just scratching the surface of where additive manufacturing will take us. These printers are no longer reserved solely for prototyping and product design.
We’ve moved beyond trinkets and souvenirs to items like hearing aids and aircraft parts, proving this is no fad.The global 3D printing market will exceed $21 billion by 2020, according to Wohlers Associates.
3D printing demands
In addition, the demand for 3D printers, materials and services will surpass $10 billion by 2018, the consulting firm found. Such promise is why UPS recently partnered with software company SAP to expedite the manufacturing and delivery of 3D-printed parts.
Customers can go online and place an order through the Fast Radius website and these items will be printed either at a UPS Store location or printing facility connected to our air hub in Louisville, Kentucky – in as little as a day.
This effectively creates end-to-end industrial manufacturing. And we expect these efforts to go global in the near future.
Moving beyond logistics, however, 3D printing will change the way we think. It will change how future generations learn and see the world.
This technology can now keep pace with anything we imagine. We’re no longer forced to innovate in a world shackled to existing infrastructure. If you can think it, you can do it.
Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.

UPS investing in natural gas fleet, infrastructure

US-based United Postal Service (UPS) will invest more than US$90 million ($117 million) in building an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations and add 390 new CNG prime movers and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel fleet.
“With more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fuelling stations, UPS has had great results using natural gas as an alternative fuel in our fleet,” said Mark Wallace, Senior Vice President Global Engineering and Sustainability, UPS. “We know the importance of investing in natural gas globally for our fleet and the alternative fuel market. In 2016, we used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in our ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gas and diesel, and decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons.”
 
UPS CNG small
The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, California; Orlando, Florida; Salina, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky and Greensboro, North Carolina in the US, and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. Renewable natural gas (RNG) will be used at the station in Ontario to fuel UPS vehicles in the area with renewable compressed natural gas (RCNG).
In 2016, UPS invested $100 million in CNG fuelling stations and vehicles. The postal service currently operates 31 CNG fueling stations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia and runs CNG vehicles in 38 states in the US in addition to vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.
The company has driven more than one billion miles since 2000 with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet.
 

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