Georgia-Pacific and Other Logistics-Dependent Operations 'Outride' Supply Chain Issues Using Autonomous Yard Solutions

Jessica N. Abraham

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Image via Outrider

Meet Outrider™ -- the pioneer in autonomous yard operations for logistics hubs across the U.S. It’s facilitating the move by large corporations to automate existing production environments more efficiently and with a heightened focus on both safety and collaboration.

Setting the new standard for modern distribution operations, the company transforms existing distribution yards into what will become some of the greatest powerhouses for distribution in the future. It's currently working with Fortune 500 manufacturing giant, Georgia-Pacific to change the future of logistics as we know it.

Today, November 16, 2021, the company announced that at its Chicagoland distribution center, Georgia-Pacific, a leading manufacturer and distributor of consumer packaged goods, has become the first company to perform and streamline autonomous yard operations in a high capacity production environment.

This announcement underscores Outrider’s continued growth and moves towards innovation as it picks up some serious momentum.

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Image via Outrider

Collaborating with 11 of its large priority customers in the manufacturing space, Outrider continues to evolve massive, zero-emissions production environments and demonstrate its ability to move trailers throughout an actual working environment -- autonomously.

According to Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of Outrider, “Georgia-Pacific recognizes that the next generation of distribution yards will include autonomous operations, making them an exceptional partner.”

The two companies have been working together since the initial proof-of-concept stage, whereas Georgia-Pacific has since integrated the Outrider System into a significant part of its day-to-day distribution yard operations.

“This achievement results from hundreds of technical milestones achieved by the Outrider team over the past three years,” celebrates Smith, whose total client representation makes up more than 20% of all yard trucks operating across North America. The company is paving the way for a more seamless supply chain and increased productivity across the daily production cycle.

A critical link in the supply chain, distribution yards serve a key role in the transport of packaged and consumer goods between warehouses, distribution centers and the open road. Therefore, speed, accuracy and the ability to deliver on promises effectively are of the utmost importance.

These yards are filled with repetitive, often manual tasks that are frequently performed under inhospitable and inefficient conditions. In fact, truck drivers, as a whole, report that they’ve collectively wasted more than 10 million working days just waiting for trailers to be loaded at the time of delivery and pickup. Reducing wait times by as little as 10% will free up more than 1 million consecutive days of operations and will keep freight moving forward.

Outrider system autonomously moves trailers to and from loading docks and parking spots. Among other things, it also uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and a proprietary system of robotics to:

  • Hitch and unhitch trailers
  • Connect and disconnect trailer brake lines
  • Interact with loading docks
  • Tracks trailer inventory and locations
  • Centrally manage and monitor all system functions,
  • Integrate with warehouse and supply chain management systems
  • Send trailer move requests

Increasing constraint on the global supply chain has left logistics-dependent companies looking to automation to improve the safety and increased efficiency of their distribution yards.

This is definitely good news for Outrider.

Outrider is a privately-backed organization with the support of NEA, 8VC, Koch Disruptive Technologies and other top-tier investors. The startup has raised a total of $118 million in capital to date and has successfully grown to more than 150 employees -- even during a global pandemic.

The company has also developed and filed an extensive portfolio of exclusive patents and intellectual property rights. Outrider continues to conduct several pilot-deployment programs while establishing a solid ecosystem of strategic partners across a broad range of market verticals and sectors.

“Our company is constantly looking for opportunities to apply technology to create safer and more efficient operations,” says Paul Frederickson, who leads Georgia-Pacific’s Technology Solutions Group. “Outrider is an excellent technology partner helping us experiment, learn and transform our yard operations.”

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) recognized Outrider as a 2020 “Cool Vendor in Supply Chain Execution Technologies.” And as Outrider completes its 1000th autonomous zero-emission trailer move at the Georgia-Pacific distribution center, the company will further announce the opening of the first-ever testing facility dedicated to autonomous yard operations, as well as new tractor-trailer hitching technology.

For more information on Outrider and how to invest, visit www.outrider.ai for more details.

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Jessica N. Abraham is a writer, designer and publicist, specializing in Business, Technology and the Jobs Industry. https://www.jessicanabraham.com | contact@jessicanabraham.com | Twitter: @jessicanabraham

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