This may very well be the last Logistics Viewpoints article ever. According to Armageddon News, the world is going to end today. They say a polar shift or flip will trigger worldwide tremors setting off earthquakes and a “rolling cloud” that will destroy the world. Luckily NASA has clarified that the polar flip is actually a common occurrence, is actually a gradual shift, and that it happens all the time. So do doomsday predictions apparently. The last one I vividly remember was December 21, 2012, when “experts” claimed the Mayan calendar called for an asteroid to destroy the earth. Before that we had Y2K, Comet Hale Bop, and hundreds of others. So if this is the end of the world, so long from Logistics Viewpoints. If not, we’ll see you next week.
And now, on to the news.
- Oracle agrees to acquire NetSuite
- 7-Eleven delivers by drone in Reno
- Amazon expands done testing in Britain
- First LNG carrier transits the expanded Panama Canal
- Postal Service hopes to expand grocery delivery service
- DHL to use smart cars for delivery in Germany
- Daimler brings industry’s first electric-powered truck
Oracle has agreed to acquire NetSuite for $9.3 billion. The deal is a strong indication of Oracle’s push to remake itself as a cloud-offered solutions company. NetSuite has a strong position as a cloud-based provider of accounting and other back-office e-commerce software. The acquisition opens up a huge market to Oracle, while bolstering their cloud-based offerings for warehouse management systems as well as omni-channel fulfillment. The transaction is expected to close this year.
7-Eleven has teamed up with tech start-up Flirtey to make the first drone home delivery in the US. Flirtey is a privately held company based in Reno, Nevada, which builds and operates drones to make deliveries that are needed in humanitarian and health work, retail, and food industries. During the 7-Eleven delivery, which took place in Reno, Nevada on July 10th, Flirtey successfully transported Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and candy to the home of the family who placed the order.
Speaking of drones, Amazon is expanding its drone testing in Britain. The online retail giant is teaming up with the British government to significantly expand drone testing. As part of this new partnership, Britain’s aviation regulator will let Amazon test several aspects of drone technology — such as piloting the machines beyond the line of sight of its operators, whether a single operator can safely command multiple drones at once, as well as technology that lets the machines automatically detect and avoid other planes, buildings and people. These capabilities are currently not allowed in the US. The hope for Amazon is that successful testing in Britain will put additional pressure on the FAA to loosen restrictions. The FAA is expected to put new rules into effect in late August that allow the operation of small, unmanned aircraft in the national airspace, meaning these tests could play a significant role in the new rules.
Four weeks ago, I wrote about the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. The $7.45 billion expansion opened a third shipping lane that could accommodate much larger ships. This week, the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) entered the expanded Panama Canal. The LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia entered the new Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal Monday morning carrying a cargo of LNG from the US Gulf Coast to Asia. The real significance is the fact that this transit marks the first natural gas cargo ever through the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal Authority said Monday the opening of the expansion and transit of Maran Gas Apollonia ushers in a “new era” for the LNG segment and global LNG trade, with new locks that can accommodate 90% of the world’s LNG carriers.
The US Postal Service is looking to expand its grocery delivery service. Currently, the USPS works with AmazonFresh to deliver fresh groceries and prepackaged goods to customers in 38 experimental ZIP codes, including metropolitan areas such as Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York City. The USPS has indicated that volumes are increasing and on-time delivery performance is improving. As a result, the company is trying to push the partnership until at least October 2017, with hopes of expanding the service beyond that and into new markets.
Deutsche Post AG’s DHL package operation in Germany is looking to use Smart Cars as delivery boxes. Owners of Daimler AG’s Smart models can arrange for DHL to deliver parcels to the trunks of their parked cars starting in September in the parent company’s hometown of Stuttgart, with the service eventually rolled out to a total of seven cities in the following months, including Cologne and Berlin. The project will be the country’s largest test of in-car delivery. Customers will need to have a Smart Car equipped with so-called connectivity box detectors, which will become standard equipment by the fall. The customer will use a mobile application to agree on delivery details for a car parked close to the recipient’s address. A code will enable the DHL courier to open the vehicle once during a specified timeframe to place the goods in the back, and to pick up any items being returned.
Daimler Trucks, parent company of Freightliner and Western Star, introduced Wednesday the industry’s first take on an electric-powered truck. The company had already rolled out the fully electric truck in the light distribution segment with its Fuso Canter E-Cell, which demonstrated the day-to-day sustainability of electric trucks. The new truck, the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, is the first fully electric truck with a total weight of up to 28 tons. The power is supplied by a battery pack consisting of three lithium-ion battery modules resulting in a range of up to 125 miles – enough for a typical daily delivery tour. The batteries are housed in a crash-proof location inside the frame.
That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend, and the song of the week, REM’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).
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