Start-ups and Innovations in Supply Chain and Logistics (Nov 28-Dec 2, 2022)

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

I have been sharing interesting news and background stories I have come across for almost thirteen years through @LogisticsMatter on Twitter. In this weekly overview, I will share the stories on start-ups and innovations in supply chain and logistics that jumped out at me in the past week.

Many news items I came across last week were linked to stories I talked about with thought leaders in the industry in Does Logistics Matter? Podcast Episodes earlier this year.

Innovations in Transportation

Great news when it comes to the electrification of trucks. Elon Musk announced a new Milestone for the Tesla Semi and delivered the first Semis to Pepsico in the United States. I can’t wait for the first Tesla Semi to enter the Netherlands. I spoke about this with Marie-José Baartmans, co-owner of Zero Emission Transport Company Breytner, who was the first in the Netherlands and the second in Europe to order a Tesla Semi. She talks about it in Episode 3 of the Does Logistics Matter? Podcast:

Tesla’s Semi comes in a $180,000 500-mile-range variant and a shorter-range 300-mile-range option, which costs $150,000.

Rival makers of electric semis have yet to reach such a long-range, so once verified, Tesla’s recent drive should boost its visibility among companies looking for a greener option to transport goods.

Announced in 2017, the Tesla Semi Class 8 electric semi has been a long time coming, with several launch dates slipping along the way.

Elon Musk: fully loaded Tesla Semi aces 500-mile drive

More news on innovations in trucking from two self-driving truck companies and some other transport related news items.

According to Kodiak, its autonomous system can immediately detect the tire fault, initiate a fallback protocol, trigger hazard lights to turn on and bring the truck to a stop within the lane. Another video showed the truck hitting the spike and coming to a stop, showing the length of the process and deviation from the centerline.

While the AV startup can’t control the hazards its trucks will face on the open road, it can control how trucks behave in critical situations, Kodiak co-founder and CEO Don Burnette said in a statement.

Kodiak touts AV milestone: navigating a tire blowout


With a supply chain and logistics industry that is getting increasingly digital, adding IoT solutions and getting increasingly connected, there is also an increasing number of weak points from a cyber-security point of view. This is a subject I discussed with Frank Breedijk, Chief Information Security Officer at Schuberg Philis, in Episode 28 of the Does Logistics Matter? Podcast:

Another trend in logistics is the increasing number of electric vehicles being used for last-mile delivery and the increasing number of electric trucks. It now seems there is a cyber-security issue with the charging infrastructure of these vehicles.

Electric vehicle charging stations are vulnerable to a number of different cyberattack scenarios, according to Sandia National Laboratories.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure has several vulnerabilities ranging from skimming credit card information — just like at conventional gas pumps or ATMs — to using cloud servers to hijack an entire electric vehicle charger network.

EV Charging Infrastructure Potentially Unprepared for Cyberattacks

Supply chains are high on the list of target for cybercriminals in 2023, according to a recent report.

“Cybersecurity never stops evolving because digital technologies are increasingly overtaking each part of our lives, in turn increasing the scope cybersecurity tools should cover,” NordLocker’s Chief Technology Officer Tomas Smalakys said in a press release. “This ever-changing nature of the cybersecurity field makes each week, month, and year different from those that have passed, making it extremely important to stay two steps ahead of emerging threats.”

Smalakys listed the targeting of supply chains as the second-biggest cyberthreat heading into 2023, just behind the rise of “fileless malware.”

Supply chain cyberattacks to ramp up in 2023


There’s good news and bad news when it comes to start-ups in supply chain and logistics. An increasing number of on-demand delivery companies have reported scaling down their operations. Most of them have simply grown too fast when demand for quick commerce and on-demand delivery peaked during the pandemic. I spoke about the trend of quick commerce with Gijsbregt Brouwer, Food retail expert and trendwatcher at Bright Guys in Episode 20:

Doordash has joined this group of companies that is scaling down.

DoorDash is laying off around 1,250 workers. The update, posted by DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, explains that the company grew too quickly during the covid pandemic, leading to an increase in operating expenses that could soon “outgrow” the company’s revenue.

“While we’ve always been disciplined in how we have managed our business and operational metrics, we were not as rigorous as we should have been in managing our team growth,” Xu writes. “That’s on me. As a result, operating expenses grew quickly … This hard reality ultimately led me to make this painful decision to reduce our team size.”

DoorDash announces layoffs affecting 1,250 workers

More positive news, as we turn to several interesting start-ups that have announced new rounds of funding.

Coworking and warehouse space company Saltbox announced today the closing of a $35 million Series B led by Cox Enterprises and Pendulum. The news comes more than a year after Saltbox closed a $10.6 million Series A, bringing its total funding to $56 million.

‘Co-warehouse’ company Saltbox closes $35M Series B

Cofactr is a logistics and supply chain tech company that provides scalable warehousing and procurement for electronics manufacturers. The company today announced it raised a $6 million round of seed funding, to “lead the next generation of agile hardware materials management.” The company raised on a SAFE note with a $25 million cap. We spoke to the company’s team to learn more about its vision of the future.

Logistics and procurement on autopilot is the future Cofactr wants to live in

OneRail, the Orlando, Florida-based last-mile delivery provider that uses technology to optimize a vast courier network, announced Wednesday morning that it had raised a $33 million Series B round of capital funding from Piva Capital and Arsenal Growth. American Tire Distributors, a customer, also participated in the round as a strategic investor.

Last-mile delivery provider OneRail raises $33M Series B

Locus Robotics, a leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMR) for fulfillment and distribution warehouses, today announced more than $117 million in Series F funding, led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and G2 Venture Partners.

Locus Robotics lands $117 million in Series F funding

Other News

Header Image by Giancarlo Corti on Unsplash

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