The Week of October 3rd: 10 things eft’s been reading

We’re in the midst of last minute work on next week’s 3PL Summit and CSCO Forum in Venlo Netherlands, so this is going to be short – but sweet!

And tech heavy.

Sorry if you don’t like tech.

1)      The Wall Street Journal did a fascinating exploration of Amazon’s real ambition and the inevitability that they will compete directly with FedEx and UPS. For the time being at least, no ’10 things eft’s been reading will be complete without an Amazon mention. What’s of particular interest is how this ambition plays into the fundamentals of what is a 3PL or a logistics provider, and how can they maintain margins when ultra-mega retailers with their own logistics can always win on costs. Well worth a read.

2)      Walmart has over 1 000 independent sellers on its own marketplace (Think Fulfilled by Amazon, eBay, etc. Think mostly Amazon…). Further indication of the redefinition of the 3PL/4PL and changing competitive landscape.

3)      Google, Facebook and Amazon have joined forces on defining the future of Artificial Intelligence. What does that mean? The biggest AI players are going to coordinate privacy, safety and collaboration between people and AI so as to avoid such things as 2001 a Space Odyssey. Singularity shmingularity.

4)      Scania has used 14 vehicles to drive in circles for 24 hours to create a real-life gigantic clock only visible to drone enthusiasts, satellites and other high-fliers. The other strange thing about this stunt is that it was all manned by 90 drivers when most other companies would have done this using driverless technology.

5)      Which is a great segue to this article exploring Uber’s self-driving car pickups in Pittsburgh.  Surely if driverless cars are navigating the streets of Pittsburgh, they can drive in perfect trafficless circles. Ok, I’ll leave Scania alone.

6)      A Robotics company has raised $30m to become ‘the Tesla of the factory floor’. Why the ‘Tesla of the factory floor?’ We’re not entirely sure – basically, they’re a robotics company for the factory floor, which is pretty cool. You can take or leave Tesla.

7)      Well lets take Tesla – Tesla has massively ramped up its car production. This is quite an impressive story given the difficulties they have faced over the last couple of quarters. Their supply chain challenge is still immense, but the 70% reported increase in output is certainly positive. Come on electric vehicles!

8)      Shippo, who’s CEO we had the honour of having speak at the 2015 3PL Summit in Chicago has just secured $7 million in Series A. Congrats Shippo! We’re excited to see how you impact the industry!

9)      British retailer Tesco has finally turned in some positive results as it started to get in tune with modern times: customer-facing staff, fewer products, price reductions. In such a competitive marketplace, its yet to be determined whether they’re out of the woods yet. 

10)   Finally, and in keeping with technology, CIO magazine explored which industries are actually benefitting from VR. A number of major supply chains are in the mix including John Lewis, who’s Head of Operations for Magna Park will be speaking at next week’s Summit! 

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