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In the Air and Online, Logistics Players Hunt for a Competitive Edge

Major logistics companies continue to expand their capabilities to serve the fast-growing e-commerce and digital needs of their customers.

DHL Express said it’s receiving six new Boeing 777F-200 cargo aircraft this year as part of the company’s effort to operate with higher efficiency, while meeting the increasing global demand for express logistics service.

The first of these planes to come in 2020 landed Thursday at its future base of operations, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. In 2018, DHL ordered 14 new Boeing 777F, with four delivered in 2019, six to come this year and the remaining four to be taken into service in 2021.

The current freighter will be operated by DHL Express’ partner airline, Kalitta. The renewal is part of the overall modernization of the courier company’s long-haul intercontinental fleet and replaces older planes. The Boeing 777F is equipped with top-of-the-line, fuel-efficient technology and features the longest range at full payload of any wide-body freighter aircraft.

“With the modernization of our intercontinental fleet, we can simultaneously enhance our proven ability to meet growing demand, improve our environmental footprint and deliver best quality service to our customers,” John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, said. “We are pleased to continue demonstrating to partners and customers alike how these advancements stand to elevate the entire express logistics industry while bringing us closer to achieving our Strategy 2025 goals.”

These goals, the company said, focus on investing in e-commerce as a growth driver and becoming mroe efficient to increase profits. With a payload capacity of 102 tons and a range of 9,200 kilometers, the B777F has the largest capacity and range of all twin-engine freighter aircraft. They are also more fuel-efficient, reliable than older planes and reduce CO2 emissions by 18 percent. DHL Express operates more than 260 dedicated aircraft with 17 partner airlines on more than 3.000 daily flights across 220 countries and territories.

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“We expect further growth in cross-border, e-commerce trade and as a result, increased demand for our express logistics services and expertise in intercontinental deliveries,” Travis Cobb, executive vice president of global network operations and aviation at DHL Express, said.

DHL isn’t the only logistics player growing its business.

To better connect shippers and carriers, Coyote Logistics, a global third-party logistics (3PL) provider owned by UPS, announced the expansion of its CoyoteGo digital freight platform. Included in this expansion is the launch of on-demand features that put Coyote’s full suite of digital solutions in one place.

“At Coyote, our core goal is to offer the right capacity to shippers and the right freight to carriers, when and where they need it, in the most efficient way possible. The better we can achieve that through new technology innovations, the more value we can provide to both sides of the market,” Brian Work, chief technology officer at Coyote, said. “The expansion of CoyoteGo represents one of the ways we’re integrating digital solutions at critical stages throughout the shipping process, from quoting through settlement, to foster a better experience for all users.”

The CoyoteGo digital freight platform now includes new quote and ship tools that provide shippers with on-demand access to a marketplace of more than 70,000 vetted carriers to move their freight. In addition to fast and easy online tendering, CoyoteGo offers shippers on-demand full truckload and less than truckload (LTL) quoting and shipping, visibility to in-transit loads with online tracking, a faster path to settlement with the ability to receive paperwork and invoices, and transparency into facility ratings.