The“Uber-for-X” Model and the Complexity of On-Demand Delivery

The“Uber-for-X” Model and the Complexity of On-Demand Delivery

Uber’s success in disrupting transportation has led to enormous VC funding of “Uber-for-X” businesses where smartphones are used to connect customers with nearby workers on demand. A number of startups have entered the same-day / same-hour delivery market with the intent of fundamentally transforming how we shop and eat.

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Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Ways to think about Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is going to change significantly over the next few decades. A sea-change is upon the Logistics industry and as is often the case when an industry is about to be turned upside-down, there are a number of converging factors, both societal and technological, that are accelerating the pace of change.

 

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What supply chain lessons can be learned from Samsung Galaxy Note Recall?

What supply chain lessons can be learned from Samsung Galaxy Note Recall?

Samsung has issued a full recall of the Galaxy Note7, described by some as an iPhone killer. The reputation of the brand and financial losses will be significant. Kulbinder Garcha, an analyst at Credit Suisse, estimates Apple could capture at least half of the volume of Note 7 phones that Samsung was poised to sell. Samsung initially concluded that the issue was with the batteries from one of their suppliers and scrambled

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Logistics Startup: FLEXE and Pop-up Warehousing

Logistics Startup: FLEXE and Pop-up Warehousing

Today's innovations from startups could be the source of transformation that shapes the future of logistics. Recent technological innovations have allowed startups to disrupt mature industries in a matter of a few years. Take Uber for example, a car service start up founded in 2009. As of July 2016, there have been more than 2 billion trips on Uber that have bypassed the taxi industry. Are there any start-ups out there that could have this type of impact in Logistics?

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The Future of Last Mile Deliveries: Mercedes Vision Van makes Logistics Look Cool

The Future of Last Mile Deliveries: Mercedes Vision Van makes Logistics Look Cool

Mercedes Benz and Matternet, a drone technology start-up, have partnered to create an integrated vision of the future for urban deliveries. Mercedes showcased the concept cargo van at the IAA Commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany last week. The future, not all that surprisingly, is an electric vehicle with a range of 270 KMs (168 miles) combined with drones that make package deliveries.

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Amazon on the hunt for Warehousing Space in Australia

Amazon on the hunt for Warehousing Space in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Amazon is looking for warehouse space in Sydney's west.  Reminds me of a great quote from Richard Goyder, Wesfarmer Managing Director, when speaking of the threat Amazon poses to Australia retailers:

 "Amazon will eat all our breakfasts, lunches and dinners"

I couldn't agree more; retailers in Australia should be worried, very worried. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of U.S. online shoppers begin their product searches on Amazon.com which is really bad news for U.S. retailers. I would expect the same results here.

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Pokemon Go is coming to a warehouse near you!

Pokemon Go is coming to a warehouse near you!

The Pokemon Go phenomenon, which has exceeded 500 million downloads worldwide, highlights the possibilities of augmented reality (AR) not just for gaming, but also for use in the supply chain. A good starting point for augmented reality in the supply chain, is in warehouses, and DHL recently announced that they will expand testing of augmented reality in warehouses in Europe and the United States:

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Amazon, FedEx and Adjacent Innovation

Amazon, FedEx and Adjacent Innovation

Bloomberg Businessweek recently released a report by Devin Leonard, entitled “Will Amazon Kill FedEx?”. Fred Smith, CEO FedEx from the report:

Concerns about industry disruption continue to be fueled by fantastical -- and I chose this word carefully -- articles and reports,” Smith said on a conference call with analysts and investors. “In all likelihood, the primary deliverers of e-commerce shipments for the foreseeable future will be UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx.

Reading these words, my mind can't help but track back to to this statement by Research in Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie in 2007 following the release of the first iPhone:

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Automation Revolution on the High Seas

Automation Revolution on the High Seas

From a Rolls-Royce Press Release:

Speaking at the Symposium Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce, Vice President of Innovation – Marine, said: “This is happening. It’s not if, it’s when. The technologies needed to make remote and autonomous ships a reality exist. The AAWA project is testing sensor arrays in a range of operating and climatic conditions in Finland and has created a simulated autonomous ship control system which allows the behaviour of the complete communication system to be explored. We will see a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade.”
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Uber is a Logistics Platform, Not A Car Service

Uber is a Logistics Platform, Not A Car Service

Last week Uber announced that they would begin testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and that they had acquired Otto, a 90-person start-up that focuses on technology for self-driving trucks. Otto develops sensors and radars that can be quickly outfitted onto existing trucks. Otto’s goal (for now) is for the truck to be fully autonomous on the highways while the driver rests, and the driver takes over for exits and driving in cities. The technology is pretty compelling as...

 

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Uber Rethinking Transportation

Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO:

I’m excited to announce that Uber has acquired Otto, a 90-plus person technology startup whose mission is to rethink transportation, starting with self-driving trucks. If that sounds like a big deal—well, it is. More and more the world of atoms is interacting with bits. In order to provide digital services in the physical world, we must build sophisticated logistics, artificial intelligence and robotics systems that serve and elevate humanity.

Otto + Über has the potential to be a big deal in the world of logistics. The deal enables the companies to share their combined knowledge which will further accelerate the development of autonomous trucks in commercial transport.

Ford gets free publicity for promising autonomous cars in 5 years

Neal E. Boudette, writing for the New York Times:

At a news conference on Tuesday at the company’s research center in Palo Alto, Calif., Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive, said the company planned to mass produce driverless cars and have them in commercial operation in a ride-hailing service by 2021.

No steering wheel. No pedal. Fully autonomous by 2021. Can I take the over please? While technically possible, I find it unlikely that an incumbent auto manufacturer will pull this off in the next 5 years.

Can a Start-up save the World’s Largest Retailer

Can a Start-up save the World’s Largest Retailer

Walmart acquired jet.com, an aggressive eCommerce player founded in 2014 to take on Amazon, for $3.3 bn. Walmart is a distant second to Amazon in online sales in the US - $14 billion compared to $63 billion for Amazon. More troubling, however, has been Walmart's declining year over year eCommerce sales growth. With eCommerce, Walmart has adapted an Omni-channel fulfillment strategy which makes sense on paper - 90% of Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart store so the stores can serve as eCommerce fulfillment centers for the last mile delivery...

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