The WINNER of the ENTRANCE Open Competition 2021 and of the special ENTRANCE prize!
Imagine a circular and sustainable urban logistics ecosystem, where logistics needs in your city are bound together by a simple, yet elegant platform, like the USB interface. CONTAI has not only imagined this but built such a universal urban logistics interface where everything fits together.
CONTAI offers a comprehensive platform for diverse last mile logistics in urban and rural area as vital part of the collaborative Physical Internet.
'The Least Common Denominator' is - and can be at most - the Red Thread for the versatile and resilient solution for diverse and future-proof last mile. This is the core Finding of CONTAI, the Red Thread for the last mile development and transition Strategy.
Once we find a minimum set of common principles, we can build a common and federative logistics ecosystem in the same way that a sea container made global supply chain true and effective a long time ago!
Then, once the principles are discovered and implemented citizens will see the delivery of qoods already automatically sorted and bundled into encapsulated containers being brought into ground level city hubs. Smart encapsulated cargo units could then be loaded with little effort into the most suitable and low-emission last mile vehicles, taking into account cargo dimensions, mileage, weather and available resources when allocating a right vehicle thus mitigating unnecessary traffic and leveraging the service level. Some of food and parcel units may make door-to-door deliveries carried by the vehicles and robots, and after that or directly dropped on curbside or any shared street-level space in the city - maybe coordinated by a smart app. When the last mile is not enough, wheeled units could be pushed indoors and back to support easy access to goods.
Good city governance needs on system level The Least Common Denominator' Red Thread to solve both the diversity challenge and the sharing of last mile resources, such as vehicles, city hubs and curbsides.
Immaterial no-cost city hubs on plain ground would allow them to be redimensioned and relocated, thus optimizing the last mile network.
The freedom to utilize any shared space on street level for un|loading any goods by any smart vehicle provides unprecedented opportunities for efficient and diverse last-foot city logistics.
The challenge and danger of such a harmonized and cooperative approach is that we will fail and overdefine rules that inadvertently halt development, e.g. we only allow one size cargo container that is only suitable for current vehicles, underestimate legacy and local assets rejecting them and favor 'reliable' i.e. large operators. - The CONTAI Team is really afraid of the day when a project by name 'The last mile bicycle container standard' has been established!
The words Last Mile have become almost synonymous with parcel delivery, which means goods of a certain type, size and weight and which is preferably transported on pedal-supported cargo bikes, in one direction only. Who cares about urban logistics and service needs as a whole, the continuum for long-haul and automatic sorting, vehicles and autonomous robots with broader features, and what about those people over 50 in winter conditions who don’t want to be ninjas?
Note that this is not intended to counter award-winning and sustainable cargo bikes, but is meant to bring thinking beyond the pedals to find a holistic strategy and realize a system level solution to cover all goods, vehicles, robots, hubs, landing bays and facilities, including the automatic sorting and packing centers purposefully even before reaching the metropolitian area.
The state-of-art autonomous industrial robots need docking stations in both end for loading and unloading. In addition, the current last mile container vehicles cannot load or unload cargo autonomously but guided and pushed by a person and the container has a rather small, fixed size. These solutions and investments are or are becoming obsolete or incompatible in autonomous last mile logistics.
We really need one common physical platform as vital part of the physical internet that supports federative way the mobility of diverse cargo, storage and machinery, support for collaboration, module sharing and automation in packing, sorting, loading and unloading provided by mobile robots alongside legacy assets.
THE LEAST COMMON DENOMINATOR
CONTAI has a system level answer to the last mile challenge: “The Least Common Denominator”.
We need and now we have one resilient candidate for the last mile ecosystem standard. It splits in two:
Physical part: The interface definition for the wheeled universal Load Carrier to support operations on the plain ground; loading, unloading, parking, automatic lashing and the second interface to connect applications to the Load Carrier: cargo boxes, mobile lockers, machinery, sanitary facilities, etc.
Digital part: The interface definition for the IoT interface, i.e. minimum information about the identity and location of the load carrier that serves fleet management and independent docking, loading and parking. Note that vehicles and applications may have their own IoT.
The core of the CONTAI platform is the smart interfaces of the Load Carrier enabling a wide range of logistics services connecting resources and parties. Everything is wrapped around the Load Carrier! - The sea container and the EUR pallet have similar objectives and functions.
