In this week’s edition, Walmart and Amazon go blow-for-blow, new unicorns are born every day, and ATRI announces the biggest bottlenecks in America. To get future editions of Freight News in Cartoons sent directly to your inbox you can subscribe here.
The Retail Rumble
Walmart and Amazon went blow-for-blow in headlines over the past couples weeks. In 2018, Walmart grew online sales by 40% to become the third-largest online retailer (behind Amazon and eBay). Total revenue was up 2.8% to $514.4 billion. In more freight-specific news, Walmart also launched their own fleet of intermodal containers that include doublestacking capabilities and roll-up doors.
Not to be outdone, Amazon made a number of moves over the past couple weeks, including announcing a Shipment Zero initiative “to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon,” leading a $700 million investment round in electric vehicle maker Rivian, taking part in a $530 million funding round for autonomous vehicle technology startup Aurora, and officially adding “transportation and logistics services” to its long list of competitors.
The VC Circus
In other startup and venture capital news, Softbank continues to throw its weight around, leading a massive $940 million funding round in Nuro, an autonomous last-mile delivery startup, pushing its valuation to $2.7 billion. TuSimple, the autonomous truck startup, recently raised $95 million, reaching a valuation of $1 billion to become yet another unicorn. And finally, e2log, “a digital platform for door-to-door oversize freight based in Houston, announced that it has raised a seed round of financing from San Francisco-based 8VC.”
Big Data and Bottlenecks
Finally, two noteworthy reports were recently released. ATRI’s annual Top Truck Bottleneck List will come as no surprise to drivers, but the estimated $74.5 billion price tag for congestion and the 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity should raise some eyebrows. And the FTSB released their “Most Wanted List” of top safety concerns and related recommendations.
The intersection of technology and transportation continues to be an interesting place to be.
Steele Roddick is a Content Specialist at Microdea where he creates content that helps transportation companies drive their business forward. He’s endlessly fascinated by technology trends, chess, and discovering new places to travel with his wife.