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XPO completes virtual reality pilot for LTL dockworkers

Technology to help improve freight-loading at docks, company says


XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE: XPO) said Tuesday it has completed a pilot program to train its North American less-than-truckload dock employees in using virtual reality (VR) technology to improve their freight-loading performance.

In the pilot, XPO created a virtual cross-dock environment to demonstrate effective loading procedures that can reduce the incidence of damages while improving fleet and worker productivity, the company said.

The technology, which integrates XPO’s software with headsets manufactured by Oculus for Business, will now be tested at LTL service centers in the next few weeks, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based transport and logistics provider said in a statement. XPO did not identify the service centers.

The company’s VR use follows its deployment of augmented reality at key logistics sites, where headsets guide employees during inventory picking. 

XPO spends about $600 million a year on IT initiatives across its enterprise. It has said that the biggest bang for its technology buck will likely come from LTL, which in general is ripe for efficiency improvements despite progress in IT uptake in recent years. One area of particular focus is freight claims. That’s because freight moving via LTL changes hands multiple times during its journey and is susceptible to damage as it moves through the network.

XPO said its North American LTL cross-dock operations load about 25,000 trailers daily. 

XPO said it plans to expand its VR use into other areas of its business such as diversity and inclusion training and remote selling.


  1. T Becker aka Serene Gene

    I have done labor consulting and union deterrence work for Xpo for years and I think this is a great advancement. I hope we can retain drivers while being able to stabilize wages so we can pass savings onto customers and increase profits.

  2. S gotschy

    When xpo was ccx we. loaded head loads and pures that took care of a lot of damage because of less handlling of the freight now adays just load it in to a trailer and get it moving no matter where its going as long the cube on the trailer is high this practis adds milage, handling , and time in the system that equals damage

    1. Tcs53

      You are absolutely correct. As a retired,CCX,Conway,XPO employee (34 years) we all know that you can’t fix stupid. XPO can come up with all the gimmicks it wants but when you got one more skid to load a FOS will just tell you to do the old Conway Crunch. It’s still a pup driven company, head loads, pure trailers and meet and turns is the only way to reduce claims. You can up the pay all you want it won’t matter, DSR’s making over $30 an hour will do the same thing at a reship. Individual terminals can load a perfect trailer but then the trailer goes to a reship where they then strip it and reload it to get a couple of more shipments on.

  3. Ron Carlson

    XPO, again trying to fool everyone by reinventing the wheel, you on have so much room in each size trailer you can only fit so much freight. Thats been proven for mamy many years, as some one who’s been in the business for 34 yrs everything has been tried and failed, its a fact the more time you gandle freight the more chance it has to be damaged. Shppers dont package well trying to save cost, everyone is in hurry to move product, production numbers come into play, damages occur.
    The best way take care dont rush do it right the first time ship it direct when possible bypassing the break bulks, handle it correct, is proven to be best results.

  4. Robert Pilger

    This is stupid. XPO (Conway LTL) is expecting their forklift drivers to wear a VR headset with a mask and not expect the VR headset to fog up. I’ve been doing logistics for almost 20 years and I’m having a hard time seeing how this will not be an OSHA violation. I’m hoping it works for them but considering how much freight I’ve shipped with them I’m thinking FedEx freight is the safest option for the moment.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.