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Today’s Pickup: Tesla reportedly helping design, build charging stations for fleet customers

Good day,

Some early adopters of the Tesla Semi are receiving another advantage – help with designing and building electric charging stations for the trucks.

According to a Reuters report, Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and UPS are all receiving design and engineering support from Tesla. Reuters sources declined to say who was paying for the stations.  

“Companies that spoke with Reuters said the first step is to install charging equipment on their own premises. The Semis would be limited to routes that would get them back to home base before the batteries are spent, the firms said,” Reuters reported.

Mike O’Connell, director of supply chain for Frito-Lay North America, told Reuters the company, which has reserved 100 Tesla Semis, may explore sharing of charging facilities with other companies.

“We have a lot of in-house capability around energy and engineering … and certainly Tesla brings their expertise to the table on energy and charging,” he told Reuters.

Reuters also reported that Tesla is making plans to sell electricity to truckers and fleets directly through its own stations. Telsa has over 1,100 supercharger stations in the world for is passenger cars. Elon Musk has previously mentioned “megachargers” that could charge the Semi in 30 minutes.

James Sembrot, senior director of supply chain for Anheuser-Busch, which also has received a number of Tesla Semis, told Reuters the brewery may install its own charging stations.

“What was important to us was to make a big investment in this cutting-edge technology and secure our place in line,” Sembrot said.

Did you know?

UPS said it spent $125M to secure additional capacity through leasing of trucks and planes to handle additional volumes during the holiday season.


“I think it’ll happen, I just think their timeline is extremely aggressive.”

– Derek Leathers, CEO of Werner Enterprises, on Tesla’s plans for its Semi

In other news:

UPS investing $7B to improve network

After a fourth-quarter that saw package volume challenge its network, UPS said it will spend $7B this year to beef up its ground and air resources. (Wall Street Journal)

Roadrunner Transportation restates results, loses $360M

Following an accounting scandal that forced it to restate three years of financial statements, Roadrunner Transportation now says it lost $360M in 2016. (DC Velocity)

Intemodal volumes finish 2017 strong

Intermodal volumes finished the year strong, posting big gains for both the fourth quarter and the year, reports IANA. (Logistics Management)

UPS looking for “flexibility” in Teamster contract talks

Responding to the Teamsters initial proposal in contract negotiations, UPS said it is seeking “flexibility” to operate its business to remain competitive. (Transport Topics)

Predictive technology part of the supply chain of the future

Predictive technologies are helping revamp supply chains, and changing the future for distribution. (Inbound Logistics)

Final Thoughts

It was well reported that UPS had trouble with package volumes this past holiday season. Now, the has acknowledge it cost it $125M for additional vehicles and planes to handle the surge and as a result it would spend $7B this year to improve its ground and air networks.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]