Technical Studies, Analyses of Innovative Container Operational Concepts and Expanded Use of Autonomous Logistics Platforms

NCMS Project #: 140887

Problem: Containers are largely still used primarily as a means of moving large amounts of material and supplies from one distribution point to another, and autonomous systems have been used almost exclusively to execute individual shipments of small, lightweight consumer items. It must be recognized that further innovations in container operations and the large-scale implementation of autonomous logistics capabilities in the civil and military sectors face challenges.

Benefit: The application of new operational concepts and data management techniques for containers may expand the scope of material that can be efficiently delivered by autonomous delivery platforms, with additional public benefits. The concept of employing autonomous technologies in military logistics operations has appeal for a number of reasons. They have the ability to reduce the service member’s workload, keep them out of harm’s way, and free up force structure for higher priority warfighting missions. Autonomous logistics is also very attractive for handling high-volume and high-weight shipments, such as hazardous materials, like ammunition and fuel.

Solution/Approach: In order to determine the most effective approach to enhancing container operational concepts and expanding the use of autonomous logistics platforms, it is necessary to conduct an analysis of the requirements for and potential operational benefits/negative impacts of these improved capabilities for the civil sector, as well as for current and near-term military operations as in the application of current and future technologies.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increased responsiveness
  • Increased operational flexibility for the warfighter
  • Reducing costs

DOD Participation:

  • DoD Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO)

Industry Participation:

  • LMI
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Improved readiness

Focus Area:

  • Business IT and analytics

Final Report