This Week in Logistics News (October 12 – 18)

logistics newsStranger Things has been one of the better shows around in recent years. And now, an iconic piece of the show is up for sale. Most of the Georgia mall heavily featured in the third season of the show is going up for sale. Moonbeam Capital Partners is ready to sell its portion of the long-struggling Gwinnett Place Mall. This is just another example of a mall going into a state of disrepair as more consumers move to e-commerce and avoid large shopping malls. Malls across the country have seen vacancies skyrocket as stores either close or downsize. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the “Starcourt Mall” and others like it. And now on this week’s logistics news.

Amazon is continuing its push to become a global logistics company. Its latest move is the rollout of a private fleet of branded tractors. The tractors have been spotted at Volvo and Kenworth factories, and appear to be day cabs rather than sleeper cabs. This means that the trucks are geared towards trips of 400 miles or less, and the driver will not be sleeping in the cab. The move towards private branded cabs comes in the wake of leasing dozens of cargo planes, 10,000 branded truck trailers, a network of ocean freighters, and thousands of last mile delivery vans. The company is also about to unveil a large fleet of electric trucks for last mile deliveries.

Amazon has been revolutionary in its delivery platform, offering fast and free shipping on thousands of items. One area that is has traditionally shied away from, however, is on inexpensive goods where the shipping cost is higher than the price. Well, that is all changing. Over the last few months, Amazon has begun offering free, next-day shipping on a variety of low-priced goods. These low-priced goods were often part of Amazon’s “Add-On” service, where small items would need to be added on to larger orders to qualify for free shipping. Amazon has now essentially eliminated this practice and is offering these items to Prime customers with fast delivery timeframes. This could have major repercussions on the retail market.

Walmart is launching a new grocery delivery service in three cities. Unlike other grocery delivery services, this one takes things to the next level. Dubbed InHome, the subscription delivery service ensures that your groceries end up in the refrigerator. For a monthly fee of $19.95, plus the purchase of a $49.95 smart lock door kit, Walmart will deliver groceries to your home and put them away for you. To deliver groceries, Walmart is requiring employees to have at least a year of service with the company, background checks, motor vehicle record checks and extensive training that includes how to best rearrange groceries in a packed fridge. Customers will need to restrain household pets during the delivery window as well.

According to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and FedEx Express, Dubai is set to become the first city outside of the US to roll out Roxo, an autonomous delivery service. Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of Public Transport Agency, said the autonomous personal delivery device will play a new role in the last-mile delivery challenge as it is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses. Roxo uses pedestrian-safe technology from the iBot, as well as LiDAR and multiple cameras, allowing the zero-emission, battery-powered bot to be aware of its surroundings. These features are coupled with machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path, and allow the bot to follow road and safety rules.

Burger King and Uber Eats have announced a partnership to bring Burger King sandwiches to a neighborhood near you. To kick off the partnership, through October 27, orders of $15 or more will receive free delivery. For orders under $10, there is a $2 delivery fee. As part of the introductory campaign, the Burger King mascot (the King) has paid a visit to hundred of households that have placed orders.

According to sources familiar with discussions, China wants to hold more talks this month to finalize details of the “phase one” trade deal touted by Donald Trump. Beijing may send a delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top negotiator, to finalize a written deal that could be signed by the presidents at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile. Trump said “we’ve come to a deal, pretty much, subject to getting it written” and indicated it might take several more weeks of negotiation. China’s Ministry of Commerce merely said that “the two sides have made substantial progress” and “agreed to work together in the direction of a final agreement.”

The expanded Panama Canal has hit record tonnage in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019). The canal saw a 6.2 percent increase in volume compared to FY2018, up to 469m Panama Canal tonnes (PC/UMS). This number exceeded the forecast of 450.7m PC/UMS tonnes projected for FY2019. During FY19, transits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) segments rose by 37.6% and 6.9% respectively, representing the largest gain across all segments. Additional segments with significant transit increases included crude product tankers with a 5.6 % increase and vehicle carrier/ro-ro with a 5.5% increase, compared to 2018.

And finally, US Customs and Border Protection officers seized 14,806 pairs of fake Nike shoes. The shoes, if they had been genuine, would’ve been worth a total of more than $2 million. The shoes arrived from China at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in containers marked as “napkins.” However, upon inspection, the containers were filled with shoes meant to look like pairs of special-edition Nikes. Agents found the coveted classic styles of Air Jordan 1 Off-White; Air Jordan 12; Air Jordan 1 in blue, black, red and white; Air Jordan 11 and Air Max ’97.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, the original version of Dustin and Suzy’s amazing duet from the Stranger Things finale, Never Ending Story by Limahl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *