All posts tagged: freight

‘ProPublica’ reporter says U.S. freight train system is underregulated

‘ProPublica’ reporter says U.S. freight train system is underregulated

A black plume rises over East Palestine, Ohio, as a result of a controlled detonation of a portion of the derailed Norfolk Southern trains, Feb. 6, 2023. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption toggle caption Gene J. Puskar/AP A black plume rises over East Palestine, Ohio, as a result of a controlled detonation of a portion of the derailed Norfolk Southern trains, Feb. 6, 2023. Gene J. Puskar/AP A year after 38 cars in a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, igniting a massive chemical fire, ProPublica reporter Topher Sanders says America’s aging freight systems remain underregulated. “I think it was a real eye opener,” he says. “It really jarred a lot of people who looked into their own backyard and saw train tracks and wondered, could this happen here?” Sanders and his colleagues have spent the last two years reviewing court and regulatory records of thousands of incidents involving trains for the series Train Country. They’ve conducted 200 interviews, including conversations with rail workers who describe how, in some instances, railway companies …

Greece rejected EU prosecutor’s call for action against 2 ex-ministers after rail crash – POLITICO

Greece rejected EU prosecutor’s call for action against 2 ex-ministers after rail crash – POLITICO

She gave more details on Karamanlis, saying she was referring his case over “the crime of misappropriation against the financial interests of the European Union and the Greek State, from which the damage caused exceeds a total of €120,000” in relation to repairs and upgrades of rail signals and switches. The EPPO case file on Spirtzis and Karamanlis was referred to the Greek Supreme Court, and from there to the Greek parliament. Parliament then had to decide whether it would set up a preliminary inquiry committee to investigate whether the case should be brought before a special court. The Greek Supreme Court sent the case files to Konstantinos Tasoulas, speaker of parliament, on June 29, according to a document seen by POLITICO. In November, parliament considered whether to set up a preliminary investigative committee for former ministers, including Spirtzis and Karamanlis. The center-left Pasok party referred to EPPO’s findings during the debate and supported the idea. Ultimately, however, the proposal was rejected and the case was archived. Spirtzis told POLITICO he personally had supported parliament …

US’ largest private freight carrier adds 12 electric semis to its fleet

US’ largest private freight carrier adds 12 electric semis to its fleet

The largest privately owned freight carrier in North America has recently incorporated a dozen BEV Class-8 electric semis into its California fleet. This addition complements its extensive inventory of over 300 all-electric assets. Estes added twelve Freightliner eCascadia electric semis to its West Coast operations through the company’s Banning, California terminal. The trucks, which offer up to 230 miles of range from a single charge, are destined for local pickup and delivery assignments, according to a statement from the company. Estes is the latest in what seems to be an ever-growing list of fleet customers who have put the Freightliner-built eCascadias into real-world service. A list that now includes Coca-Cola, Schneider, CarMax, and even Tesla Semi pilot program partner Frito-Lay. “At Estes, we seek out opportunities to test and incorporate equipment that will help us reduce our carbon footprint. We’re thrilled to begin including electric trucks into our fleet and look forward to adding more, as availability and infrastructure allows,” said Sara Graf, vice president of sustainability, culture, and communications at Estes. “This EV initiative …

Middle East braces for chaos as Iran and West square up – POLITICO

Middle East braces for chaos as Iran and West square up – POLITICO

contentonly Voiced by artificial intelligence. Western warplanes and guided missiles roared through the skies over Yemen in the early hours of Friday in a dramatic response to the worsening crisis engulfing the region, where the U.S. and its allies are facing a direct confrontation with Iranian-backed militants. The strikes against Houthi fighters are a response to weeks of fighting in the Red Sea, where the group has attempted to attack or hijack dozens of civilian cargo ships and tankers in what it calls retribution for Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Washington launched the massive aerial bombardment of the group’s military stores and drone launch sites in partnership with British forces, and with the support of a growing coalition that includes Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, South Korea and Bahrain. Tensions between Tehran and the West have boiled over in the weeks since its ally, Hamas, launched its October 7 attack on Israel, while Hezbollah, the military group that controls much of southern Lebanon, has stepped up rocket launches across the border. Along with Hamas and …

Musk’s Tesla halts Berlin production over Houthi Red Sea crisis – POLITICO

Musk’s Tesla halts Berlin production over Houthi Red Sea crisis – POLITICO

Electric carmaker Tesla will largely suspend activity at its Gigafactory near Berlin due to shipping delays caused by missile attacks in the Red Sea. The Elon Musk-owned company said Thursday it will soon run into supply chain issues due to the ongoing crisis sparked by Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have been targeting merchant vessels with missiles and drones in the vital waterway since December. The Shia militia, an ally to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, claims to target Israel-linked ships exclusively, amid the Israel Defense Forces’ ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. Tesla vehicle production will be halted between January 29 and February 11 at the Berlin-Brandenburg facility, with the exception of a few assembly sections. Tesla’s stronghold in Germany employs more than 11,000 people and churns out around 250,000 cars per year. Major freight liners, like the Mediterranean Shipping Company, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, decided earlier to divert their fleets away from the Red Sea and Egypt’s Suez Canal toward the Cape of Good Hope around South Africa. Moving goods between Asia and Europe instantly …

