All aboard autonomy
On May 10, the Norwegian chemicals group, Yara, announced its intention to build a battery-powered ship that will be have the ability to drive itself. Its plan is to be operative by 2020; however, the ship will begin operations as a manned vessel from as early as next year. It will then change to remote operation in 2019 and finally be fully autonomous by 2020. Through the production of this new container vessel, the company will be able to replace 40,000 of its diesel truck journeys per year.
Sea freight is already recognized as the shipping service with the lowest carbon emissions, when compared to road and air travel. As it is intended to be a zero-emissions vehicle, Yara’s new ship, Yara Birkeland, will help to lower freight emissions in the shipping industry even further. Due to its autonomous design, it will also help to minimize risks of piracy through reducing the total number of crewmembers at sea. Yara’s vessel is yet another addition to the growing autonomous sector, adding to the number of self-driving vehicles, which are currently being tested.
Read more on the vessel here.
More options for restocking your needs
This week, Target announced its new next-day home delivery service, Target Restock. It is currently being trialed with Target employees at its headquarters, with a customer pilot being planned in stores throughout the Minneapolis area this summer. The service will concentrate on the next-day delivery of household essentials. Target Restock allows the customers to choose from 8,000 household items and have them shipped to their home for a flat fee. Although, a customer’s order will only be delivered the next day if it is placed before 1:30 pm.
Target will be offering the service to its REDcard holders; it is yet to decide whether the service will expand to all online shoppers. This will allow the company to create a more personalized experience for the customer rather than rolling out the service straight away. As well as this, if customers pay with their REDcard, they will receive a 5 percent discount. Target is now investing heavily in its supply chain and digital offerings in order to address the problem of falling sales. The delivery service will hopefully engage its existing customers, even if it is a little late to the offering when compared to the likes of Amazon.
Find out more information on the pilot here.
Where is my parcel?
On Monday, DHL launched a new option for its customers to track their parcels. The company has teamed up with Amazon to utilize its Alexa function on the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot smart speakers. The newly introduced voice-activated information service provides customers with a quick update on their shipment status just by asking Alexa. DHL is looking to new and innovative technologies to help engage its customers and offer them the best service possible. The company believes hands-free interaction with online apps will become more predominant in the future.
The number of people using voice engagement within their homes is definitely increasing, with already 10.7 million U.S. Amazon customers owning an Amazon Echo device. According to a new forecast, the amount of people using voice-activated assistant devices will jump by 128.9% this year when compared to 2016. Companies such as Amazon are continuing to introduce new devices like this to aid customer needs. Echo Look, a device that serves as a personal stylist is one example that was launched in April.
More information can be found here.
Have a great weekend!
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