Project Announcement: Expanded Use of Autonomous Logistics Platforms

Intermodal shipping containers have had a huge impact change on commercial and military wholesale distribution operations. Commercial and government container operators have improved container shipping operations through the addition of sophisticated tracking technologies such as RFI and new operational concepts such as “inventory in motion”. The recent introduction of air and land based autonomous systems may alter the pace and scope of logistics operations.

The concept of “autonomous logistics”, given the work by Amazon and other commercial entities to deliver goods to consumers on a small scale via drones is also becoming a reality. The direct benefits of new operational concepts for containers and expanded use of autonomous logistics platforms — faster, cheaper and more responsive delivery of material to the general public—are matched, if not exceeded by the indirect benefits of job growth resulting from expanded wholesale delivery operations and increased need for technical development and maintenance services for autonomous logistics platforms themselves.

This initiative will focus on the viability of adapting commercial autonomous logistics technology and with legacy container systems currently utilized by the Department of Defense. The benefits of the expanded use of innovative container operational concepts and autonomous logistics platforms for the general public as well as commercial and government users as well as the complexity of the technical, political, and economic considerations impacting their use requires structured analysis.

Those interested in participating in this project should contact Phil Callihan, philc@ncms.org or (734) 995-2046 by September 21, 2017. We encourage participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs).