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DHL supply chain implements its first European fully automated small parts warehouse with robot picking for 1-2-3.tv

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DHL supply chain implements its first European fully automated small parts warehouse with robot picking for 1-2-3.tv .Image: DHL
DHL supply chain implements its first European fully automated small parts warehouse with robot picking for 1-2-3.tv .Image: DHL
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The omnichannel auction platform 1-2-3.tv consistently relies on the digitalization of its supply chains and warehouse logistics. On behalf of the broadcaster, DHL Supply Chain, Deutsche Post DHL Group’s specialist contract logistics division and long-standing logistics partner of 1-2-3.tv, has now implemented Europe’s first fully automated Autostore logistics system in Braunschweig, Germany. This compact storage and retrieval system enables optimized space-saving storage of small parts and fully automatic picking of up to 18 million items per year. Working alongside with the employees on site, the system increases the processing speed of each individual order, optimizes processes for employees and improves operational efficiency.

“Our company has already invested heavily in lean processes and sustainable automation in the past. With the introduction of the flexible and modular robotic solution from Autostore, we are building on the strong growth realized in recent years, optimizing our logistics processes sustainably, and are therefore ideally equipped for future growth,” explains Eberhard Kuom, Executive Vice President Finance and Operations at 1-2-3.tv. In this way, the wide variety of offers can be represented more effectively, while maximizing capacity utilization at the storage location.

The Autostore solution supplied by Element Logic consists of an aluminum frame in which the current inventory is stacked and stored over 16 levels in more than 40,000 plastic containers. The top floor serves as a route for the robots, 26 of which are deployed in the 1-2-3.tv warehouse in Braunschweig alone, where they automatically pick the ordered goods and group them for further processing by the employees. The goods are placed in the respective package for the customer order on a dispatch and transport system, automatically sealed and then dispatched. Following 1-2-3.tv’s recent investment in order acceptance processes and the digitalization of its entire supply chain, this solution represents the company’s third optimization step along its process chain.

“We are pleased that this automated solution will allow us to further strengthen our trust-based cooperation with our long-standing customer 1-2-3.tv, and to invest in a successful future together. Thanks to the Autostore system, we have continuous inventory control and can achieve high efficiency in storage and retrieval, so that customer orders can be processed quickly and reliably. In addition, the logistics solution relieves our employees on site by shortening walking distances. Most importantly, they are now able to focus their energies on more demanding activities in other areas on site,” says Andreas Bicking, Business Unit Director e-Commerce DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps.

For DHL Supply Chain, this implementation is another important building block in the ongoing realization of its automation and digitalization strategy for continuous improvement in operations. As part of a broader, commercially viable technology portfolio, these goods-to-person robots are playing an increasingly important role in the contract logistics provider’s strategy. “We are pleased to have DHL Supply Chain as a highly professional partner at our side. Integrating the Autostore solution into the existing infrastructure during peak times was an enormous achievement,” says Kuom, praising the successful implementation process.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DB Schenker to offer spare parts delivery via 3D printing

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DB Schenker to offer spare parts delivery via 3D printing. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker to offer spare parts delivery via 3D printing. Image: DB Schenker
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DB Schenker becomes a sustainable spare parts logistics pioneer. “We are the first global logistics provider to offer spare parts delivery via 3D printing. Products from our virtual warehouse are available in a very short time and are manufactured exactly where they are needed,” said CEO of DB Schenker, Jochen Thewes, at the global organization’s first Product Show conference.

The virtual warehouse lowers delivery costs, shortens delivery times, and protects the environment. “This exemplifies what the logistics of the future can do for customers. The aim is to avoid unnecessary warehousing and to make supply chains even more stable and flexible,” says Thewes.

In the face of increasing challenges in global logistics, digital innovations such as spare parts deliveries via 3D printing create real added value for customers in many areas. “We want to shorten distances and at the same time keep products available faster and cheaper. To achieve this, we are fully committed to digital innovations,” Thewes explained.

