In this week’s edition, ecommerce continues to rise, platooning technology gets road tested, and good technicians get grown at home. To get future editions of Freight News in Cartoons sent directly to your inbox, subscribe here.
The Rise of Ecommerce
Ecommerce sales continue to grow at double digit rates, hitting $137.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 and accounting for over 10% of all retail sales in the US. The impacts of this megatrend continue to be far reaching.
Amazon is now offering free one-day shipping to Prime members on over 10 million items and now delivers 26% of its online orders through its own logistics network (though estimates vary). UPS recently announced that they’ll be expanding their services to include Sundays, broadening their network of access points, and forming a new commercial drone unit.
Rick Stein, the head of an urban planning firm called the Urban Decision Group, recently claimed that “eventually, things like one-day delivery is going to be an outmoded concept, with one-hour delivery being the norm,” In this interview, he goes on to talk about reimagining retail space: “Taking the example of Walmart, a 100,000-square foot store currently is 80 percent aisles and 20 percent storage. But if we flip that and make it 80 percent storage and 20 percent aisle space, the traditional retail space will effectively be turned into the origin nodes of last-mile delivery.”
Is that a convoy?
Peloton Trucking recently unveiled their Level 4 autonomous vision, which would effectively double a truck driver’s productivity by allowing them to drive two trucks in a platoon. They claim that this approach to automation is far simpler than trying to create a completely driverless truck and their Level 1 PlatoonPro system is already in use, helping fleets save 7% on fuel.
On the electric front, Volvo and Samsung are teaming up to develop electric batteries for trucks. On the connected front, Fleet Owner offered some perspective on how Over-the-Air programming is changing fleet maintenance. And finally, on the autonomous front, Paul Menig offered his thoughts on how autonomous driving technology will continue to evolve.
Putting the Grown in Homegrown
Finally, a quick roundup of other notable links from the past couple weeks:
- If you want to ensure you have enough good technicians, Jane Clark argues your best bet is to grow your own.
- If you’re wondering about what effects the IMO 2020 cap on sulfur fuel content will have, FreightWaves’ Senior Editor Greg Miller put together some great analysis here.
- The Best Fleets to Drive For survey found that many fleets have blind spots when it comes to the onboarding of experienced drivers and the importance of employee training beyond the first year.
- Finally, Joanne Ritchie, the Executive Director of OBAC, wrote a great piece on the ELD mandate in Canada, stressing that there is indeed a difference between safety and compliance.
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.