Spanish company Trucksters, a pioneer of ‘relay trucking’, this week announced €33m in Series B venture capital funding, that includes investment from Volvo’s venture capital arm.

Key to the Madrid-based company’s offering is its proposed ‘relay’ system, which would break longer truck journeys into a sequence of short hops – giving drivers time to sleep, eat, and wash.

Trucksters spokesperson José Ángel Sanz told The Loadstar that in its digitalisation-enabled incarnation, the relay system would offer truckers – “the real protagonists” – better quality of life.

“We didn’t invent relays,” said Mr Sanz, citing the US Pony Express. “It has been practised in the transport industry, but always in a rudimentary way, with few trucks and too many empty loads.

“What happens when you apply mathematics and technology is that you can develop a disruptive operation, capable of taking road transport to another level of efficiency, all the while improving the lives of the truck drivers.”

At key intervals in its journey, a truck’s cargo would switch cabs, meaning that, apart from the short time it takes to transfer it between trucks, the cargo is continuously moving. Mr Sanz said this could cut long-distance road transit time by half.

“The goods do not stop,” he said. “The drivers can drive in one direction for 4.5 hours and in the other direction for another 4.5 hours and sleep at home for many more days.”

He added: “In fact, we are convinced that relays are an efficient way to meet this major challenge of electric trucks, one of the most challenging along with the autonomy challenge. On short distances or in cities, the problem does not exist, because charging takes place at night, when the vehicle is not in use. But what about trucks travelling long distances in Europe? With relays, it is possible to use vehicles that wait 100% charged at each interchange point, i.e. we remove the problem of waiting for charging from the equation.”

Meanwhile, Volvo is heavily invested in electric vehicles and its investment may be an opportunity for Trucksters to go down that road.

Martin Witt, president of Volvo Venture Capital, said: “Relay systems can provide a solid structure for electrification of long-haul transport, as well as for autonomous solutions in the future. We are impressed by what Trucksters has already accomplished and see that the Volvo Group can help add strategic value to the development of the business.”

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