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Ryder invests in Gatik and partners to establish North American autonomous delivery network for B2B short-haul logistics

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Ryder invests in Gatik and partners to establish North American autonomous delivery network for B2B short-haul logistics. Image: Ryder
Ryder invests in Gatik and partners to establish North American autonomous delivery network for B2B short-haul logistics. Image: Ryder
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Ryder System, Inc., a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, and Gatik, a leader in automating on-road transportation for short-haul, middle-mile logistics, announce a multi-year partnership designed to establish an autonomous logistics network for Gatik’s customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Gatik’s latest funding round totaling $85 million includes an investment from Ryder’s corporate venture capital fund RyderVentures, which aims to invest in and partner with early-stage companies that are developing new technologies and business models that deliver advancements and automation in the logistics and transportation industries. The funding represents RyderVentures’ first investment in an autonomous trucking company.

Through the broader partnership, Gatik will lease from Ryder a fleet of medium-duty, multi-temperature box trucks designed for transporting goods to retail locations from micro-fulfillment centers or dark stores—distribution centers that cater exclusively to e-commerce. Gatik will integrate its commercial-grade autonomous driving technology into the leased fleet, enabling Gatik to provide its Autonomous Delivery as a Service (ADaaS) model to its new and existing customers. In addition to providing the leased vehicles, Ryder will service and maintain the trucks, including calibration of autonomous vehicle sensors and the necessary pre- and post-trip inspections.

Going forward, Ryder and Gatik will explore opportunities for Ryder to manage the logistics operations of the autonomous fleet as well, allowing Gatik to focus on its unique, end-to-end ADaaS business model and manage long-standing relationships with its customer base.

“The combination of maintaining direct relationships with customers while being asset-light has never been achieved in the autonomous trucking industry before,” said Gautam Narang, CEO and co-founder, Gatik. “This partnership enables us to benefit from Ryder’s world-class expertise in commercial vehicle servicing and maintenance, and leverage Ryder’s North American infrastructure to expand our fleet to multiple markets quickly. Ryder has consistently demonstrated commitment to innovation and serving their customers’ needs – core principles that resonated deeply with us.”

The goal of the partnership is to expand quickly across the U.S. and Canada, with the initial focus on the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“One of our focus areas, not only for RyderVentures but for Ryder as a company, is on autonomous trucking technology. It’s on track to solve a host of industry pain points. Think about ever-escalating consumer demands combined with capacity constraints, driver shortages, and regulatory and safety pressures,” says Karen Jones, chief marketing officer and head of new product development for Ryder. “Gatik’s commitment to safety, focus on efficiency and affordability, and unique approach to structured autonomy make it a leader in autonomous middle-mile delivery—and a great partner for Ryder.”

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis

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Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash
Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash
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Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, released its November report on the ongoing global shipping crisis and analysis for logistics and supply chain professionals. The report shows continued strong U.S. ocean container import volumes and other underlying factors, which point to a challenging 2022 for global supply chains.

For the month of October 2021, U.S. container import volumes continued a 14-month run of significantly higher than pre-pandemic activity (see Figure 1), according to research conducted using the Descartes Datamyne global trade intelligence solution. Overall, October 2021 was 23% higher than October 2019 and 3% higher than October 2020. When comparing the last 12 rolling months versus 2019, however, U.S. container import volumes are up 21% versus 2019.

Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash

Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash

“The pandemic has changed the economic fundamentals of consumer buying behavior with the ratio of personal goods to services increasing by 8% (see Figure 2) and the inventory to sales ratio decreasing by over 30% since 2019 1 ,” said Chris Jones, EVP Industry & Services at Descartes. “When we consider challenges like the ongoing driver shortage and upcoming International Longshoremen Workers Union contract next summer, we believe that logistics and supply chain professionals should take a longer view of the crisis and make more strategic adjustments to their operations.”

Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash

Descartes releases November report on Global Shipping Crisis. Image: Unsplash

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Aramex launches Aramex Go in Saudi Arabia to support entrepreneurs and startups

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Aramex launches Aramex Go in Saudi Arabia to support entrepreneurs and startups. Image: Aramex
Aramex launches Aramex Go in Saudi Arabia to support entrepreneurs and startups. Image: Aramex
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Aramex, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, announces the launch of Aramex Go, an innovative shipping platform that enables Saudi-based entrepreneurs and startups to seamlessly ship products to domestic or international destinations without having a registered profile or a permanent Aramex account.

