Adoption of the Internet of Robotics Things Accelerates

6 River Systems | September 29, 2020

Adoption of smart robotics has accelerated this year, driving sophisticated automation in various environments. Introducing Internet of Things (IoT) functionality to robots isn’t new, however. In 2014, ABI Research introduced the concept of the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT). The term described intelligent devices that can monitor events going on around them, integrate various sensor data types, use local and distributed intelligence to determine the best courses of action before manipulating or controlling physical objects. In September 2016, MarketsandMarkets released a report estimating that the IoRT market will be valued at approximately $21.44 billion by 2022, driven by adoption in the e-commerce industry. Connected robots can integrate with various technologies and offer a short payback period and ROI, the report noted.

Spotlight

Global supply chain visibility has become an extremely hot topic in recent years. In Descartes’ 2019 survey of transportation and logistics professionals, it was rated the 1 capability needed for successful transportation management. To improve financial and service KPIs, companies must have a way to view, analyze, and communicate multimodal and visibility data in real-time.


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TRANSPORTATION

Echo Global Logistics Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Roadtex Transportation Corporation

Echo Global Logistics, Inc | May 06, 2022

Echo Global Logistics, Inc. ("Echo"), a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, and Roadtex Transportation Management, Roadtex Transportation, and Roadtex Corp ("Roadtex"), a leading provider of integrated temperature-controlled supply chain solutions, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Echo to acquire Roadtex. "We've been following Roadtex and are very impressed with their capabilities, With this transaction, Echo not only adds a national warehouse footprint but also broadens its temperature-controlled service offerings and customer base." -Doug Waggoner, Chief Executive Officer of Echo Roadtex brings an expertise with temperature-controlled deliveries into big box retail that few can match," said Dave Menzel, President and Chief Operating Officer at Echo. Not only will this help Echo expand in this area, but we are also bringing on an experienced, well-regarded management team led by co-founders Bruno Ciacciarelli and Bob Kelly, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with them. Through an integrated, national, value-added warehousing and distribution ("VAWD") network including 32 strategically located food grade cross dock facilities, 5 of which are VAWD facilities that provide a suite of contract logistics solutions, Roadtex's network covers 85% of the U.S. population within a 24-hour shipping period. "We are excited to have our dedicated team of professionals join the Echo family, As we have gotten to know the Echo team it was clear our cultures are very similar, and the benefits to joining the Echo team would be substantial for our team members and clients." -Bruno Ciacciarelli, Co-Founder, Head of Transportation & Administration at Roadtex Roadtex delivers customized, end-to-end solutions that exceed the stringent pickup, handling, delivery and chain of custody requirements of customers serving attractive, recession-resistant end markets with favorable, long-term growth prospects. Because Roadtex interacts with 100% of the top 10 big box retailers on a daily basis, we have long-standing relationships and expertise that we look forward to bringing to Echo," said Bob Kelly, Co-Founder, Head of Sales & VAWD at Roadtex. "The opportunity to offer these services and our national warehouse footprint to Echo's clients, while Bruno and I continue to lead Roadtex, will unlock significant synergies. Stifel served as the financial advisor to Roadtex. Kirkland & Ellis, LLP served as legal advisor to Echo. Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, LLP served as legal advisor to Roadtex. About Echo Global Logistics Echo Global Logistics, Inc. is a leading Fortune 1000 provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services. Headquartered in Chicago with more than 30 offices around the country, Echo offers freight brokerage and Managed Transportation solutions for all major modes, including truckload, partial truckload, LTL, intermodal, and expedited. Echo maintains a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 50,000 transportation providers to serve 35,000 clients across a wide range of industries and simplify the critical tasks involved in transportation management. For more information on Echo Global Logistics, visit: www.echo.com. About Roadtex Transportation Corporation Roadtex Transportation Corporation is a leading nationwide provider of integrated temperature-controlled supply chain solutions to the confectionery, food, nutrition, and pharmaceutical mass retailer end-markets. Founded in 1992 and based in Somerset, New Jersey, Roadtex maintains a base of 32 strategically located food grade cross dock facilities, 5 of which are VAWD facilities that provide a suite of contract logistics solutions. Roadtex supports a diverse group of blue-chip clients, managing their time and temperature sensitive product shipments. For more information on Roadtex visit: www.roadtex.com.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

LocoNav Joins Forces with Locus as a Strategic Partner to enable digital transformation in the Global Logistics Industry

