Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to streamline the logistics of delivering the automaker’s vehicles. Starting next quarter, the company will ship cars to local delivery centers and allow customers to pick them up at their convenience, according to website Electrek, which spoke to people who were on a call last week with Musk. Customers currently have to schedule appointments to pick up their cars before they are moved out of the Fremont, California factory. This requires significant man-hours devoted to scheduling and causes inventory back-ups, Musk said, according to Electrek. On the call, Musk made several references to Amazon.com, Inc.’s delivery business to justify the move, Musk said, according to Electrek. Amazon, Musk said, “would go bankrupt if they would have to wait for customers to be ready to take delivery before shipping.”
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The price of a dog leash sold at a Walmart store in Liberty County, Ga. has jumped 35% since August 2018, while the price of a screwdriver has increased by 7%, according to a periodic survey conducted by NPR of the prices of about 80 products affected by the on-going U.S.-China trade conflict.
“What we’ve seen is contingency planning. We haven’t seen anyone pull the trigger yet.”
-Bill Meahl, CEO of the Americas for DHL Global Forwarding, a unit of Deutsche Post DHL, when asked last week about whether the on-going U.S.-China trade dispute is causing its customers to rethink their inventory positioning. The DPDHL unit is the world’s biggest air freight forwarder and second-biggest ocean forwarder.
In other news:
Nike gets fully renewable
Nike has opened a distribution center in Ham, Belgium, that is entirely powered by renewable energy. Nike touts the Court Distribution Center as the “latest milestone” in a move to zero carbon and zero waste to “help protect the future of sport.” (Nike)
China’s logistics business shows slowing growth
China’s logistics business grew in August, but the expansion rate was lower than the previous month, according to a recent survey. The “logistics performance index” for August came in at 50.9%, 0.2 percentage points lower than in July, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. (Xinhua)
The Jetsons come to Thailand
Michael Currie, founder and CEO of Thai drone start-up Fling, envisions a city-wide network of drones perched on rooftops, charging and then waiting to be allocated for point-to-point deliveries within Bangkok, mainly delivering for restaurants. Deployed at scale, such a system will reduce traffic congestion and noise, and increase safety since fewer vehicles will be on the road, Currie said. (The Spoon)
Efforts underway to boost intra-African transport infrastructure
A primitive shipping infrastructure has rendered African goods uncompetitive on the global marketplace.But free trade protocols, such as the proposed African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), will push for large-scale infrastructure investments. The agreement is currently being ratified by African countries and is expected to be a major step forward in unlocking intra-African trade opportunities (The Standard).
A multi-country logistics deal
French asset manager La Francaise and its South Korean partners have acquired a 150,000 square-meter e-commerce fulfillment center located in Rheindahlen, Monchengladbach, in the Rhine Ruhr region of Germany from developer Ixocon Immobilien. It is the partnership’s first logistics acquisition (IPE RA).
It is hardly unusual for organized labor to smack around a company in public. It is unusual for a company’s customer to be the focus of a press release that attacks a company’s performance. That’s what happened on Sept. 16 when “Change to Win,” a group of labor unions representing more than 5.5 million workers, issued a press release devoted to transport and logistics provider XPO Logistics, Inc.’s alleged final-mile delivery problems with fitness company Peloton. The release, entitled “XPO Delivers Problems for Peloton Customers,” cites a survey of over 1,000 people showing that one-third of Peloton customers whose products were delivered by XPO experienced problems, compared to less than 10% of customers that were served by Peloton’s in-house delivery team. Peloton had no input in the survey or the communique. XPO, which has called the survey’s methodology and findings bogus, points to more substantive survey findings with a 96% on-time delivery rate and a 94% customer satisfaction rate. The press release issued by the labor groups reflects the increasingly nasty battle between the Teamsters union, that wants to organize XPO’s operations, and the company, that wants no part of it.
Hammer down everyone!