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ArcBest introduces new technology offering focused on freight movement visibility

Fort Smith, Arkansas-based ArcBest, a full-service supply chain and logistics services provider, said this week it has rolled out a new hardware and software platform, which is focused on modernizing and transforming how freight is loaded, unloaded, and transferred.

Entitled Vaux, ArcBest said that through this platform, a trailer’s entire contents can be unloaded in less than five minutes while also provide what it described as complete visibility into freight movement within warehouse facilities, on the dock or over the road.”

Michael Newcity, chief innovation officer at ArcBest and president of ArcBest Technologies, told LM that because ArcBest serves as trusted advisors to its customers, the company continually listens and try to help them overcome supply chain challenges.

“With innovation at our core as a 100-year-strong business, we identified the need to address intralogistics bottlenecks, like congested docks, and find ways to help customers improve production and throughput,” he said. “Vaux is an idea that came directly from a group of employees in 2014. As a result of our company culture, which champions innovation and ideas, these employees felt empowered to voice their idea and knew that leadership would be humble enough to listen. Not only did we listen—we invested in it and are now piloting the product with several companies. 

Newcity explained that Vaux transforms how freight is loaded, unloaded and worked, cutting traditional load/unload from hours to minutes.

“It creates a safer working environment, improves sustainability and requires fewer touches for significantly less damage — all while providing complete visibility into freight movement in warehouses and on the dock,” he said.

In explaining how it functions, he said that the Vaux MP fits inside a trailer and can be configured based on each customer’s needs, moving into and out of the trailer in one motion using a standard forklift equipped with its patented MP Coupler, a patented device that enables a standard forklift to safely move the Vaux PM.

“There’s no longer a need for multiple forklifts to enter the trailer multiple times to load/unload,” said Newcity. “The MP can be maneuvered to the best place in the warehouse for working and unloading freight. Freight handlers have access to all four sides—giving them the ability to pull product in seconds, and entirely unload in minutes. We call this swarm processing. Vaux OS connects to the customer’s warehouse management system (WMS) and gives full insight into freight moves on the dock, in the warehouse and over the road to more efficiently manage constantly changing supply chain requirements.”

Newcity also noted that Vaux is already being piloted across sectors, including retail and manufacturing.

“It is customizable, which means ArcBest can support a variety of supply chain situations and specific intralogistics needs,” he said. “The MP will be on display at ProMat 2023 later this month, and we’re looking forward to connecting with customers and potential customers at that event and beyond.”

Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest chairman, president and CEO said in a statement that as a customer-focused logistics company, ArBest is aware of the supply chain challenges its customers face related to freight handling inefficiencies.

"The environment isn’t the same as it was even ten years ago, and we have heard from our customers that they need a solution,” she said. “In many of our customers’ warehouses, the traditional way of loading and unloading trailers one piece at a time is impacting their supply chains. With Vaux, our innovation teams have developed solutions to address these challenges, allowing transformation in the way freight moves.”  

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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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