Logistics to be game-changer for delivery businesses amid Covid if they make this cost-effective move

The Financial Express | May 26, 2020

Logistics has suddenly been thrust to the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe. Things are no different in India. Logistics is no longer an activity that happens in the background, it is now the differentiator. The pandemic has brought both opportunities and challenges for startups. The strange thing is that both the challenge and the opportunity is logistics. For e-grocery, e-commerce, food delivery, and other on-demand service companies, this period might very well be the epochal moment when they can deeply integrate themselves into the daily lives of consumers. But for that to happen, logistics will have to play a critical role. Most people are familiar with the last-mile delivery, but logistics is a lot more than just that. Online players either tie-up with FMCG companies, farms, wholesalers, etc to source the required items and this means that logistics is involved in every step of the process — right from the farm to the warehouse, warehouse to area-specific hubs and finally from hub to customer. Delay at any step has ripple effects and leads to late delivery. While unaccounted delays is an impediment, the other big cause for concern is the manpower. E-groceries and e-commerce players are running their operations with just around 60 per cent of their usual manpower. According to various news reports, the big guns are hiring thousands of on-ground staff to meet the surging demand and some are even willing to pay more compensation to these workers.

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TRANSPORTATION

FedEx and Aurora Expand Autonomous Commercial Linehaul Trucking Pilot in Texas Ahead of Schedule

Aurora Innovation, Inc. | May 19, 2022

Aurora Innovation, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUR) and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced the expansion of their pilot program to autonomously move FedEx shipments on an additional commercial lane in Texas. In March 2022, Aurora's next-generation autonomous trucks – based on the new Peterbilt 579 – began to transport FedEx shipments between Aurora’s new terminals in Fort Worth and El Paso. Aurora is making the 600-mile trip on a weekly basis with safety drivers on board and expects to increase the frequency of trips in the coming months. Aurora continues to move shipments for FedEx between Aurora’s South Dallas terminal and its new Houston terminal on a daily basis. Progress and momentum: FedEx and Aurora pilot snapshot Since the commercial pilot began in September 2021, Aurora’s deliveries of FedEx shipments between Dallas and Houston have been 100% on time. With each trip, the Aurora Driver (Aurora’s self-driving technology product) is providing thousands of FedEx customers with packages that were autonomously transported. Aurora moves trailers for FedEx during various weather conditions and all hours of the day and night, optimizing fleet utilization. Aurora completed daily hauls during the 2021 peak Holiday season, the busiest time of year for FedEx. To date, the companies have completed 60,000 miles with zero safety incidents. Aurora’s performance throughout this pilot demonstrates the value proposition autonomous trucking offers for transportation and logistics providers as the company works toward the commercial launch of its autonomous trucks. In light of the headwinds facing the logistics industry – ranging from increasing demand for the quick transportation of shipments to a challenging labor market – the Aurora Driver, when integrated into existing linehaul operations, has potential to provide a reliable, efficient linehaul solution to help address such industry concerns. Innovation is in our DNA – our culture drives us to think radically and differently, finding new ways to use technology to enhance safety, improve our operations, empower our team members and help our customers succeed,” said Rebecca Yeung, Corporate Vice President, Operations Science & Advanced Technology, FedEx Corporation. Aurora has been a like-minded collaborator, helping us learn from and grow our autonomous trucking solutions. We look forward to our continued work together as we test further integration of autonomous technology into our operations to build a collaborative, robust network of solutions to respond to growing customer demand. “Some time ago, I was asked why the general public should care about autonomous trucking. This is why. In six months of working with FedEx, we’ve safely, reliably, and efficiently transported packages for tens of thousands of FedEx customers, This lane expansion came ahead of schedule and we’re delighted to continue building the future of trucking with one of the country’s biggest and most important transportation companies.” -Sterling Anderson, Aurora Co-founder and Chief Product Officer. FedEx Corporation’s Rebecca Yeung and Aurora’s Sterling Anderson will also be speaking about how autonomous trucks can transform logistics and the movement of goods later today at TechCrunch Mobility Summit. About Aurora Aurora (Nasdaq: AUR) is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, from freight-hauling semi-trucks to ride-hailing passenger vehicles, and underpins Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, its driver-as-a-service products for trucking and ride-hailing. Aurora is partnered with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem, including Toyota, FedEx, Volvo Trucks, PACCAR, Uber, Uber Freight, U.S. Xpress, Werner, and Covenant. To learn more, visit www.aurora.tech. About FedEx FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $92 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its nearly 600,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit about.fedex.com.

