Logistics provider announced for autonomous electric cargo vehicle program

Credit: UPS/ Aurrigo

Logistics giant UPS will serve as the provider for Aurrigo International as part of its autonomous electric cargo program.

UPS and Aurrigo are partnering to introduce Auto-Cargo, an autonomous electric vehicle designed for transporting heavy cargo between aircraft and the UPS hub at East Midlands Airport, the UK’s second-largest cargo terminal.

Auto-Cargo is designed to carry various-sized cargo containers, including a standard full-size cargo pallet or two half-size aviation industry standard ULDs, with a total weight capacity of 7.5 tonnes. It can also tow an additional fully loaded 7.5-tonne cargo trailer behind it.

The new tech is expected to reduce the length of the conventional baggage tractor and two-trailer setup, which is currently the industry norm, by half.

Furthermore, it operates entirely on electric power and produces no emissions.

The project is backed by £482,020 in funding from Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, and CCAV. The two companies will develop and pilot Auto-Cargo at East Midlands Airport over a 14-month period.

David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo International, said: “This vehicle allows an airfreight operator to help decarbonise and automate its ground operations for lower emissions and greater efficiency. By combining the tractor and trailer into one unit, we save space, which, in a busy cargo hub like East Midlands Airport, is vital to efficient loading and unloading of aircraft.’’