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DB Schenker and Volta Trucks complete on-road test phase of the Volta Zero truck

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DB Schenker and Volta Trucks complete on-road test phase of the Volta Zero truck. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker and Volta Trucks complete on-road test phase of the Volta Zero truck. Image: DB Schenker
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DB Schenker, one of the world’s leading logistics service providers and the leader in European land transport, and Volta Trucks, a leading and disruptive full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer and services provider, have together completed the first on-road test phase of the full-electric Volta Zero truck in Europe: For the first time, a design verification prototype Volta Zero operated on roads and in real distribution environments in Paris.

In 2021, both companies announced their extensive partnership and the pre-order of nearly 1,500 full-electric Volta Zero vehicles – the largest order for medium-duty electrified trucks in Europe to date. The full-electric 16-tonne Volta Zero will be used in DB Schenker’s European terminals to transport goods from distribution hubs to city centers and urban areas. This is where the vehicle’s innovative design, safety-oriented cab to protect vulnerable road users, and zero-tailpipe emission drivetrain will offer the greatest benefits.

Together, Volta Trucks and DB Schenker will explore the potential uses of the technology to expand operations. The rollout will begin at ten locations in five countries.

“Since the beginning of the partnership between DB Schenker and Volta Trucks, we have been in close contact and we continue to move forward with the development of the vehicle together,” says Cyrille Bonjean, Executive Vice President Land Transport at DB Schenker in Europe. “It’s great to see the results on the streets of Paris now. It all started with an idea: now it’s a reality and we look forward to adding the first pilot vehicles to the fleet in Europe at the beginning of 2023.”

Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, continued: “When we announced Europe’s largest order of full-electric trucks with DB Schenker, we also entered into a partnership to work together to decarbonise urban logistics. The first use of a full-electric Volta Zero in a real-world testing environment is a significant proof point of the depth of the collaboration. To see Volta Zero vehicles operating on the streets in Paris is exciting and is a great forerunner to us delivering significant volumes of customer trucks at scale in the near future.”

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Food Logistics

MSC announced a new direct service, called NWC – WAF service

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MSC announced a new direct service, called NWC - WAF service. Image: Pixabay
MSC announced a new direct service, called NWC - WAF service. Image: Pixabay
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MSC announced a new direct service, called NWC – WAF service, connecting Dakar and North Europe, and providing the best transit times on the market.

The new NWC – WAF service, dedicated to the export of reefer commodities from Senegal, will connect the country’s fruit, vegetable and frozen fish suppliers directly to key commercial partners across Europe including France, Belgium and United Kingdom in one week. MSC will connect Senegal with key European gateways such as Antwerp in 7 days, London in 9 days and Le Havre in 11 days.

MSC operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced reefer container fleets. We provide exporters with expertise at every step of the cold supply chain including dedicated reefer experts guaranteeing regular and frequent monitoring of shipments, from the receipt of the loaded container to its final destination.

The fleet deployed for this service will be ready to meet the demand for reefers throughout the season to transport fruit, vegetable and other fresh and frozen products from Senegal to consumers across Northern Europe with an average of 600 plugs available onboard each vessel.

Starting immediately, the service will rotate as follows: Antwerp– London Gateway – Le Havre – Tema – Lomé – Tincan/Lagos – Abidjan – Dakar – Antwerp

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express

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Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express. Image: Maersk
Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express. Image: Maersk
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A.P. Moller – Maersk, the integrated logistics company, continues to design and implement logistics solutions that address the ever-evolving needs of its customers. Building further on its strong commitment towards developing a robust rail network in India, Maersk flagged off yet another weekly, dedicated rail service, the ‘Pratigya Express’, from Sonipat Inland Container Depot in NCR to APM Terminals Pipavav Port on the western coast of India in Gujarat.

“The NCR is abundant with retail and rice exporters who need a regular connection from their manufacturing facilities to the consumers in the western market. Through our dialogues with our customers, we realised that they faced two challenges – either they don’t have a fixed schedule for departure from Sonipat ICD, and once they get it, they do not necessarily make it to the right vessel connection at the port.” said Major Jyoti Joshi Mitter, Head of Rail, Maersk India.

She added, “Our ambition was to address both these problems with a single solution – we launched a dedicated weekly rail service that gives the exporters a fixed visibility on departure from the origin and then connects to a fixed vessel connection at the APM Terminals Pipavav Port.”

The ‘Pratigya Express’ will move cargo from Sonipat ICD to APM Terminals Pipavav Port with a transit time of two and half days. From there, the cargo will have the option to connect on services such as the Shaheen Express, which will be launched in the coming days or the MECL.

Both of these services will then be able to take the cargo to the Middle Eastern or European markets. Studies show that cargo moved on rail instead of road has advantages in terms of both cost-savings and time-savings. These two benefits eventually also contribute to reducing carbon footprint.

Maersk’s new ‘Pratigya Express’ service on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will move 90 TEUs very week. APM Terminals Pipavav Port also plays an important role by being the first port to be connected to the DFC and has excellent connectivity to the hinterland through its rail head and road infrastructure.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DHL Supply Chain signs an expanded contract with Vodafone

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DHL Supply Chain signs an expanded contract with Vodafone. Image: DHL
DHL Supply Chain signs an expanded contract with Vodafone. Image: DHL
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DHL Supply Chain, Deutsche Post DHL Group’s contract logistics specialist, has signed an expanded contract with Vodafone. For many years, DHL has been supplying network components and equipment for the expansion of Vodafone’s cable network. Such equipment includes cable reels, fiber optic cables and the telecom cabinets that can often be seen along streets. In addition to handling logistics for this equipment, DHL has set up a new and innovative webshop solution for Vodafone and its service partners to process orders for approximately two thousand Vodafone products.

DHL Trading Solutions, a business unit of DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps, is working on the project as a 4PL provider. It coordinates and manages all processes in the end-to-end supply chain, including planning, implementation and oversight. Vodafone and its customers and business partners benefit from having DHL as their sole point of contact. Among other things, DHL has taken over the management of materials and suppliers from Vodafone. New orders are triggered whenever reorder points or warning levels are reached or Vodafone’s forecasts indicate that new inventory needs to be procured. This ensures that Vodafone’s technicians and external service partners receive the materials they need when and where they need them.

Based on Vodafone’s specifications and requirements, DHL has developed a customized, integrated webshop solution for order processing. Customers and business partners will also benefit from having a customer service unit operated by DHL to assist with any questions about webshop orders when needed; this unit is to be expanded and improved in cooperation with Vodafone in the months ahead.

“We’re very pleased to have set up this intuitive, innovative and customized webshop platform for Vodafone after a very short preparation and implementation period,” says Rainer Haag, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps. “It enables Vodafone’s technicians and external service partners to order at short notice the network components and equipment needed to expand its cable network.”

Ullrich Heid, Head of Network Logistics at Vodafone GmbH, is also pleased with the expanded contract. “With DHL Supply Chain, we have an experienced, expert partner of long standing who, in a short time, has shown us it can completely take over these extremely important and time-critical logistics processes and everything associated with them,” he says.

In this partnership, with assistance from an external partner DHL is also providing Vodafone with inventory financing for all products stored in the warehouse. To this end, DHL has taken over all of Vodafone’s inventory. That means DHL will now sell the required equipment to the construction companies so that Vodafone is ultimately invoiced only for the materials actually needed and sold. “Thanks to our expanded cooperation with DHL through the webshop platform and the associated services, we’ve been able to remove the inventory from our own business and have it efficiently pre-financed until customers order from the DHL webshop,” adds Heid.

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