California Pushes Electric Trucks as the Future of Freight

California Pushes Electric Trucks as the Future of Freight

Neri Diaz thought he was ready for a crucial juncture in California’s ambitious plans, closely watched in other states and around the world, to phase out diesel-powered trucks. His company, Harbor Pride Logistics, acquired 14 electric trucks this year to work alongside 32 diesel vehicles, in anticipation of a rule that says diesel rigs can no longer be added to the list of vehicles approved to move goods in and out of California’s ports. But in August the manufacturer of Mr. Diaz’s electric vehicles, Nikola, took back the trucks as part of a recall, saying it would return them in the first quarter of the new year. “It’s a brand-new technology, first generation, so I knew things were going to happen, but I wasn’t expecting all my 14 trucks to be taken back,” he said. “It is a big impact on my operations.” The rule was to take effect at the start of the new year, but California’s Air Resources Board said on Thursday that it would not begin enforcement until it had received approval …

Rightbot, which is developing robots to unload freight, lands investment from Amazon

Rightbot, which is developing robots to unload freight, lands investment from Amazon

Rightbot, a startup developing suction-based robots that can unload truck-transported freight in a range of sizes, has raised $6.25 million in a funding round led by Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund (IIF) with participation from SOSV and Entrepreneur First. Amazon launched IFF last April to bolster startups addressing challenges across customer fulfillment, logistics and the supply chain, TechCrunch readers might recall. IFF has reportedly experienced a fair share of management-related roadblocks — as of June, the fund had spend just $110 million of its $1 billion in deployable capital — but Rightbot evidently managed to cut through the bureaucratic tape to secure an investment. Rightbot was co-founded several years ago by Anurag Dutta, a former consultant with Kearney, and Abhinav Warrier, who previously worked at the robotics startup GreyOrange. Dutta and Warrier met as part of Entrepreneur First’s accelerator program and — according to Dutta — were both fueled by the dream of building a robotics platform for quick commerce. “Unstructured truck and container loads are varied and unpredictable in nature. They have consistently presented a …

Flexport acquires technology of former digital freight unicorn Convoy

Flexport acquires technology of former digital freight unicorn Convoy

Supply chain logistics platform Flexport is acquiring the assets of shuttered digital freight network Convoy, according to a memo Flexport CEO Ryan Peterson sent to staff Wednesday. Flexport will restore Convoy’s trucking logistics services for customers in the coming weeks, reads the memo, shared by Freight Waves. Peterson said Flexport won’t acquire the business or any of its liabilities, but does plan to retain “a small group of team members from their core product and engineering team.” Convoy co-founder and CEO Dan Lewis might be one of the team members joining Flexport, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the agreement. Lewis did not respond to TechCrunch to confirm. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Peterson said in his memo that “the purchase price relative to value is modest.” In April last year, Convoy was valued at $3.8 billion after a $260 million Series E round. Flexport could not be reached for comment. Peterson also noted that Flexport’s expenses “will be limited to what’s necessary to maintain the tech.” …

Waabi and Uber Freight partner to accelerate autonomous trucking

Waabi and Uber Freight partner to accelerate autonomous trucking

Autonomous trucking startup Waabi is committing billions of miles of driverless capacity to the Uber Freight network as part of a 10-year strategic partnership between the two companies. Starting this week, Waabi’s test fleet will begin commercial pilots with shippers on the Uber Freight network to haul goods between Dallas and Houston. Ultimately, Waabi will move to a Driver-as-a-Service model, wherein carriers buy trucks built with Waabi’s Driver and can opt into the Uber Freight marketplace. The tie-up with Uber is Waabi’s first publicly announced commercial partnership, and it comes just two years after the startup launched. That quick route to market is a testament to Waabi’s AI-first approach. Waabi uses a high-fidelity closed-loop simulator, called Waabi World, to both virtually test self-driving software and teach the system in real time. In other words, Waabi has a secret sauce to deploying and scaling much faster than the competition. At least, that’s what Waabi says. But the results speak for themselves. “Waabi is open for business, and it’s open for business big time,” Raquel Urtasun, founder …

Raft, which services freight forwarders, closes M Series B led by Eight Roads VC

Raft, which services freight forwarders, closes $30M Series B led by Eight Roads VC

During the pandemic, the digitisation of the freight industry took off like a rocket, and stayed that way. To date, Forto has raised almost $600 million, Nuvocargo $75 million, Zencargo $66 million, and Freightify $14.5 million. All are associated with streamlining/digitising freight logistics in some way. This meant, of course that freight forwarders and customs brokers also had to keep up. Back in 2021 Vector.ai (which launched in 2017) raised a $15 million A-round led by Bessemer to apply machine learning to automate these tasks. Two years on and Vector is now called Raft, and that machine-learning has handily been re-branded to “artificial intelligence”. Raft has now closed a $30 million Series B funding round led by the Eight Roads VC with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Episode 1, and Dynamo Ventures, as well as Moguntia Capital. Founded in 2017, Raft says it now helps logistics players apply AI to their tasks and customer interactions. It now has offices in the UK, India, and the US, Raft’s customers include EMO Trans, OIA Global, …