DP World and Einride announce Middle East's largest electric freight fleet

Electric and driverless technology to increase efficiency at DP World's Jebel Ali Port

Einride and DP World's collaboration will help to electrify interterminal container flows at Jebel Ali Port. Photo: Einride
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Global ports operator DP World and electric freight mobility company Einride have announced a partnership that will result in the Middle East’s largest fleet of driverless electric cargo vehicles, the two companies have said.

The collaboration between DP World and the freight mobility start-up will assist with the electrification of inter-terminal container flows at Jebel Ali Port, which will improve efficiency and sustainability.

“Our partnership will driver greater operational efficiencies, further decarbonise terminal operations and pioneer greener practices for the logistics sector,” said Abdulla bin Damithan, chief executive and managing director of DP World GCC.

“We have already made significant progress in electrifying and automating our terminals at Jebel Ali Port, and by leveraging Einride's cutting-edge technology, we can take that to the next level.”

Einride’s partnership with DP World comes after a series a moves that solidified the electric and autonomous freight mobility company’s presence in the UAE.

The Sweden-based company signed an agreement with the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in 2023 that will result in a 550km “Falcon Rise” freight mobility grid, with the eventual aim of enabling the use of electric and autonomous vehicles.

The Falcon Rise grid will use Einride’s “full freight mobility offering” across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, covering 2,000 electric lorries, 200 self-driving lorries and eight charging stations with more than 500 ports, the company said last year.

Founded in 2016, Einride makes driverless electric freight lorries, charging ports and sustainable freight technology to improve efficiency of transporting goods.

One of its most touted products is the Autonomous Gen 2, a cabless, self-driving electric freight vehicle.

According to Einride, towards the end of 2024, the company's partnership with DP World will be scaled up to support 1,600 container movements daily, made possible through a fleet of 100 connected electric lorries.

Einride Saga, the company's “intelligent freight operating system”, which uses data and artificial intelligence to enhance electric and driverless road freight operations, will also be used to help monitor the fleet of heavy-duty electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Robert Falck, chief executive and founder of Einride, reflected on the company's collaboration with DP World.

“By reshaping container transportation in Jebel Ali Port, we aim to set a new standard for sustainable transport practices, significantly curbing CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions,” he said.

“This collaboration showcases the effectiveness of combining visionary ideals with decisive action, paving the way for a more resilient future.”

According to Einride, once fully operational, the partnership between both companies will save up to 14,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and 158 tonnes of nitrogen oxides annually.

Globally, the value of the global self-driving vehicle market is forecast to reach about $2.3 trillion by 2032, from about $121.78 billion in 2022, the latest data from Precedence Research shows.

Fully autonomous robotaxis are expected to become commercially available at a large scale by 2030, and fully driverless lorries are expected to reach viability between 2028 and 2031, McKinsey's latest survey released this year found.

An investment of more than $4 billion is needed for full-journey driverless lorries, it added.

Einride currently lists PepsiCo, Mars, Heineken, Maersk and GE Appliances as clients, to name a few.

The autonomous pilot portion of Einride's partnership with DP World is expected in 2025.

Updated: May 14, 2024, 6:17 AM