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DHL Supply Chain focuses on energy transition

Company works with partners on electric, autonomous vehicles and other technologies

(Photo: FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For more information on the event, click here.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Autonomous vehicles and electrification in last-mile delivery. 

DETAILS: The shifting shape of transportation includes electrification, autonomous driving and renewable fuels.

SPEAKER: Jason Gillespie is the senior director of transportation solutions for DHL Supply Chain. 

BIO: Gillespie worked his way up the ranks at CTI Logistics (now Ceva Logistics) after three years as a U.S. Army Ranger and joined DHL (Exel Logistics) in 2007 as a logistics engineer in the Solutions Design group. 


“Electric is kind of the end state. No carbon, if you’re getting it from renewable sources, and we do have sites where we’re doing 94% renewable electric electricity feeding into the electric vehicles. So that’s really key for us that it’s not just being fed by a coal mine.”

“We know [it] is going to be a while before we can slap a great big battery on these vehicles that already have a lot of redundancy in braking and the gearing and everything that goes into making it autonomous in the first place. So a company like Volvo, who we work with, and Emerge, we know that they’re putting a lot of redundancy into those systems, and it makes the truck very heavy. So it’s not ready to be a battery just yet. But as we learn more about these … autonomous trucks and … maybe get the truck lighter, then I think you can think about battery.”

“It does concern me how … they can even deliver these vehicles. And so that’s why we’re working with partners who can sort out that battery supply chain. And I’ve also learned a lot about how batteries themselves will become renewable. Because why throw it away? You’ve got most of the elements in there that you can do some refreshing and renewing of the battery. So I know there’s going to be a battery kind of returned supply chain that’s going to happen once we start chewing through the battery life.”

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