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.