Over the last two years, Saudi-based entrepreneurs and startups have grown exponentially, the majority of which are in the e-commerce businesses. Those businesses require logistics solutions as a key enabler for business growth. With Aramex Go, Aramex provides an innovative, easy to use platform meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs and startups. Users of the platform will benefit from competitive rates and flexible payment solutions through online payment, cash upon collection, as well as cash-on-delivery services. The platform also delivers a great level of efficiency by allowing multiple shipment creation per session.

Abdulaziz Alnowaiser, General Manager of Aramex in KSA, said: “We are excited to launch Aramex Go in Saudi Arabia, and are encouraged by the booming startup scene in the Kingdom. We believe that our innovative solution will be a gamechanger for entrepreneurs whose business models depend on reliable, affordable, and convenient logistics services. Moreover, the launch of this innovative platform is in line with our strategy to enhance customer experience, ensure healthy and uninterrupted flow of shipments, and boost efficiencies.”

Mohammed Sleeq, Chief Digital Officer of Aramex, said: “At Aramex, we recognize the incredible impact entrepreneurs, startups and social sellers have on the communities and the economy. One of the most crucial elements for the growth and expansion of these integral sectors is ensuring they have reach and access to their customers, and we’re proud to play a major role in helping them grow and flourish. We believe that Aramex GO will champion the success of Saudi entrepreneurs by providing them reliable, efficient, and technology-driven platforms that will enhance their competitiveness in local and global markets, as well as allow them to stay agile and responsive to their customer’s evolving needs.”

Over the last year, Aramex has accelerated investments towards its progressive digital transformation journey, marked by initiatives including the migration to the cloud, investment in asset-light technology-driven solutions such as Aramex Spot and Aramex Fleet, and operation-enhancing AI technologies that optimize delivery routes and shorten delivery times. Aramex also launched Aramex SMART, a full stack payment and delivery solution for e-tailers, as well as CargoWise, an integrated logistics execution platform that provides customization, automation and real-time visibility across global freight forwarding operations.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Maersk intends to form joint venture with Grindrod in South Africa

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Maersk intends to form joint venture with Grindrod in South Africa. Image: Maersk
Maersk intends to form joint venture with Grindrod in South Africa. Image: Maersk
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In order to enhance its capabilities as a global integrator of logistics in South Africa, A. P. Moller – Maersk now takes the next step to partner with Grindrod Limited to provide logistics solutions.

Through this proposed joint venture, the logistics activities of Grindrod Intermodal business and the ocean activities of Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL) will complement Maersk’s current Ocean capabilities and Logistics & Services, enabling customers seamless access to a wider range of end-to-end supply chain solutions. Maersk will have a 51% share in this proposed joint venture which will increase access to landside infrastructure and capabilities which are critical to delivering reliable logistics solutions.

With over 100 years of experience The Grindrod Group is a well-known and trusted partner in South Africa. It is the ambition of Maersk to build on the foundation of Grindrod to expand its offerings to customers.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Grindrod in this proposed joint venture, so that we can offer our customers even better value and true end-to-end integrated logistics solutions in South Africa. We will have a far greater ability to seamlessly integrate solutions between ocean and the landside whilst weaving into our organisation an increased capability and experience through colleagues from Grindrod, who has long held a strong reputation in the landside logistics space.” ,said Jonathan Horn, Maersk Southern Africa and Islands Area Managing Director.

Bringing together logistics operations skills and capabilities under this new proposed joint venture will create a base for growth and enable Maersk to excel in the Logistics & Services products execution through better serving customers via intermodal solutions in trucking, rail, depots, warehousing, and ocean feedering.

“Grindrod has been working with Maersk for many years in an area that both organisations are passionate about, understanding our customers’ requirements and finding cost effective and efficient routes to market. Our combined service offering will provide further flexibility and will ultimately contribute to making a positive difference in South Africa’s trade with the world.”, said Xolani Mbambo, CEO GRINDROD Freight Services.

Customers looking for end-to-end solutions in South Africa will continue to work with Maersk, however after closing most of the landside execution will be done by the proposed new joint venture.

The transaction is subject to obtaining regulatory approvals, including required competition law approvals. The new organization will be formed and go live within a few weeks of approval being granted by relevant regulators. Until then both companies remain separate and will continue to conduct their businesses independently.

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