Arkansas-based motor carrier and logistics provider ArcBest says its new Vaux suite of hardware and software will transform how freight is loaded and unloaded in truck trailers, slashing the time it takes for the entire contents of a trailer to be unloaded to under five minutes.
The company started testing the system in 2019 to improve freight handling, reduce damage. and improve working conditions in its own facilities. The result offers complete visibility into freight movement within warehouse facilities, the company said, on the dock and over the road. It improves efficiency and streamlines warehouse operations.
“The environment isn’t the same as it was even 10 years ago, and we have heard from our customers that they need a solution,” said Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and CEO, in a news release. “In many of our customers’ warehouses, the traditional way of loading and unloading trailers one piece at a time is impacting their supply chains. With Vaux, our innovation teams have developed solutions to address these challenges, allowing transformation in the way freight moves.”
Vaux Freight Movement System
The Vaux Freight Movement System consists of the Vaux MP and MP Coupler, which enable freight handling operators to load and unload full trailers rapidly. (MP stands for mobile platform.) They connect seamlessly into warehouse operations through the Vaux OS, a suite of proprietary software that includes warehouse orchestration, operator fulfillment and MP Tracker.
The Vaux MP is a highly customizable mobile freight platform that fits inside a trailer. It is moved into and out of a trailer and around a warehouse using a standard forklift equipped with an MP Coupler. The Coupler is a patented device that enables a standard forklift to move the MP safely.
The MP is moved out of the trailer in one swift movement. This means there’s no need for multiple forklifts to enter trailers to work freight, reducing touches and damage and improving working conditions.
The MP Coupler allows for a tight turn radius, enabling freight handling operators to move MPs to the optimal location in the warehouse — relieving dock congestion and allowing for efficient loading and unloading. With 360-degree access, freight handling operators can perform swarm processing, pulling product from all sides of the MP in seconds and entirely unloading in minutes.
The Vaux OS software stack integrates with existing warehouse management systems (WMS) to orchestrate movements and assign tasks based on work prioritization. Its tracking capabilities offer what ArcBest said is “unprecedented” visibility into operations. The Vaux OS gives warehouse supervisors real-time insights into freight moves, enabling better decisions that improve dock utilization, reduce costs and impact sustainability.
“Consider what this means for shippers with hundreds of trailers to load and unload each day,” said Michael Newcity, chief innovation officer at ArcBest and president of ArcBest Technologies. “The ability to pull an entire shipment off a trailer in one movement is groundbreaking. And with customizable Mobile Platforms, those with freight that can’t be stacked can now move fully loaded trailers for a more sustainable operation. Not to mention the efficiency gains the software offers.”
The company is now partnering with customers across various industries, including manufacturing, automotive and retail, to continue testing and learning in those environments.