Today's pickup: Fuel prices continue to climb across India, FreshDirect takes a hit

  Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Good day,

The cascading value of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar and the free fall of fuel prices in the country has put the Indian transportation sector in a spot. FreightWaves Staff Writer Vishnu Rajamanickam reported about a disproportionate rise in fuel prices across India that is making hauling goods a pricey endeavor.

“To make it clear, the ballpark price of one gallon of diesel in India stands at $4 as compared to an average of $2.9 in the U.S. - purchasing power of parity notwithstanding, this expounds why the situation is dire, and why people in India are feeling the heat of price inflation,” Rajamanickam reported.

Major opposition parties in India organized a country-wide strike last month to oppose fuel prices. Since India imports nearly 80 percent of all its fuel, the country is heavily dependent on global fuel prices staying under control for curbing local inflation. Regardless, the incumbent government is guilty of raising taxes and duties on oil which now account for over 100 percent of the base price of crude oil.   .

To learn more about how all the moving pieces fit together, check out Rajamanickam’s story here.

Did you know?

Truck drivers voted Dunkin’ Donuts their most popular place to stop for coffee on the road, with 41 percent voting in the store’s favor. Check out our latest infographic to learn more about drivers’ food and drink preferences.

Quotable:

“New crash tests and analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety demonstrate that underride guards on tractor-trailers can fail in relatively low-speed crashes — with deadly consequences.”

--An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety press release at the beginning of an eight-year cycle that kicked ff seven years ago. Now, the eight biggest underride manufacturers have earned top grades from IIHS.

In other news:

Amazon to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour

Amazon said it was raising the minimum pay for all U.S. workers to $15 an hour, a move that comes as the company faced increased criticism about pay for its warehouse workers. (WSJ)

Kroger to test grocery pick-up program at Walgreens stores

Kroger said on Tuesday it is exploring a partnership with Walgreens to allow its customers order online and pick up groceries at some of the drug retailer’s stores. (Reuters)

Delta expects $30 million hit on Hurricane Florence flight cancellations

The hit to pretax earnings amounted to a 0.5 percentage point drag on total revenue for each seat flown a mile last quarter. (Bloomberg)

Waymo collision shows flaws in self-driving car tests

Behind the wheel of the Pacifica was a human driver who, after about an hour on the road, appeared to doze off during the drive. (The Information)

Wobbly start for US stocks; Pepsi cut its profit target

The S&P 500 index was unchanged at 2,924 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,668. The Nasdaq composite lost 3 points to 8,033. (Associated Press)

Final Thoughts

In a time when consumers are opting to spend less time in the kitchen, restaurants and grocery stores, convenience is king and grocery delivery services are popping up everywhere.

FreightWaves Staff Writer Maria Baker reported that increased demand for straight-to-home groceries may not automatically translate to success for New York-based FreshDirect. The online grocery delivery service opened in 1999, and it recently opened a new Bronx warehouse in the hopes if doubling its business. The company controls about 54 percent of the market.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the privately-held company has hit some recent roadblocks. In early September, founder Jason Ackerman abruptly stepped down from his twenty-year role as CEO, calling on co-founder David McInerney to take his place amid the announcement of “a new chapter of continued growth, expansion, and innovation” for the company.

Baker reported the bump in the road could spell stale sales for the company, whose competitors include industry giants like Amazon Fresh and Instacart.

“There have been hiccups,” Ackerman said in a July interview at the new facility. “You’re ramping up $700 million of business from zero…and it’s a big haul.”

Hammer down everyone!