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Freight Revolution: The Unveiling Of SuperTruck II

Freight Revolution: The Unveiling Of SuperTruck II

Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) has caused a stir in the freight tech world with its latest innovation – the Freightliner SuperTruck II. The company unveiled the vehicle at the Manifest Conference in Las Vegas last week. This high-efficiency tractor-trailer combination concept focuses on reduced emissions and practical application. Developed as part of the SuperTruck program co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the SuperTruck II showcases the future potential of road freight transport.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the key areas of focus that make the SuperTruck II stand out from its predecessor and the competition.

Improved Aerodynamics

One of the primary goals of the SuperTruck II project was improving aerodynamics. The company writes, “We have our own wind tunnel and spent hundreds and hundreds of hours testing new shapes, sizes, and surfaces to build our most aerodynamic truck ever.” The truck boasts a 12% reduction in tractor aerodynamic drag over the SuperTruck I.

Automatic side extenders and a roof spoiler close the gap between the tractor and trailer at highway speeds. Also, the dynamic ride height decreases drag by automatically lowering the truck. Since this feature requires no effort from the driver, it’s a convenient and effective solution for reducing drag and improving aerodynamics.

Lower Tire Rolling Resistance

The SuperTruck II also features significantly lower tire rolling resistance, thanks to a partnership with Michelin. This collaboration resulted in new tire compounds, treads, and technologies that reduced rolling resistance by 12%.

It’s noted that integrated adaptive tandem axles automatically shift from 6×4 to 6×2 at highway speeds.

Finally, the dynamic load shifting feature also engages at highway speeds, allowing the tag axle with less rolling resistance to do most of the driving, extending the life of the tires.

Maximizing Powertrain Efficiencies

The SuperTruck II has a more efficient 13-liter engine with twin turbo and interstage cooling. So the truck gets more efficient air compression.

An EcoSail feature allows the engine to shut off automatically on downhills. Additionally, the 13-speed overdrive transmission provides higher fuel savings with lower down-speeding.

Power and Safety

The SuperTruck II features a new electrical system that can fully run the hoteling feature without the engine running, using the 48-volt electrical system. The 48-volt power steering system also uses much less power, adjusting demand only as needed, from low to highway speeds.

The mirrorless cameras are aerodynamic and out of the driver’s line of sight. The cameras perform well in low light, improving driver visibility and safety.

Daimler’s SuperTruck II is designed to deliver the best performance, power, and safety for the freight transportation industry. With its cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions, the SuperTruck II is a must-watch for any freight tech enthusiast.

Walmart Prices: A Window into the World’s Economic Landscape

Walmart Prices: A Window into the World’s Economic Landscape

Want to know what Walmart prices can tell you about the global economy? You might learn a lot more than you think from your shopping cart. NPR tracked the prices of a single Walmart store in Georgia since mid-2019, and the results might surprise you.

Overall Changes in Walmart Prices

On average, prices have gone up 23% since 2019. And you can blame much of it on the pandemic and the chaos it brought to global supply chains, on top of other key factors like The Great Resignation raising wages and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupting food and energy trade, NPR cites.

1. Shrinkflation is not in your head.

The phenomenon known as shrinkflation is where the size or quantity of a product decreases while the price remains the same or higher. It also includes the practice of changing formulas or using lower-quality ingredients. It’s like a cruel game of hide and seek with your wallet. So, we recommend checking the price per unit to really assess price changes.

  • Tide detergent: Decreased from 100 oz. in 2019 to 92 oz., and increased price by a buck from $11.97 to $12.97.
  • Dove soap: Decreased 10-pack of 4 oz. bars to an 8-pack of 3.75 oz. bars, and increased the price by 9 cents.

2. Products are just more expensive.

Walmart says they try to keep prices as stable as possible and even use their big-name power to pressure suppliers for the best deals. But even they can’t escape the grip of inflation.

  • Mechanical pencils: Paper Mate +86%
  • Old-fashioned oats: Quaker Oats +73%
  • Paper towels: Bounty +67%
  • Eggs: Eggland’s Best→Great Value +66%
  • Grape jelly: Welch’s +55%

You can search for the price changes of dozens of other products in the main article.