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SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY

Moov Announces Real-Time Logistics Tracking and Virtual Equipment Inspections via Moov Portal

Moov | May 11, 2022

Moov, a data-fueled marketplace for used semiconductor manufacturing equipment, announced its marketplace now serves as a one-stop shop for the second-hand buying experience, offering customers an ecosystem of aftermarket services including logistics and tracking, digital inspections, refurbishing and insurance all within one customer portal.Moov customers now may opt in or out of services including real-time logistics tracking, insurance, the company’s purchase guarantee, refurbishment, spare parts, contracts and payment options. Customers utilizing the Moov platform include Applied Materials, Western Digital, Maxim Integrated, KLA and Microchip. To assist with end-to-end visibility, the newly launched Moov Portal empowers clients with real-time tracking of their equipment purchases in cargo categories such as location, temperature, humidity and light exposure. “Whether your cargo is on the back of a truck or in the middle of the Pacific, Moov provides our customers with purchased-equipment visibility during these times of supply-chain uncertainty,” said Raymond Mahon, Moov’s director of customer success and head of the company’s Austin office. “Our system provides transparency where there was none. Knowing exactly where and how your cargo is being transported is vital given the high-dollar value of the equipment we trade.” Insurance to Cover the Value of Equipment throughout the Supply Chain Moov has partnered with a network of best-in-class service providers to enable an ecosystem of aftermarket services. For example, Switzerland-headquartered global transport and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel International AG, the world’s largest freight forwarder, now offers Moov customers insurance through The Nacora Group, a Kuehne + Nagel subsidiary. The insurance covers 100% of the value of all equipment as it moves through the supply chain. “Unless equipment is already warehoused, used semiconductor equipment changes many hands in a single transaction,” Mahon said. “You need an engineer to de-install it, a rigger to remove it, a crater to package it and a freight forwarder to ship it. The insurance we are rolling out would cover the entire supply chain for our buyers regardless of whether they hire the vendor or if Moov subcontracts them.” Another example of a value added service Moov will now provide is remote digital inspection, via photographic verification. Moov customers can use digital-inspection to reduce equipment inspection time to a matter of hours instead of weeks anywhere in the world. This service conducts a 15-point fraud check on photograph metadata to ensure image authenticity. “In many areas, facilities simply aren’t letting outside vendors onsite due to COVID,” Mahon said. “In one instance, it took us three weeks to get somebody onsite in Malaysia to verify tools. With the digital-inspection app, we have now cut that time period down to an hour. And, we’ve taken the burden off of suppliers of hosting inspectors.” “We are trying to change the way used semiconductor equipment is transacted,” Mahon said. “We have an extremely inefficient marketplace with a lot of bad faith actors in it. We are making it safer, quicker, and easier to buy and sell used semiconductor equipment.” About Moov Technologies Inc. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and Austin, Texas, Moov is a technology-driven marketplace and asset management platform that matches buyers and sellers of pre-owned semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Built by a team with more than 50 years of experience in the manufacturing equipment brokerage industry, Moov’s platform ensures accurate listings and faster transactions. CEO Steven Zhou and Managing Director Maxam Yeung co-founded the company in 2017. Moov employs about 50 people, and also boasts a presence in San Francisco; Shanghai, China; and Taipei, Taiwan. To learn more, please visit Moov.co.

