Companies to collaborate in key freight markets across Sun Belt in preparation for 2024 commercialization
Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, and Embark Trucks, Inc., a leading developer of autonomous technology for the trucking industry, announce a partnership aimed at launching a nationwide network of up to 100 Embark transfer points, where Ryder will provide yard operations, maintenance, and fleet management to support a seamless coast-to-coast autonomous network for Embark fleet partners.
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A Ryder technician inspects an Embark autonomous Class 8 tractor in Riverside, Calif. Ryder will provide maintenance, yard operations, and fleet management to support a seamless coast-to-coast autonomous network for Embark fleet partners. (Photo: Business Wire)
Through the partnership, Embark plans to establish a network of strategically located transfer points—where freight is moved from driverless long-haul trucks to driver-enabled trucks for first- and last-mile delivery. Ryder plans to serve as the transfer point operator, managing the logistical operations throughout the yard, performing pre- and post-trip inspections, and providing maintenance services for the vehicles as well as the autonomous hardware.
Initially, the partnership will focus on developing select sites in key freight markets in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, through which Embark plans to begin hauling loads in early 2022 in preparation for a larger commercial launch in 2024. Over the next five years, working with a network of real estate operators, the two companies aim to open as many as 100 Embark transfer points nationwide.
“A fully developed transfer point has to include autonomous truck maintenance services and efficient yard operations,” says Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark. “By working with Ryder to offer best-in-class truck services throughout our transfer point network, we’re laying the groundwork for seamless coast-to-coast operations of Embark-equipped trucks.”
Embark pioneered the transfer point model in 2019 when the company unveiled its first sites in Los Angeles and Phoenix. Since then, Embark has conducted hundreds of hauls through these sites, refining required transfer point capabilities and evaluating a range of service providers to fulfill those capabilities.
“The path to commercial adoption of autonomous trucks involves quite a bit more than integrating the technology that allows vehicles to drive safely on their own,” says Karen Jones, CMO and head of new product innovation at Ryder. “Someone needs to inspect the vehicles to identify potential problems, provide maintenance support, service the autonomous hardware, and coordinate load hand-offs, among other things. Through this partnership with Embark, we’re able to leverage nearly 90 years of Ryder’s operational expertise to support Embark’s growth plan.”
The partnership is a significant advancement of Embark’s nationwide expansion as the company works to commercialize autonomous freight. In June 2021, Embark unveiled its go-to-market strategy and entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: NGAB) (“Northern Genesis 2”). Upon closing of the proposed business combination, which is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to a vote by the shareholders of Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II, Embark will become a publicly traded company and is expected to list on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “EMBK.”
About Ryder System, Inc.
Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) is a leading logistics and transportation company. It provides supply chain, dedicated transportation, and fleet management solutions, including full service leasing, rental, and maintenance, used vehicle sales, professional drivers, transportation services, freight brokerage, warehousing and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, and last mile delivery services, to some world’s most-recognized brands. Ryder provides services throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In addition, Ryder manages nearly 235,000 commercial vehicles and operates more than 300 warehouses encompassing approximately 64 million square feet. Ryder is regularly recognized for its industry-leading practices in third-party logistics, technology-driven innovations, commercial vehicle maintenance, environmentally friendly solutions, corporate social responsibility, world-class safety and security programs, military veteran recruitment initiatives, and the hiring of a diverse workforce. www.ryder.com
Embark is an autonomous vehicle company building the software powering autonomous trucks, focused on improving the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the nearly $700 billion a year trucking market. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA since its founding in 2016, Embark is America’s longest-running self-driving truck program. The company partners with some of the largest shippers and carriers in the nation, collectively representing over 30,000 trucks.
Embark’s mission is to realize a world where consumers pay less for the things they need, drivers stay close to the homes they cherish, and roads are safer for the people we love. To learn more about Embark, visit embarktrucks.com.
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