3. There are plenty of lesser-covered supply chain issues impacting prices.

  • Wood and wood pulp supply issues increased paper products.
  • Severe droughts affected North American oat harvests.
  • Avian flu is currently ravaging hen populations.
  • Aluminum products have faced turbulent tariffs.

4. Yet, some Walmart prices have managed to stay the same or gone cheaper.

For some items like electronics, prices have dipped. A Vizio 32-inch TV dropped 14%. On top of that, Walmart has started selling private brands that are usually more profitable, giving them more room to lure shoppers with lower prices.

5. Where our goods are coming from remains unchanged.

Products mostly come from the same places as in 2019, except for that Vizio TV, which now comes from Vietnam instead of China. But economists say in the future we may see more products being sourced from outside China as new trade lines are being drawn.

So, next time you’re at Walmart, don’t just grab whatever is on your list, take a closer look at the price tags and see the impact of the global economy on your shopping cart. Oh, and by the way, we hear the shrimp is on sale.

Three Exciting Future Technologies In Warehousing

Three Exciting Future Technologies In Warehousing

Exciting things are happening for warehouse technology. We’re seeing everything from physical robots to augmented and virtual realities.

Recently, Worlds Enterprises, Inc., a company that specializes in creating 4D digital twins of warehouses and factories for training and operations improvement, completed a successful $21.2 million Series A1 funding round per an announcement from Business Wire. 

What’s a digital twin, and why is it worth such an investment? 

A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical object or system. It can simulate and analyze the object or system’s behavior, performance, and interactions with its environment. In simple terms, it’s a virtual version of something that exists in the real world. For example, a digital twin of a car engine can be used to test and optimize its performance before the build, or a digital twin of a warehouse can be used to plan and optimize its operations and logistics. The digital twin can monitor the real-world object or system and use it for training, simulation, and optimization.

The data gathered from a digital twin can provide valuable insights and a responsive testing environment. As Worlds explains, “We show the critical variations that cause inefficiency, lower production, or create unsafe environments – in real-time. As a result, it empowers clients to reimagine and automate their processes in ways that unlock massive unrealized value.” 

Amazing things are happening outside of training environments, too. 

Firstly, we’ve got to talk about these warehouse robots. Such as these SqUID robots from BionicHive climbing shelves to retrieve and place inventory. Now, look at how Amazon’s robots automate multiple processes at its warehouses. And we certainly can’t forget Locus Robotics, which FreightCaviar reported on last year. Overall, robots are helping warehouses become more efficient, accurate, and safer than ever. 

New AR Warehouse Technology Merges the digital and physical worlds.

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays digital information on top of the real world. In other words, it enhances the user’s perception of the physical world by adding virtual elements. AR warehouse technology makes it easy for workers to move around, access information, and more.

For example, companies like Vuzix Corporations and TeamViewer create smart glasses workers can wear to provide instant access to information in front of their eyes. 

  • Inventory Management: Displays information about the location, quantity, and status of inventory items. 
  • Task Instructions: Overlays instructions or diagrams on top of physical objects, helping workers to understand how to perform tasks correctly and efficiently. 
  • Safety: Reveals safety information and alerts to keep workers aware of potential hazards and reduce the risk of accidents. 

It will be exciting to see how companies in the industrial and warehousing sectors will continue to utilize these tools to improve their operations and drive success. One question to ponder is: How can your company benefit from new industrial and warehouse technology?

Image by Freepik

Three Urgent Issues For Logistics Leaders At WEF

Three Urgent Issues For Logistics Leaders At WEF

The World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Davos last week. For logistics, leaders across the industry have assembled to address the prevention and management of future disruption, plans for accelerating tech adoption, and sustainability.

Collaborative Effort

According to WEF, a main focus for this discussion with supply chain and transport leaders is a need to work communally and develop “pre-competitive collective action.” So, through sharing data and more open lines of communication, the effects of further industry disruption can be minimized.

Last month, FreightCaviar reported on efforts between Convoy, J.B. Hunt, and Uber Freight to standardize processes by forming the Scheduling Standards Consortium. It seems they aligned with the goals of WEF for collaboration across the industry.

Jett McCandless, CEO of project44, posted to LinkedIn about his experience at WEF. He pointed out that “without government direction, standards, accounting & booking, etc., it is difficult for the private sector to make capital investments.”

