GREENWICH, Conn. – Global supply chain services provider XPO Logistics announced successful completion of a pilot of virtual-reality training for less-than-truckload employees in its North American operations. The solution integrates XPO software with Oculus for Business headsets, and will be tested at additional LTL service centers in the coming weeks.
The company’s use of virtual reality for LTL training follows deployment of augmented reality at key logistics sites, where headsets guide employees during inventory picking. In LTL, VR is used to train cross-dock workers in the optimal method of loading freight for delivery.
XPO’s LTL training creates a virtual cross-dock environment to demonstrate effective loading procedures that can protect customer freight from damage. Employees learn how to make the best use of their time and the company’s fleet, while taking safety into account.
“Less-than-truckload is the latest area of our business to benefit from bringing a virtual experience into our physical operations,” Mario Harik, XPO chief information officer, said in a release. “Our North American LTL cross-dock operations load about 25,000 trailers daily. VR is an efficient way to ensure great outcomes for our customers and the XPO employees who serve them.”
With the initial VR pilot complete, XPO has identified potentially significant benefits for its LTL business. Those include higher productivity, lower waste and fewer errors in cross-dock and driver operations; enhanced safety and efficiency, due to the elimination of training-related travel and fewer in-person interactions overall; better knowledge retention through a repeatable 3D experience that enables the employee to master key tasks through repetition; and shorter ramp-up times for new employees to reach target productivity levels.
XPO expects to expand its use of virtual reality into other areas of the business, such as diversity and inclusion training and remote selling.