How will goods be transported and delivered in future? Who will manage the warehouses of the future? What significance does the delivery process have for consumers?

Barcelona, August 10, 2018.- The answers have been found an annual event organized by Delivery in Europe Platform. This organization, as defined, is a service co-funded by the European Commission to help e-retailers identify logistics service providers, in parcel delivery, E-fulfilment and E-logistics IT that are the most suited to their needs.

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And they add:  “Our mission is to connect the E-logistics ecosystem in Europe, by listing all European E-logistics service providers and becoming the top of mind destination online when it comes to find E-logistics partners. As part of a public service to foster the Digital Single Market in Europe – one of the Commission’s highest priorities – create a supplier profile and search into the database will always remain free. Deliver is a fast growing event inheritating two successful editions in Luxembourg in 2016 and Berlin in 2017. After respectively 350 and 450 delegates, Deliver will host this year in London 800 delegates, making it the focal moment of the European e-commerce & logistics. All European logistics service providers (parcel delivery, E-fulfilment, E-logistics IT) serving e-retailers can create their profile on the Deliver in Europe Platform”.

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The future of European transport with realism 

To summarize the Deliver 2018 event in London we have reported on the International Transport Journal information.

The businessmen had gathered for the third edition of Deliver, and the focus was on shippers. How will goods be transported and delivered in future? Who will manage the warehouses of the future? What significance does the delivery process have for consumers? These questions were discussed intensively during the two days, by speakers on podiums, participants in workshops and in the exhibition hall. Although the first edition of Deliver took place just two years ago, presenter John Acton already observed a fundamental change. “In 2016 in Luxembourg we were talking about drones and autonomous vehicles, but at that time we could not imagine they would become reality so fast. All that has changed today.”

The best example was the panel discussion on the future of freight delivery. Considering the subject was future freight technology, Forbes journalist Parmy Olsen was unsurprisingly joined by no less than three entrepreneurs and founders of new companies from California – Nuro’s Dave Ferguson, Udelv’s Dave Laury, and Thor’s Giordano Sordoni. The first two have developed autonomous vehicles used to deliver goods to customers. Thor has developed electric-powered trucks to give Tesla e-trucks a run for their money. Laury and Ferguson are therefore direct competitors – and Udelv currently has a head start.

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Since the beginning of the year, Udelv has carried out 200 delivery trips under real conditions in the USA. Their ve­hicle has 18 loading gates, which can be opened with an app by the receiver of the goods. Currently Udelv employs a safety driver to monitor the self-driven vehicle.

According to Laury, however, the vehicles are expected to drive completely autonomously in the medium term. The Nuro R1 by ex-Google employee Ferguson is significantly smaller than the Udelv and is deployed without security driver. So far, the unit has only conducted test-site runs, but rea-world tests are planned on public roads during the course of this year. Both companies are not interested in participating in tests in restricted areas under monitored conditions. The vehicles only learn under realistic conditions, the entrepreneurs say.

The Thor, in turn, is not a driverless vehicle. Its feature is to replace diesel by electricity. The ET One model is built on an the skeleton of an existing truck and rebuilt by Thor employees to become an e-truck. Sordoni said that “we already have a small fleet running tests, which we’re constantly impro­ving thanks to feedback. Serial production is planned for 2019.”

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The range of a fully-loaded Thor ET One is 300 miles (480 km), so it is not necessarily a long-haul model. “One possible application is waste management,” says Sordoni. “Everyone who gets woken up by a bin-lorry at five o’clock in the morning wishes for a quiet e-truck.”

In addition to peace and quiet there is also a public need for security. The developers of Udelv and Nuro concede that their robotic vehicles are not entirely immune to accidents. “The number of acci­dents will be massively reduced,” says Laury. The severity of the accidents will also decrease, since the vans move at only around 25 miles per hour (40 km / h). Drivers cannot, of course, be injured – by definition. The company believes that this is why its new techno­logies are particularly suitable for goods transportation. 

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