Kühne Logistics University writes, “Shared intelligence is increasingly viewed as an enabler of resilience and trusted trade…Breaking down many of the information silos that exist across supply chains will also require a change in corporate culture, however.”

Logistics and Digitization

The next major focus continues to be technological advancement in the logistics sector. As a result, there were panels on many tech-related topics. Key focuses were the use of data and the digitization of physical products.

  • Blockchain
  • Digital twinning
  • Augmented Reality devices
  • AV trucks
  • Battery- and hydrogen-fuel-cell trucks
  • 3D printing
  • Robots in item-level picking

Paul Augustine, the Head of Sustainability at Lyft, predicted, “2023 will be a year of massive growth in vehicle electrification as the groundwork laid in 2022 — historic public policies and ambitious private sector investments — take hold and bear fruit.”

Logistics and Sustainability

Connected to the topic of technology is the idea of sustainability and the decarbonization of the supply chain. Further advancements and acceleration of tech will support emissions reduction goals.

Also a big push comes from a change in consumer mindset. Volvo Group tweeted, “Our clients are asking for this. We need to give off the right market signals to create demand.”

Barbara Humpton, President and CEO of Siemens Corp., said “We’re at a moment where we have the technology we need to decarbonize industry and infrastructure. The question is, how can we deploy it faster and at scale? From the building of a national EV charging infrastructure network to the transformation of rail, to the reinvention of American manufacturing, I think we’re going to see the answer to this question really take shape in 2023.”

Top Reasons Why Georgia Has A Hot Freight Market

Top Reasons Why Georgia Has A Hot Freight Market

As we enter the second year of Russia’s war in Ukraine, we are seeing more of its consequences reverberating across the globe. And while the war has brought tragedy to many, it has also created opportunities for others. In an article from The New York Times, we see the story of Georgia’s freight market boosting its economy by emerging as a key logistics hub for Russia.

Part of the reason Russia’s economy is still stable is due to the route through Georgia’s Caucasus mountains, where truckers carry goods from Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. This route is driving Georgia’s freight market growth. Georgia – Russia border is now overloaded with waiting trucks.

What’s Happening with Georgia’s Freight Market?

  • Cargo transit between Turkey and Russia tripled in volume in the first half of 2022.
  • The long chain of idling trucks was twice as long in December as it was a year prior.
  • Russia plans to expand the number of processing lanes, and Georgia is building a 5.5-mile tunnel for smoother operations.
  • Much of the freight is European parts and raw materials for factories.

What does the Georgian government say about the Freight Market?

The Georgian government says that it strictly enforces Western sanctions and that many shipments have been denied. However, opponents of the ruling party in Parliament say that goods and money are flowing through largely unhindered.

While some are profiting from this war, others suffer a food crisis.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which combined accounted for a quarter of global wheat exports in 2019, has dealt another blow to the food supply for vulnerable communities, per CNN Business. Communities already dealing with the combined issues of the pandemic, high fuel costs, and extreme weather now have the added struggles from the conflict, reducing the flow of grains.

The food crisis impacts communities in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

  • According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the Food Price Index rose 14% last year compared to 2021.
  • The data says that the number of people dealing with acute food insecurity rose to 345 million from 135 million in 2019 globally.
  • The governments of Malawi and Zambia are dealing with the higher costs of importing food – rising by 145% and 120%, respectively.
  • Estimates say that more than 90% of wheat consumed in Somalia comes from Russia and Ukraine.

Things may get worse before they get better.

On the positive side, Ukraine has restarted food exports via the Black Sea and shipped 12 million metric tons of grain and other foodstuffs through early December. The falling price of energy has brought down the cost of fertilizer. Overall, food prices have been steadily declining.

However, food prices have stabilized at high levels. And while fertilizer costs are down, it is still at historical highs. Farmers are using less, which could result in smaller harvests. Russia has also been slowing down inspections of grain ships at Black Sea ports, leading to backups and costly delays.

Photo Credit: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Six Reasons Why You Should Work with Rapido Solutions

Six Reasons Why You Should Work with Rapido Solutions

Rapido Solutions Group is a top nearshore staffing company providing logistics and supply chain talent to companies in the United States. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Rapido offers a unique combination of cost savings and access to a skilled workforce, making it an attractive option for American logistics businesses.

