Logistics in the News – Week 13

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

newspapers150It was a very busy week, both for me as well as for interesting logistics news. After a very relaxing weekend, with the first hours sitting out in the sun this year (Yes!), I postponed the writing of this overview until today. It was that relaxing… 🙂 This week’s overview has interesting articles on 3PLs, flying cars, and Uber amongst others. And do check out the TED talk on 3D printing.

What ‘s going on in the world of Third Party Logistics (3PL)?

While the economy is taking a turn for the better, it’s still a rocky road for Logistics Providers. Thomas Cullen, chief analyst at Transport Intelligence has said the following:

Underlying demand is muted across most markets and there is an oversupply of services that is damping down prices, a situation that is good for customers but not so good for logistics service providers...

Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics talks about developments in the 3PL market place:

…the 3PL industry is perhaps becoming barbell shaped, with small, niche providers growing and thriving at one end; very large, global providers growing and thriving at the other end; and everybody else getting squeezed out in the middle.

He also says that investors are bullish on future growth opportunities in the 3PL industry, which is a sign better times are coming.

Innovation and Cars

Interesting news this week when it comes to cars. Chris Urmson, the head of the Google self-driving cars project, wants to make sure his son will never have to get a driver’s license. He wants Google’s self-driving vehicles street legal and operational in 4.5 years. As you may have read on LogisticsMatter, there are also truck manufacturers working on this. I’m proud the Dutch Government is doing its utmost to further this technology as well.

And then there is AeroMobil, who hope to launch a flying car in 2017. Will we be able to take an Uber ride in it, or will it be used to pick up a small shipment as well, like the Sidecar service I wrote about last month? Will UPS or FedEx buy one, or will there be a logistics start-up that will use them?

And Gartner makes a good point in one of their latest releases. If we make machines smarter, we have to make sure they are ethically programmed. This goes for much more than just cars. They outline five levels of programming and system developments.

Starbucks, amazon, and Uber

Starbucks is moving in to the same-day delivery arena as well together with logistics startup Postmates. For the sake of those that enjoy hot coffee, I hope it’s the asap-delivery arena.

amazon has FAA approval to resume testing with their delivery drones. Biggest setback is the fact that the pilot of the drone needs to be in line of sight of it. Fine for testing, but not workable in a live setup. Still, it’s a step forward.

And then Uber: FedEx CEO Fred Smith has said he believes that Uber will not be Major Player in Logistics. I’m sure there were fax companies that were saying that e-mail was a fad…

The Logistics Video of the Week is one of a TED talk on 3D Printing, with a very interesting subject: What if 3D printing was 100x faster? Watch it below, or visit the TED website to view a better quality version here.



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