Today’s Pickup: How 3D printing changes the speed of the supply chain


Good morning.

The improvements in 3D printing technology has boosted the hopes that one day supply chains will become shorter as products are printer on-demand in close proximity to end users. Deutsche Post DHL Group and IT logistics provider Axit recently showcased how replacement parts could be produced and shipped in the same day.

The online demonstration showed the entire process in real time from DHL’s Frankenthal, Germany, location. It showed the path of an urgently needed replacement part as it moved from initial order through production to final delivery in a single day. Every link in the chain worked together in a fully automated and digital process using modern tools of digitalization such as the internet of things, cloud-based technology, and data analytics, the companies noted.

You can watch the video here:

Did you know?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety believes a $146 billion infrastructure investment could save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over 20 years through a targeted repair and maintenance approach.


“This example shows that same-day production and delivery of urgently needed parts can succeed if the processes are digitalized end to end and the production equipment and 3D printers can be connected with the logistical processes in a network.”

- Frauke Heistermann, Member of Management Board, AXIT GmbH, Chief Digitalization Officer, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics GmbH

 In other news:

Tolls create new cash flow for Texas

Cash is flowing in Texas as the state has embraced public-private partnerships for road construction, resulting in more tolls and billions in new revenue from tolls. (The Columbian)

Simple steps to improving roadway safety

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report that suggests some simple roadway improvements that could save thousands of lives. These include replacing intersections with roundabouts, installing roadside barriers and adding sidewalks and pedestrian signals. (Forbes)

Parking done right

For all the criticism truck drivers receive, someone on Mashable has compiled videos of drivers parking their trucks in some of the most difficult situations imaginable. (Mashable)

Drones, self-driving trucks set for approval in Japan

Japan is expected to approve the use of drones in package delivery beginning in 2020 and self-driving trucks as of 2022, according to reports. (Express Tribune)

Hub Group to acquire logistics firm

The Hub Group has agreed to acquire Estenson Logistics for $306 million. Estenson has over 1,200 power units and 5,000 trailers. (American Shipper)

DHL’s example of the manufacturing and shipping of a product in a single day is a testament to the power of technology and how quickly the world is changing. How soon will we see this as an everyday reality? It’s probably a lot closer than we think.

Hammer down everyone!