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SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY

GAINS Unveils Supply Chain Design Solution Engineered for Continuous Decision-Making in Volatile Times

GAINS | June 13, 2022

GAINSystems, a provider of innovative cloud-based supply chain planning solutions, unveiled GAINS Continuous Network Flow Optimization (CNFO) at the 2022 Gartner® Supply Chain Symposium/XPO™ in Orlando. CNFO was developed in collaboration with our customers and GAINS Lab's data scientists to align the speed of decision-making with continuous supply chain changes. The new offering uses real-time data to drive immediate actions that address critical supply chain questions, strategic to tactical, including: How do we rebalance our inventory policies based on real-time changes in supply and demand? How can we continually configure our supply chain to boost profitability? Where should we source new products today? How much inventory is needed; where should it be? What are our options when things change? Can we take immediate action? How do we continuously balance cost-to-serve with profitability? "Our company has seen tremendous growth coupled with supply chain resiliency challenges across all of our customer segments, The speed at which we have been able to pivot our planning and strategies with GAINS in a volatile market has been remarkable. We are excited about the announcement of GAINS Continuous Network Flow Optimization as we work as partners to continue to become more resilient, better serve our customers, and optimize the supply chain." -Tony Serati, Vice President of Procurement at Border States Born out of GAINS Labs, CNFO is based on customer and market feedback," shares Bill Benton, Co-Founder of GAINS. Our primary research discovered that the batch, ad-hoc nature of traditional modeling tools and techniques, and the lack of a corresponding information architecture, created an environment that didn't produce results within meaningful timeframes. This traditional process didn't support the speed of continuous change, and this is why GAINS developed CNFO. In 2021, Gartner® published a report titled Top Reasons Why Supply Chain Design Initiatives Fail and What to Do About It, stating, "An analysis of over 1,000 Gartner inquiries on network design indicates that network optimization initiatives do not always meet expectations for cost optimization, did not improve decision-making under uncertainty and did not improve customer service." This failure hinges on the length of time required by traditional decision-making approaches. They often take months, if not years, to gather and validate data from multiple systems and analyze it through siloed tools, all of which are disconnected from actual operations. When the insights are completed, business conditions have changed, and the answers are no longer relevant or actionable. Harness variability with planning velocity Speed is a business' most significant competitive advantage. CNFO continuously discovers network opportunities so organizations can dramatically compress the time to plan horizon and implement incremental changes in real-time. This new process drives continuous results that take advantage of today's ever-changing and uncertain economic environments. Change is no longer a detriment to a business; instead, it's an opportunity to react faster than its competition to gain market share. Its approach differs by seeking continuous, relevant, and actionable results that can be immediately put into action. Off-the-Shelf Digital Twin Technology Enables Rapid Deployment CNFO's digital twin technology uses a single canonical data model leveraging the operational data stores and detailed transaction information traditionally found within ERP and supply chain planning applications to dynamically change and configure designs and flows at the pace of change. This approach allows businesses to rapidly and continuously iterate key decisions on customers, channels, suppliers, inventory, and their associated flows to optimize supply chain performance. CNFO is the latest innovation built on the GAINS Supply Chain Performance Optimization Platform. GAINS uses embedded AI and machine learning (ML) to help customers move forward faster by delivering measurable value to its customers in months, not years. The comprehensive solution uses digital twin technology to automate complex demand planning, inventory optimization, supply planning, and scenario analysis so companies can mitigate inflation and recession-proof their businesses. The cloud platform, now including CNFO, allows distribution, wholesale, manufacturing, and retail companies to move forward faster, delivering robust and easy-to-use capabilities built for the enterprise but accessible by all. Gartner Disclaimer Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. GARTNER and Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo are a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. About GAINSystems At GAINS, our quest is to democratize supply chain planning. The GAINS Supply Chain Performance Optimization Platform helps businesses large and small Move Forward FasterSM with greater agility, resilience, confidence, and sustainability. The GAINS AI-driven cloud platform delivers continuous cost and profit optimization via machine learning, proven algorithms, and actionable analytics for global manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service parts/maintenance operations. Innovative design combined with the GAINS Proven-Path-to-Performance (P3)SM methodology enables rapid onboarding and tangible results, including increased sales, inventory turns, and service levels at reduced operating costs in as little as 8 weeks. GAINS proudly provides digital supply chain planning expertise to industry leaders like Graybar, Honda Motors, Menards, Rockwell Automation, Stuller, and Textron Aviation. For more information, visit www.gainsystems.com.

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