UPS increases its fleet with alternative-fuel trucks
On Tuesday, UPS announced its most recent plans to increase its current natural gas fleet by around 19% by adding 730 new compressed natural gas trucks, to replace 40% of gasoline and diesel fuel sources used in its ground vehicles. The new trucks include 400 semi-tractors and 330 terminal trucks that will be used to move trailers around UPS facilities. Furthermore, as part of this $130 million investment, 5 compressed natural gas fueling stations will be built around the US, which will expand its existing network to over 50 stations throughout the US, UK and Canada.
This investment in the natural gas fleet is one of the main factors in helping UPS achieve its long-term goal of reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from ground operations by 12% by 2025. Alongside this, UPS can decrease its fuel costs through this investment as fuel is a major expense for transportation companies and fuel prices have been rising. The logistics company also believes that these plans will help to achieve another goal where 25% of new vehicles purchased must be an alternative-fuel vehicle or an advanced technology vehicle by 2020.
More information can be found here.
Drones in Walmart stores
Drones are the latest technology efforts that could transform the retail industry and they are expected to play a big role in shaping the future of retail. There have already been patents filed and tests conducted on delivery drones. But this week, it was revealed that Walmart has filed another patent to deploy drones in stores that will actually interact with shoppers and help to improve their in-store experience.
The drones Walmart plans to deploy would help shoppers locate items they wish to purchase. To get the drones attention, you must have your shopping list on a mobile device that is provided by the store and request navigation assistance for an item on the virtual shopping list. The device then communicates with the drone and it flies over to assist the customer with locating the selected item. However, Walmart isn’t the only retailer wanting to deploy drones that interact with customers. Amazon has also filed a patent to use a delivery drone that reacts to customers’ gestures and voice commands.
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Shipments to U.S. Ports are flooding in
Lately, American seaports have been swamped in cargo volume as more goods are imported in comparison to this time last year. This is due to an increase in retail demand and trade concerns. More goods are flowing through supply chains as the Unites States experience some strong economic growth and consumers are increasing their spending. The cargo volume has also risen because companies are ordering more from overseas to build up their inventories to decrease the cost impact of tariffs in anticipation of the changes to trade policies.
As a result of this increased cargo volume, U.S. logistic providers, their truck fleets and warehouse facilities are being stretched and more workers are needed to handle all the goods. Moreover, the wave of cargo is also testing the port’s infrastructure as larger ships are used and the longer unloading times are placing more pressure on roadways and rail-freight networks. Imports are expected to continue at this rate through the summer and fall months.
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Have a great weekend!