One important target and support provided by the Load Carrier’s interfaces is the autonomous loading and unloading capability. CONTAI has developed an automatic Loader that can automatically load the Load Carrier onto a vehicle equipped with the Loader. A CONTAI Loader can fully autonomously load a CONTAI Load Carrier from plain ground and street and safety leave it on the street without any docks or other auxiliaries. This is important and unique in the world! The whole process of docking-loading-lashing-transferring-unloading-parking performed by a mobile robot can be autonomous on SAE level 4, but the technology also supports the parallel use of traditional vehicles such as cargo trikes and quads, scooters and vans. As autonomy is particularly important to secure a continuum for an autonomous future, special attention has been paid to deviation-tolerant docking.
The development of last mile logistics is not only searching for suitable vehicles and routes but improvement of all process steps such as sorting, packaging and multimodal transfer of cargo from one vehicle to another and more. A ground-level city hub with scarce facilities relocates scales and multiplies quickly on demand basis. City events, city calendar, weather, citizen behavior, BigData, AI and the demand can steer the hub and mobile locker swarm placement and size. A sparsely facilitated ground-level hub is possible if cargo units can be loaded and unloaded directly at ground level, such as with the CONTAI technology integrated into OEM cargo vehicles. The ability to unload any cargo at any free ground level destination spot makes the CONTAI system resilient and effective.
Modularity and support for legacy components enable and encourage a smooth transition to smart implementations and processes without wasting existing assets.
Different use cases and the applications that support them are part of diverse last mile logistics and services. Only the imagination is the limit for CONTAI applications and way of use!
* CONTAI RECYCLING
* CONTAI GROCERY AND RESTAURANT
* CONTAI E-COMMERCE
* CONTAI REFRIGERATED
* CONTAI MEDICINE
* CONTAI LAUNDRY
* CONTAI HOME MOVE
* CONTAI SELF-STORAGE
* CONTAI MASS EVENT
* CONTAI MACHINERY
* SMALL BUSINESS
* CONTAI DEFENSE
* CONTAI FARM TO FORK
* CONTAI HOUSEHOLD
* CONTAI GARDEN
* CONTAI SPORTS
* CONTAI FREETIME
CONTAI VALUE PROPOSITIONS
'AnyCargo, AnyPlace, AnyVehicle, AnyMile, AnyOperator, evenAutonomously'
- AnyCargo – Any size and any kind of applications and equipment can be fastened to LoadCarriers. The cargo width is limited just by the vehicle characteristics, such as 0.7-2.6 m. The length of app/cargo is 0.7-3,0 m, max payload is limited by the vehicle capacity only e.g. 250 ... 1000 kg.
- AnyVehicle – Exisiting and future cargo vehicles and mobile robots with free space on front or back can potentially be utilized.
- AnySpace – Ground / street–level spaces can be used in both end of the transport for un|loading, storage and service. Enables consolidation and packing of encapsulated cargo units even before the metropolitan area in instead of manual work on the street or in a poorly faciliated city hub.
- AnyMile – Because the Loader can be installed on many OEM cargo vehicle with different characteristics, congested delivery points, long-distance suburban and rural areas can be optimally served even in challenging conditions.
- AnyOperator – Demountable cargo and utility applications with alternative vehicles allow services to be performed by multiple actors.
- evenAutonomously – The Loader supports autonomous LoadCarrier docking, loading, lashing, transport, unloading and parking. Unmanned cargo vehicles combined with the autonomous cargo handling can perform fully autonomous services.
CONTAI IPR asset is not intended to prevent the shared introduction of new technology that will benefit humanity, but to coordinate the integrity of the CONTAI Least Common Denominator and make the business fair.
Link to the granted Loader-LoadCarrier patent: shorturl.at/hASVW
Link to the granted Load Carrier EUIPO Design CDR: bit.ly/2YywgCa
Link to the granted Hybrid Locker PRH Design Registration: bit.ly/3FRN2O5
BECOME A CONTAI PARTNER
The CONTAI solution consists of modules: A cargo Vehicle, CONTAI Loader with IoT, CONTAI LoadCarrier, Cargo Application.
Therefore CONTAI is looking for global network OEM partners in various areas, such as
1. last mile cargo applications, e.g. container, cold box, e-commerce locker, recycling bin, event facility, equipment,
2. load carriers e.g. roll cage, dolly,
3. last mile vehicles, i.e. electric vans, trucks, unmanned AMRs, quads, trikes and trailers
to become product owners or the solution owner as part of the modular CONTAI solution.
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/snarinen / Featured