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Brambles deploys ‘autonomous’ pallets to combat global timber shortage – Cloud



Brambles CEO Graham Chipcase

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Logistics giant Brambles is betting on its ongoing digital transformation as it seeks to address a shortage of wood needed to make pallets due to the ongoing pandemic.

Despite its challenges, the company announced [pdf] Full year 2022 revenue will increase 8% to US$5.6 billion (approximately A$8 billion) and operating profit will increase 10% to US$930 million (A$1.3 billion).

However, wood inflation increased the price of new pallets by about 40%, resulting in an additional cost of US$470 million (AU$670 million).

“The current challenges across global supply chains continue to highlight the importance of transforming the customer experience and operational efficiency,” said Graham Chipcase, CEO.

The company announced a four-year transformation program in September 2021, with a focus this year on “building a foundation for transformation and accelerating commercial and asset productivity initiatives,” Chipcase said.

In fiscal year 2022, the company invested US$48.4 million (A$69 million), with a further US$25 million (A$36 million) budgeted for 2022-23.

In its first year, Brambles will roll out asset productivity analysis in 20 countries, with 10 more markets planned for the next fiscal year.

“Our Transformation Program will deliver new capabilities to our customers and further optimize our business with a wide range of initiatives such as asset efficiency and network productivity,” said Chipcase.

“We have made visible progress in the first year of our transformation program. We have built the capabilities and technology foundation to support transformation initiatives across the organization.”

On the company’s earnings call, he said Brambles’ cloud migration is now complete, offering an opportunity to enhance project management and the digital capabilities of the business.

Partial automation of pallet repair is being rolled out at some centers, he added.

However, the supply crisis in the semiconductor supply chain has slowed the expansion of repair capacity.

A key part of the transformation program are “smart assets” (pallets with automated tracking devices), with more than 250,000 deployed annually.

Of these, 200,000 were deployed in the UK and Canada.

Such initiatives are designed to keep as many pallets in the supply chain as possible. Shortage of pallets and rising market value of pallets. ”

As a result, Brambles says it has collected and salvaged 4 million pallets annually and hopes to reduce the number of pallets it discards by 15% by the end of 2025.

To support the transformation, the company says it has trained 300 “leaders in digital and analytical skills and the expertise of onboarding specialists across data science and engineering.”

Brambles deploys ‘autonomous’ pallets to combat global timber shortage – Cloud

Source link Brambles deploys ‘autonomous’ pallets to combat global timber shortage – Cloud

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