The Friday Report Blog: July 29th, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Alphabets ‘Wing’ Develops New Drones

A subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Wing, recently announced the development of two new drone prototypes that will be used for delivery services. The drones are designed to be able to deliver packages weighing up to 7 pounds. Both designs will resemble airplanes, one being like a small single-engine plane and the other shaped like a cargo plane.

Wing states that their engineers built and designed the new drones to promote business expansion, however they are currently only testing their previous design, the Hummingbird W-B. There is no times table for when the new drone prototypes will be tested.

The new designs are based on the success of the Hummingbird, which can only carry up to two pounds and has already made several hundred thousand deliveries in places such as Dallas, Virginia, Australia, and England.

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Switzerland Moves Forward With Underground Delivery System

After over 6 years of study, the Swiss parliament has passed the necessary laws for work to commence on the Cargo Sous Train project. Originally a U.S. concept, the CST project is a 500-kilometer automated solution for cargo delivery. Freight will be shipped underground between cities and logistics centers through cargo tubes in automated delivery carts. The carts will move at roughly 30 kilometers per hour and experts hope that the CST will facilitate long-term cargo transport and decrease use of road and rail networks.

The concept began in 2016 and initially cost $3.4 billion, however the cost is now estimated to be between $30 and $35 billion. The project is designed to run on renewable energy. Experts predict that the use of roads to transport cargo will be reduced by up to 40 percent.

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USPS Set To Make 40% of Their New Vehicles Clean

 

Under their “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” program, electric vehicles will make up at least 40% of the USPS fleet of vehicles. USPS currently has the largest federal fleet in the nation. The program initially funded only 5,000 electric vehicles however that number was increased to 10,019 in March of 2022. The USPS vehicles are being produced by Oshkosh Defense and make up a total order of 50,000 vehicles, costing $2.98 billion. USPS initially wished to replace 90% of their 212,00-vehicle fleet with fossil-fueled vehicles. However, after 16 states filed lawsuits against the Postal Service claiming that the plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the plan was redrafted. USPS now has plans to make 70% of its fleet electric by 2030.

Oshkosh Defense was awarded the 10-year contract with United States Postal Service in February of 2021 and is tasked with modernizing the postal services aging fleet. Many of their vehicles are nearly 30 years old. The postal service also has plans to purchase 34,500 factory vehicles by the end of 2024 to address and accelerate the replacement of their aging fleet of vehicles. USPS hopes to be utilizing vehicles from their new deal by late 2023.

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