DHL Supply Chain, Embark Partner for Autonomous Trucks

November 1, 2021

DHL Supply Chain, the North American contract logistics leader within Deutsche Post DHL, is a member of the 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. DHL plans to deploy these autonomous trucks within its operations upon commercial launch of the Embark Driver software in 2024.

DHL brings unique insight to the PDP, with extensive and global expertise across all modes, and a history of implementing innovative technologies to improve operational efficiency and solve supply chain challenges. 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.

"We are excited to deepen our partnership with DHL, defining where and how autonomous trucks can best slot in alongside other modes of transportation to deliver incremental value to DHL customers," said Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark. "Through the Partner Development Program, DHL and Embark are methodically identifying the best-suited lanes and customers for early deployment, building the groundwork ahead of 2024 commercial deployment."

As a diversified 4PL with a holistic view of global supply chains – with FTL, LTL, intermodal, ocean, and air expertise – DHL represents the perfect early adopter of autonomous truck technology. DHL’s autonomous truck reservations within the PDP arm the company with a new mode of transportation equipped with a series of unique operational and strategic advantages. With Embark Driver-equipped trucks, DHL plans to reap the anticipated speed, safety, and sustainability benefits of autonomous technology, and pass them on to its global customer network.

“The logistics industry relies on advanced technology solutions like automation to adapt to growing demand and increased expectations around speed,” said Jim Monkmeyer, President, Transportation, DHL Supply Chain. “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.”

This latest digitalization investment by DHL is part of a core component of the company’s “Strategy 2025 – Delivering excellence in a digital world,” through Globalization, Digitalization, Sustainability, and E-Commerce. DHL has renewed its commitment to harness the sustained potential for profitable long-term growth contained in its core logistics businesses. Furthermore, it will be stepping up the digital transformation of the Group that is already underway in all business divisions with a 2 billion euro investment through 2025.

Embark continues to lead the industry with its bespoke planning analyses, accounting for a variety of logistical and procedural hurdles that need to be addressed to ensure seamless operation of autonomous trucks for partners and customers across the country. 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.

This news comes ahead of Embark’s planned merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE:NGAB) (“Northern Genesis 2”) and listing on the NASDAQ on the week of November 9 under the new ticker “EMBK. subject to a vote by the stockholders of Northern Genesis 2.” Since publicizing the definitive business combination agreement with Northern Genesis 2 in June 2021, Embark has added members to the PDP, expanded its transfer point network, refined transfer point operations, worked closely with Tier 1 suppliers on the scaling of the Embark Universal Interface, and secured 14,200 non-binding reservations for its autonomous trucks.

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