Responding to Customer Needs

There is a growing shortage of cost-effective, quality logistics talent in the US capable of scaling growing organizations. Carriers, shippers, and 3PLs frequently cite the difficulties of attracting, training, and retaining talent in a highly competitive market where losing talent means slowed growth or, worse – lost customers.

But growing your business while preserving company culture with outside providers can be daunting. To bridge the gap, Rapido invests heavily in new employee training and culture building.

New Employee Training

One of the standout features of Rapido Solutions Group is its comprehensive training program which brings new hires up to speed in just one week. Starting with Logistics 101, team members learn logistics operations, communication techniques, and how best to work with US clients.

Successful onboarding includes deep dives into multiple subject areas followed by testing, presentations, and interactive role-playing scenarios to ensure a rich learning experience.

·        Industry terminology, equipment types, modes, and US geography

·        Track and Trace best practices and challenges

·        Compliance, regulations, and security training

·        Carrier operations and carrier sales essentials

New Employee Results

Rapido’s week-long training program prepares new employees for real success. Team members are prepared to make an immediate impact by stepping into roles like Carrier Sales, Tracking and Tracing, Lead Generation, POD Retrieval, Data Entry and Load Building, Customer and Carrier Operations, Driving Recruiting Representatives, and more. 

When team members step into their first role with a client, they understand the importance of the move-fast, learn-quickly nature of the logistics industry. They are also ready to embrace their customer’s company culture as their own. With communication and partnership, new team members quickly become part of the client’s own team.

Ready to Go Fast?

Rapido is built on delivering value. Fast.

·        If you need high-quality logistics talent that can integrate seamlessly with your team

·        If you want to grow profitability by reducing expenses

·        If you want increased coverage so you can focus on growing your business

Rapido is the real deal. 

Visit www.rapidosolutionsgroup.com to go fast.

Rapido Solutions Group is a top nearshore staffing company that provides logistics and supply chain pros to companies in the United States. Based in Mexico, Rapido offers a unique combination of cost savings and access to a skilled workforce, making it an attractive option for American logistics businesses.

Rapido on New Recruit Training

One of the standout features of Rapido Solutions Group is its comprehensive training program. The company can get new hires up to speed in just one week. They get a strong foundation in Rapido’s Logistics 101 course that covers everything from logistics operations to communication and working with American clients. If you’re a logistics company looking to scale up your business, you don’t want to miss out on what Rapido offers. 

Rapido is the real deal when it comes to recruiting and training top talent in the logistics industry. They’ve got a team of experts who take the time to understand your company’s needs and goals to create a customized staff training plan. As a result, your nearshore team stays on brand and aligned with company goals. 

A typical training week for a Rapido new hire might look something like this: 

  • Lessons on terminology, equipment types, basics of shipping and modes, and US geography. 
  • Learning Track and Trace best practices and problem-solving.
  • Getting compliant with transportation laws and regulations, including security training.
  • Gaining essential knowledge of carrier operations and carrier sales.
  • Ending the day by testing new skills through interactive scenarios, presentations, and exams. 

Quality, time, and range are top of the list for staff training, but new hires aren’t just being thrown anything and hoping it sticks. Rapido’s week-long program follows a method of learning, practice, testing, and feedback to prepare recruits for real success. The targeted training prepares staff for various roles, including Tracking and Tracing, Lead Generation, POD Retrieval, Data Entry and Load Building, Customer and Carrier Operations, Driving Recruiting Representatives, and more.  

Whether you’re looking for customer support, sales reps, back office admins, or IT service professionals, Rapido has you covered. 

Rapido is big on culture. 

You know how important cultural capital can be in the industry–things move fast, and people don’t have much patience for misunderstandings. It’s going to take more than just adopting an American-sounding nickname to bridge the gap. Rapido has developed training that prepares its hires to work with American clients. 

Rapido operates as a US-based company would, and they prioritize that cultural knowledge in their recruitment and training practices. They equip recruits with the standards and procedures relevant to meet expectations in the industry without a problem. 

Ready to Work With Rapido?

So, if you’re looking to scale up your logistics business, you need a team ready to hit the ground running. And that’s where Rapido Solutions Group comes in. With their comprehensive training program, they can get new hires up to speed in just one week and give them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Rapido takes a one-of-a-kind approach to training that results in a high-quality staff ready to mesh seamlessly with your company and the industry as a whole.