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Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies partner to develop hydrogen ecosystem for transportation in Europe

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Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies partner to develop hydrogen ecosystem for transportation in Europe. Image: Daimler AG
Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies partner to develop hydrogen ecosystem for transportation in Europe. Image: Daimler AG
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Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies have signed an agreement on their joint commitment to the de-carbonization of the road freight in the European Union. The partners will collaborate in the development of ecosystems for heavy-duty trucks running on hydrogen, with the intent to demonstrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of trucking powered by clean hydrogen and the ambition to play a lead role in kickstarting the rollout of hydrogen infrastructure for transportation.

The collaboration includes hydrogen sourcing and logistics, dispensing of hydrogen in service stations, development of hydrogen-based trucks, establishment of a customer base as well as other areas. In particular, TotalEnergies has the ambition by 2030 to operate directly or indirectly up to 150 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France. As part of the collaboration, Daimler Truck is also to supply hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks to its customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France by 2025. The truck manufacturer will support its customers to ensure easy operability and highly competitive uptime.

Karin Rådström, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Member of the Board of Management at Daimler Truck, said, “We are fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, and we want to actively contribute to the decarbonization of road freight transport in the European Union. Regarding the long-haul freight segment, we are convinced that CO2-neutral transportation will be enabled in the future by hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks as well as purely battery-powered trucks. In order to make this possible, we want to establish a pan-European hydrogen ecosystem together with strong partners such as TotalEnergies. I am fully convinced that this collaboration will play a key role in our intensified activities on the road toward hydrogen-powered trucking.”

Alexis Vovk, President Marketing & Services and member of the TotalEnergies Executive Committee: “Hydrogen will have its role in TotalEnergies’ journey to decarbonise mobility, especially in European long-haul transportation. Our company is actively exploring all aspects of the value chain of Hydrogen for mobility, from production to supply and distribution, and is building important partnerships to this effect. We want to build a multi-energies company with the ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050, together with society. Therefore, the creation of a European network of H2 truck stations for mobility is one of the key challenges we intend to tackle. We are proud to partner with a motivated player like Daimler Truck to develop CO2-neutral truck mobility through a harmonised approach.”

In order to develop these projects and to establish hydrogen-based transportation as a viable option, both companies want to jointly investigate the means of reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of hydrogen truck operations, in line with their common approach to work together with authorities on the regulatory framework in the European Union. Daimler Truck and TotalEnergies are both members of the H2Accelerate consortium. The two companies remain fully committed to working with the consortium, a key vehicle to support the rollout of hydrogen-powered transport in Europe in the coming decade.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

FedEx and Aurora expand autonomous commercial linehaul trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule

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FedEx and Aurora expand autonomous commercial linehaul trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule. Image: FedEx
FedEx and Aurora expand autonomous commercial linehaul trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule. Image: FedEx
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Aurora Innovation, Inc. and FedEx Corp. 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 Aurora 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,” said Sterling Anderson, Aurora Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. “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.”

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail

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DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail. Image: DFDS
DFDS acquires rail operator primeRail. Image: DFDS
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DFDS & primeRail signed an agreement to become one company as DFDS acquires the German rail operator company. The acquisition strengthens DFDS’ rail offerings and is a testament to DFDS’ ambition to find sustainable ways to continue providing reliable and valuable services. The acquisition also marks the launch of a new Rail business area in DFDS.

primeRail operates continental and maritime transport logistics concepts in a combination of rail and road and was founded in 2019. In 2020, DFDS launched a new “Intermodal Transport Competence Center” in Cologne, in partnership with primeRail, to provide intermodal solutions for DFDS customers.

The acquisition is an important step to realizing our large ambitions within intermodality by combining ferry and rail transportation. Peder Gellert Pedersen, Executive Vice President and Head of Ferry Division at DFDS, says:

“For DFDS, this is an important strategic step. We have been looking for the right partners with the same value set and commercial orientation as DFDS. primerRail fulfills this, and it is, therefore, a perfect match. We connect our ports by rail to inland terminals. Thereby offering a smooth and environment-friendly transport network to the benefit of our customers and society.”

New DFDS Business Unit Rail

primeRail will operate as a new business area Rail in DFDS covering primeRail and the existing DFDS intermodal business. The Rail business area is organised within the Mediterranean business unit and headed by Patrick Zilles, currently CEO of primeRail. As Vice President and Head of Rail, Patrick Zilles reports to Head of Mediterranean, Lars Hoffmann, who says:

“Since we acquired our Turkish route network in mid-2018, we have learned how much value train solutions can add to our business model and network. We extend our network, and with the increasing focus on green solutions, it’s a natural step to develop our train set-up further. We have since 2018 doubled our number of weekly trains; it is, therefore, natural to take the next step. We see an increasing demand for rail transport combined with our ferry routes and logistics services. Partnering with primeRail allows us to offer additional intermodal solutions. Customers can drop off units at our terminals in Turkey and pick them up in Europe very close to the end destinations.”

Founder and CEO of primeRail Patrick Zilles stated: “I am proud that after successful cooperation with DFDS, primeRail will now become an important part of one of the leading ferry networks in Europe. primeRail will be integrated into DFDS, maximising mobility with cost-effective and innovative intermodal transport solutions.”

The complete integration of primeRail into DFDS is expected to be completed within the year.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

G&S Logistics deploys digital freight brokerage solution from Descartes

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G&S Logistics deploys digital freight brokerage solution from Descartes. Image: Pexels
G&S Logistics deploys digital freight brokerage solution from Descartes. Image: Pexels
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Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that Minnesota-based G&S Logistics is digitizing its freight brokerage operations to support aggressive growth plans with the integrated deployment of the cloud-based Descartes Aljex transportation management system and Descartes MacroPoint for real-time freight visibility and load tracking.

“With aggressive growth targets, we knew automation would be required as we open and staff additional offices and onboard new carriers,” said Angelo Byrd, COO/EVP at G&S Logistics. “The online and real-time Descartes Aljex dashboards will be especially valuable as they give us direct insights into operational nuances and carrier performance to help us continually evaluate the best transportation options for our customers.”

Descartes Aljex, a cloud-based solution for freight brokers, provides end-to-end capabilities that enable companies to deliver better customer service, enhance operational performance and maximize margin. The Descartes Aljex TMS automates and streamlines daily freight broker activities to boost operational efficiency, including order entry, lane rate comparison, covering loads, rate confirmation, carrier acceptance, dispatching and carrier communications. It allows brokerages of all sizes to securely access freight and transportation management data from anywhere.

The integration of Descartes Aljex with Descartes MacroPoint provides access to real-time load tracking capabilities, which not only reduces time-consuming communication like check calls and emails, but also helps brokers forecast future needs to mitigate any potential transportation risk or disruption.

“We’re pleased to help G&S Logistics modernize its brokerage operations to scale for future growth,” said Dan Cicerchi, General Manager, Transportation Management at Descartes. “As the transportation industry continues to grapple with numerous challenges, such as capacity constraints, resource shortages and supply chain disruptions, Descartes’ solutions allow freight brokers to operate at higher levels of efficiency, communicate more collaboratively with customers, and connect more easily with carrier partners.

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