Following the announcement of the end of Uber’s self-driving truck program, Uber reached out to FreightWaves for an opportunity to discuss Uber Freight and to check the pulse on the self-driving industry.
According to Uber, “There are no implications for Uber Freight with the shutting down of the self-driving truck program. They were operating separate programs before this even happened, so there really is no effect. Uber Freight will continue on as usual, and it’s one of our fastest growing businesses within Uber, so it’s not going anywhere.”
“Given that Uber Freight has been growing as rapidly as it has, we think it’s the best use of time to focus on that and then explore self-driving technology for trucks down the line. We’re continuing to explore approaches to highway driving using the cars,” exploring new business opportunities, like self-driving trucks, in the future,” Uber stated.
Although Uber Freight “is not going anywhere,” according to Uber’s spokesperson, Uber’s message is clarified in nixing the self-driving truck program. Uber Freight’s driver-centric messaging seemed to be contradicted by its simultaneous determination to develop self-driving truck technology; the move to shut down the self-driving truck project will help Uber’s image in the trucking industry. “It’s a strategic business decision that we feel confident taking because Uber Freight is such a strong business for us,” a representative from Uber concluded (FreightWaves).
Did you know?
As FreightWaves’ Vishnu Rajamanickam reported, more than 95% of the world’s lithium resources are mined as a primary product, occurring across South America, Australia, and Asia with massive reserves across ‘the lithium triangle’ in Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. The control of lithium in the market lies majorly with four companies – Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries in China, the SQM of Chile, Albemarle and FMC corporation of the U.S. – jointly holding 98% of the market.
“I find it’s oftentimes easy, but inappropriate, for senior executives to look at these situations in the abstract. It’s important to focus on what this means to the individual working in the factory who has a mortgage, a car payment, maybe a kid in college.”
—Art Peck, CEO of Gap, on problem-solving following the 2016 fire that destroyed the company’s largest distribution center in Fishkill, New York.
In other news:
Procter & Gamble, in a Strategy Shift, Moves to Raise Prices
Citing market dynamics and commodity costs, Procter & Gamble announced a price hike hitting the shelves in late 2018 and early 2019. “I am confident that interventions are working,” stated Procter & Gamble Chief Executive David Taylor, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. (WSJ)
How an 11-day truck strike in Brazil hurt Unilever’s top line
The 11-day truck strike in Brazil in late May continues to impact the supply chain, as Unilever detailed in their recent earnings call. In mid-June, 60 ships were experiencing load delays as 400,000 tons of goods waited for transport. (Supply Chain Dive)
Tesla Weighs Chinese Funding for $5 Billion Factory
Tesla will share the cost of their proposed $5 billion factory in Shanghai with local partners in China, according to a confidential source familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)
CMA CGM Honda resists U.S. tariff hit for now, first-quarter profit at 12-year high
CMA CGM has placed an order for nine 22,500 teu LNG-powered ULCVs that will serve as the flagship vessels. They’ll be the first ships featuring a “‘bulbless’ bow, as the container line commits its future to slow-steaming.” (The Loadstar)
How a warehouse fire sparked company-wide innovation at Gap Inc.
A 2016 fire that reduced Gap’s largest distribution center to rubble has challenged the company to innovate at a rapid pace, eventually “rebounding from their sales slump.” (Fast Company)
As FreightWaves’ Chad Prevost reported, for six months, UPS will test the medium-duty electric delivery truck as part of its fleet. Testing will include off-road evaluation to address durability, battery capacity, technical integration, engineering and any items found during on-road testing. Depending on the success of the deployment, UPS may make additional purchases of the electric vehicle.
UPS continues to expand its use of electric vehicles and works with a wide array of manufacturers including ARRIVAL, Daimler, Tesla, Thor, Workhorse and others. Using its “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS deploys about 9,300 low-emission vehicles to determine which technology works best in each route configuration. This includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane.
Hammer down everyone!
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