NewsToday's Pickup

Today’s pickup: Microgrids to play key role in EV scalability; 3PL winnowing to come not from digital disruption

Good day,

Microgrids play a much bigger role in our energy mix today than just backup power. They are also critical to resilience, adding value-added services and fortifying the existing grid at key distributed points. So says Mark Feasel, vice president, electric utilities and smart grid for Schneider Electric, quoted in Greentech Media. “For the transportation industry, these benefits translate to enabling fleet electrification at-scale. We can now ensure fleets have the infrastructure behind them to support sustained growth.”

Did you know?:

That 89 percent of corporate chief information security officers prefer working with vendors that implement security measures across their value chains, according to Cisco Systems.


“We were used to reacting every six months. That was fine four years ago.”

-Sergio Villalobos, director, global logistics strategy, Nike Inc., commenting on how the company’s manufacturing and supply chain operations have been forced to accelerate efforts in the hyper-now economy.

In other news:

Dunkin’ goes delivery

It used to be known as Dunkin’ Donuts, but the coffee and donut chain will use Grubhub to start the rollout today of a nationwide delivery program in New York City. The goal is delivery from 70 percent of Dunkin’s 9,400 U.S. stores by the end of 2020. (Yahoo Finance)

I.T. to the rescue of African logistics

According to global property consultancy Knight Frank, the cost of transport in Africa accounts for 50 to 75 percent of the retail price of goods. But information technology, both foreign and home-grown, may change that trend. (BBC News)

Volvo to debut the Vera at port of Gothenburg

The Vera autonomous electric truck from Volvo’s trucking subsidiary looks like a road-hugging sports car, and it will soon be deployed at Sweden’s Port of Gothenburg. (TechCrunch)

Probably not for Trump Rail

In the market for an Iranian-built freight locomotive? It’s on the market right now. (Tehran Times)

Your dog thanks you for not texting

Arizona’s Department of Transportation has chosen the winning messages for its best digital freeway road signs. See photo above for one of the winners. (AZ Central)

Final thoughts:

The third-party logistics (3PL) segment is ripe for winnowing, but the pruning may not come from digital disruption. Instead, it will come from shippers and carriers that will shrink their 3PL universe to those partners that provide a broad range of services, according to comments at last week’s Eye for Transport 3PL and Supply Chain summit. Can the digital brokers ramp up their services if big companies demand it? Time will tell.

Hammer down everyone!

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.