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Today’s pickup: Fool on for the final mile; IMO 2020’s long reach

Good day,

The Motley Fool has discovered last-mile logistics. The venerable stock-selection and opinion website had a podcast last week to break down the sector’s dynamics. Among the topics: Why robots probably aren’t coming for people’s jobs anytime soon; how Amazon.com Inc. changed expectations across the board; where drones and autonomous vehicles fit into the picture and where they don’t; just how much RFID can tell companies today; and what tech makers can do to offset the risk of “techlash.”

Did you know?:

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Tractor-trailers account for 20% of all traffic on rural interstate highways, according to nonprofit group TRIP.


“Dear Twitter trolls: Yes … I’m an idiot, I can’t do, so I teach, and I don’t understand genius. It’s a tech/energy play. I get it. … Save your breath. Yes, he is a genius, Tesla has changed the world for the better (I believe this). And … Tesla doesn’t have the scale to compete in a well-run, low-margin business — auto.”

— Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University, in a blog post on why Tesla will lose 80% of its value or will disappear. His comments were reported on the website Teslerati.

In other news:

Probing safety of Daimler’s sprinter vans

German authorities are probing suspected faulty software in the carmaker’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans after a report in German media that 260,000 vehicles could be affected across Europe. (Bloomberg)

French port’s blockchain project boosts intermodal moves

Completion of a blockchain pilot scheme coordinated and in part financed by the Marseille Fos port authority has demonstrated blockchain’s scope for enhancing intermodal freight movements on the major French logistics axis Mediterranean-Rhone-Saone (MeRS) corridor. (Portstrategy)

Union organizing is an art form

Workers at the high-end art logistics company UOVO have announced their intention to organize with Teamsters union Local 814, the city’s union for professional movers and art handlers. (Hyperallergic)

Chinese robotics company launches Nanjing factory

Chinese robotics startup Geek+ in late September launched a “smart factory” in Nanjing. The facility, capable of producing more than 10,000 robots per year, employs industrial robots, its own AI algorithms, production logistics management system and other automated assembly programs. (TechinAsia)

Indian firm expands warehouse logistics footprint

Indian firm Embassy Industrial Parks will invest about $300 million over the next three years to develop 8 million square feet of logistics and warehousing projects, according to a company official. (Business-Standard)

Final Thoughts:

IMO 2020, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation that enforces a sulphur cap on the fuels used by marine vehicles in order to reduce pollution, has long tentacles. According to an Oct. 7 report by logistics and real estate services firm JLL, ship lines will deploy larger vessels to offset higher operating costs because an increase in ship size does not translate into an equal increase in fuel consumption (i.e., one ship holding 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) won’t burn as much as two 10,000-TEU ships). This could lead to landside paralysis as ports struggle to process massive volumes from the larger vessels, according to JLL. Port complexes that have available land could use IMO 2020 to gain share from space-constrained ports, JLL said.

Hammer down, everyone!