Contract logistics company DHL Supply Chain plans to deploy a fleet of autonomous trucks within its operations upon the commercial launch of the Embark Driver software in 2024.
DHL is a member of Embark’s Partner Development Program (PDP) and is part of the initial cohort that participated in Embark’s ongoing reservation program, which counts over 14,200 reservations to date. The number of autonomous trucks DHL will deploy in its fleet as part of this parternship has not been shared.
Within the PDP, DHL and Embark conducted a detailed network analysis to begin planning for key factors in deployment, such as determining which lanes to prioritize, where delivery times could be accelerated, and calculating truck volume needs, among other considerations. This detailed planning by DHL and Embark is intended to ensure that DHL is able to derive maximum value from autonomous trucks once they are commercially deployed, Embark officials said in a press release.
As a diversified 4PL with full truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, ocean, and air expertise, DHL represents the "perfect early adopter" of autonomous truck technology, Embark officials said.
“The logistics industry relies on advanced technology solutions like automation to adapt to growing demand and increased expectations around speed,” said Jim Monkmeyer, DHL Supply Chain’s president of transportation. “DHL joined Embark’s PDP to prepare for and mold the deployment of autonomous trucks across its network. We’re thrilled to work together so that our end-customers can unlock the efficiencies of autonomous freight.”
The reservation is a core component of the company’s digital transformation strategy, which is already underway in all business divisions with a $2.3 billion investment through 2025.
Looking ahead, Embark and DHL plan to work through key questions such as which DHL facilities to map directly into Embark’s coverage map to support point-to-point movements, where autonomous trucks may provide an opportunity to grow total miles traveled, and how to prepare the broader DHL workforce for this transformation.