In pilot projects, DB Schenker has already successfully tested the virtual warehouse, designed for customers from the mechanical engineering, automotive, and rail transport markets. Parts such as handles, cladding, and housings were produced on demand close to the customer. Without pre-production and storage, on-demand production reduces capital commitment costs. The new Schenker service with a virtual warehouse is now being offered to a wide range of customers worldwide.

DB Schenker collaborates closely with Deutsche Bahn, which already has profound experience in 3D printing – with 80,000 parts manufactured from various materials and technologies. “According to our findings, up to ten percent of companies’ inventories can be manufactured on site,” said Thewes. Spare parts that are needed relatively infrequently and parts that have to be stored in large numbers due to high minimum purchase quantities are particularly suitable for 3D printing. The virtual storage of the components is done by the safe upload of the 3D blueprints in the cloud.

In addition to the new “On-Demand Production”, DB Schenker presented numerous other innovations in Frankfurt, including the “Digital Control Tower” of land transport, which makes 9,000 consolidated transports across Europe traceable in real-time every day. DB Schenker’s “Intercontinental Supply Chain Solutions” in air and ocean freight use artificial intelligence, real-time data, and interactive information platforms to make customers’ supply chains more resilient and sustainable. In warehousing, DB Schenker relies on sensor technology to ensure the employees’ healthcare during the pandemic, and inspections via data glasses to avoid travel and transport expenses.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

DB Schenker completes acquisition of USA Truck

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DB Schenker completes acquisition of USA Truck. Image: DB Schenker
DB Schenker completes acquisition of USA Truck. Image: DB Schenker
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DB Schenker, one of the world’s leading logistics service providers, announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of USA Truck, a leading capacity solutions provider. The transaction was approved by USA Truck’s stockholders at a special meeting of stockholders.

Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement entered into, USA Truck stockholders will receive $31.72 per share in cash for each share of USA Truck’s common stock that they hold. In connection with the completion of the transaction, USA Truck will operate within the network of DB Schenker and, no longer trade on the NASDAQ exchange.

Jochen Thewes, Chief Executive Officer, DB Schenker said, “We are very excited to grow our North America operations in terms of both market share and geographical footprint. This is part of a bold ambition that we will become – together – the premier North American transportation solutions provider.”

Joe Jaska, Executive Vice President Land Transport for the Americas Region, DB Schenker, will be taking immediate responsibility for the expanded Land Transport services offered by DB Schenker in the United States. He said, “I have been a strong believer that our teams would fit together perfectly from the first conversation I had with USA Truck because we are so closely aligned with our mission and values. USA Truck’s success has been driven by their impressive employees – all of whom are critical to our future growth – and we are delighted to be welcoming them as an integral part of our team.”

Jaska added, “As a combined company, we remain focused on our shared growth vision and look forward to building upon USA Truck’s existing operations as our platform for growth in North America. We expect that customers will benefit from our comprehensive and strengthened global logistics expertise, including complementary international resources, air transport services and ocean gateways.”

“We are thrilled for USA Truck’s next chapter, together with a partner that appreciates our history, mission and values and is well-positioned to support our future growth,” said George Henry, Chief Operating Officer, USA Truck. “We are looking forward to realizing the full potential of our combination, which is a testament to the quality of the USA Truck brand, the trusted relationships we’ve developed with customers across the country, and above all, the hard work and relentless commitment of our teams.”

Founded in 1983, USA Truck has provided comprehensive capacity solutions to a diverse North American customer base, including more than 20% of the Fortune 100. USA Truck’s approximately 1,900-unit fleet of trucks, 2,100 employees, partnerships with more than 36,000 active contract carriers, strategic network of terminals across the Eastern half of the United States and a nationwide third-party logistics presence will immediately provide capacity solutions to meet the evolving demands of both regional and national DB Schenker customers.

In the USA, DB Schenker offers land transport, air, and ocean freight, as well as comprehensive logistics solutions and global supply chain management services from a single source. The USA international hubs include Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and ocean gateways include weekly express service from all major USA points and ports to over 150 global destinations, with DB Schenker export consolidation hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Charleston, New York, and Chicago.

DB Schenker in the United States, as of today has over 9,000 employees – in over 40 locations and 55 logistics centers and over 21 million sq. ft. of distribution operations.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

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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