LocoNav | April 08, 2022

LocoNav, world's fastest-growing AI-driven full-stack fleet tech company, announced a strategic partnership with Locus. Through this partnership, LocoNav and Locus will enable digital transformation in the logistics industry by automating supply chain operations.Co-Founders - Shridhar Gupta and Vidit Jain, said, "Collaboration is the first step to growth and we couldn't have asked for a better partner than Locus to solve for complex supply chain challenges. This partnership will help us unlock great value for the entire ecosystem, supporting us in our mission to democratize fleet tech. "We are extremely excited about our collaboration with LocoNav and are looking forward to adding more value for enterprise customers with our last-mile optimization platform. This collaboration will help us empower our enterprise clients with a world-class fleet visibility tool." -Pranjal Swarup, Director Partnerships, Locus Locus uses machine learning, deep tech and proprietary algorithms to solve complex last-mile problems. Inefficiencies like delays caused by congestion, suboptimal routes, accidents or cargo thefts, and excessive fuel consumption - caused by speeding, idling or harsh acceleration, can negatively impact a delivery business. Loconav's fleet management solutions (FMS) that include offerings such as track & trace, fuel monitoring, onboard diagnostics with real-time alerts, rich analytics, customized reports, and more will help locus optimize multiple vehicle operations. End-to-end visibility gives Locus's clients the opportunity to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs and streamline customer experience. Pranjal Swarup, Director Partnerships, Locus Founded in 2016, LocoNav is a full-stack fleet software company focused on democratizing access to fleet technology across global emerging and high-growth markets. Powered by AI and IoT LocoNav solutions empower fleet owners and operators to achieve operational efficiencies, cost savings along with driver and vehicle safety. Operating in over 50 countries LocoNav has raised $37M in a Series B round from Quiet Capital, Anthemis Group, Sequoia Capital India, Fundamental, RIT Capital Partners, Uncorrelated Ventures, Village Global, among others. LocoNav was awarded the Best Software Solutions Provider of the Year: SaaS in Startup 2022 by Entrepreneur India. https://loconav.com/

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Collaborative warehouse bots are critical to e-commerce success, Shopify exec says

6 River Systems | September 16, 2020

A spike in e-commerce volumes driven by coronavirus travel restrictions may slow down after a safe vaccine is eventually found, but its impact on fulfillment automation processes is here to stay, according to a top executive at Shopify, an e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). As the pandemic prevented consumers from congregating in brick and mortar stores, so many of them turned to e-commerce shopping that the online retail sector experienced five years’ worth of growth in the past three months alone, Shopify’s chief technology officer, Jean-Michel Lemieux, said today. From less than 1% in 2000, the share of e-commerce retail sales as a percent of total retail sales rose to 5% in 2011 and 10% in 2018 before leaping above 16% during the second quarter of 2020, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. That curve may soon begin to flatten a bit, but the post-Covid “new normal” will feature e-commerce levels in the range of 20%, 30%, or even 40% of all retail, Lemieux said in remarks at Flow 2020, the annual user conference held by autonomous mobile robot (AMR) vendor 6 River Systems. Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify acquired Waltham, Massachusetts-based 6 River in 2019 for $450 million in a bid to use its collaborative "Chuck" robots to boost fulfillment efficiency for warehouse staffers managing inventory for distribution. That deal looked at first like amazon.com's move to buy Kiva Systems Inc. in 2012 for $775 million, and then take the product off the market, keeping its robots for the sole use of Amazon’s own DCs. But Shopify was quick to say that it will continue selling 6 River’s Chuck bots to the entire logistics market, and Lemieux reiterated that stance today.

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SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY

Aperia Technologies Revs Up Predictive Tire Management with the Release of Halo Connect 2.0

Aperia Technologies | March 09, 2022

Aperia Technologies Inc., a leading supplier of tire management technologies that improve the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles, announced the launch of Halo Connect 2.0, the latest evolution in the company’s comprehensive tire management platform. “Dozens of trade-offs need to be considered when designing the right cradle-to-grave fleet tire management strategy, Halo Connect now couples deep historical tire health insights with fleet-specific inputs to deliver transformative tire management solutions customized to each client.” -Josh Carter, CEO of Aperia Technologie Halo Connect is a cradle-to-grave connected tire management platform that allows fleets to virtually eliminate unplanned tire-related downtime, reduce tire costs per mile, and engender driver confidence by pairing machine learning with active inflation. Aperia’s tire analytics engine leapfrogs existing technologies that simply provide tire pressure alerting,” continued Carter. “By considering the business and operational context necessary to deliver actionable alerting, Halo Connect enables fleets to get every cent they paid for out of their tires and tire technology investments. Powered by more than 50 billion miles of real-world fleet tire data, Halo Connect’s proprietary tire analytics engine uses machine learning to characterize the many interrelated and competing variables that affect and inform tire-related maintenance and strategic decisions, effectively enabling fleets to shift from flying blind with a reactive tire service model to confidently executing a proactive service model that optimizes uptime and tire maintenance cost. Halo Connect is the only active tire management platform for all wheel positions, and the platform now includes key modules to help fleets optimize decision-making and cost across the tire lifecycle. First introduced in 2019, Halo Connect works in tandem with Halo Tire Inflator, a revolutionary automatic tire inflation system for trucks and trailers that installs in minutes. The platform is compatible with all vehicle makes and models, and is available through major OEMs, a network of partners, and directly from Aperia. With the Halo Connect Plan, Halo Connect 2.0 can be purchased as an asset or as a subscription service. About Aperia Technologies, Inc. Aperia Technologies makes transportation more efficient, safer, and better for the environment. The company’s comprehensive suite of tire management solutions, including Halo Connect® and the Halo Tire Inflator®, improve fuel economy and road safety while reducing tire expenditures, downtime, and maintenance costs for commercial fleets. Aperia offers the most comprehensive, user-friendly, line-up of tire management solutions available to commercial fleets worldwide with nearing a million tires under management. For more information, visit www.aperiatech.com.

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Spotlight

Global supply chain visibility has become an extremely hot topic in recent years. In Descartes’ 2019 survey of transportation and logistics professionals, it was rated the 1 capability needed for successful transportation management. To improve financial and service KPIs, companies must have a way to view, analyze, and communicate multimodal and visibility data in real-time.

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