UPS opens innovation center in Singapore to accelerate digitalization

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UPS has launched its Supply Chain Solutions Asia Pacific Innovation Centre in Singapore, in a bid to accelerate the company’s digitalization by testing emerging technologies in logistics in Asia.

The center consists of specialized zones that include a mock-up of a warehouse for real-time demonstrations of the latest technology, as well as dedicated areas in a real warehouse for hands-on pilot collaborations with customers. The main role of the center is to serve as a testbed for new technologies that have yet to be deployed on a large scale. Plans for the Asia Pacific Innovation Centre include collaborating with academia for in-depth supply chain research technology, sharing of industry best practices, and expansion of UPS’s innovation center to other parts of the world.

As the company’s first global innovation center, it is intended to use technology to enable supply chain resilience, as data from the World Economic Forum predicts that digital transformation will make up US$1.72tn of logistics investments by 2025. Such technologies to be tested further here include autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), radio-frequency identification (RFID) and drones. The aim of this testing will be to streamline inbound logistics, outbound logistics, operations, order fulfillment and inventory checks as well as narrowing efficiency gaps in supply chains. This testing facility will also work alongside the UPS Supply Chain Symphony portal, to give customers access to a digital ecosystem that provides near-real-time, end-to-end visibility of supply chain performance.

The center was officially opened by UPS executives Philippe Gilbert, the president of UPS SCS, and Sebastian Chan, the president of UPS SCS in the Asia Pacific region.

Gilbert said, “The Asia Pacific Innovation Centre is our dedicated platform to bring next-generation technologies and solutions to life collaboratively with our customers. Nearly two years of pandemic-related disruptions have led to extensive shifts in the way companies and consumers source and receive goods, as well as sped up long-anticipated trends, such as the adoption of e-commerce and at-home consumption. The Asia Pacific Innovation Centre represents our commitment to accelerate the application of emerging digital technologies that reimagine and redefine a new normal for our customers in Asia and across the global supply chain.”

Chan added, “In a business as complex as supply chain management, collaboration is key. Working with our industry partners such as Geek+, we continue to bring forth innovations that help businesses of all sizes apply value-adding digital solutions at any stage of their growth. The compatibility and modular nature of such AMR and RFID technologies mean businesses from across the region can collaborate with UPS and our partners to explore countless ways to automate and optimize their supply chains according to their unique needs.”

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