Walmart and Ford Partner for Self-Driving Home Delivery

                                                  Source: Ford

Walmart is looking to leapfrog Amazon, using Ford autonomous cars for home delivery of online orders.

When you think of cutting edge technology colliding with retail, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) probably comes to mind. From cashier-less stores to experiments with drone delivery, Amazon is always pushing the boundaries. But a new partnership that was just announced puts Walmart (NYSE:WMT) in the futuristic tech spotlight. The company announced that it is teaming up with Ford (NYSE:F) for self-driving home delivery.

If successful, the pilot program would give Walmart bragging points over its online retail rival, but by replacing the Post Office and couriers for last mile delivery, it could also cut the company’s shipping costs to online customers in half.


Walmart and Ford Partner for Self-Driving Home Delivery

Walmart and Ford announced today that they are joining forces to offer self-driving home delivery of Walmart online orders, using Ford autonomous cars.

According to Walmart, the venture starts with a pilot program in Miami-Dade County. The two companies will be working with delivery service Postmates, which has established relationships with both Walmart and Ford, to deliver fresh groceries.

In a blog post, Ford explains what happens now:

“Over the next couple of months, we’ll be working closely with Walmart to understand its operations, identify what goods we can feasibly transport, and pinpoint any issues that may need to be addressed to successfully deliver orders via self-driving vehicles …. We’ll be exploring different vehicle configurations or modifications that we could make to meet people’s needs – especially to accommodate perishable goods, or scenarios where our vehicles end up making multiple deliveries on a single trip.”

Initially, the self-driving home delivery service won’t actually be autonomous. Instead, Ford will mock up vehicles to “simulate an autonomous experience” to see how customers interact with the deliveries. There are also technical challenges with Ford’s self-driving technology to iron out and as Reuters points out, regulations for issues like liability have yet to be updated to reflect fully autonomous operation.

But with Ford targeting 2021 for commercial production of its autonomous cars, the future could arrive quickly.

More.

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Transportation job growth a sign of growing confidence

The hiring spree among US transportation and warehousing companies clearly signals preparation for a strong peak holiday shopping season this year, with emphasis on e-commerce pushing goods through pipelines reaching from container ships to small package couriers.

Transportation and warehousing companies added 24,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, the US Labor Department announced Friday. Strong job gains by warehousing and courier companies suggest e-commerce retailers are preparing for substantial online business and are laying the groundwork needed to process and fulfill the orders they expect to stream in from November through January.

The transportation job numbers were the latest indication the US economic recovery still has legs. Overall, the US economy added 134,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent, a 48-year low for US workers.

August's job growth was revised up to 270,000, from 201,000, and July's to 165,000, from 147,000. September’s hiring number may have been affected by Hurricane Florence, which disrupted job markets and the regional economy on the southeast Atlantic Coast.

Since July, transportation and warehousing firms tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have added 45,100 jobs, bringing their total to 5.376 million. The sector, which includes trucking, rail, aviation, couriers, and warehousing, added nearly 174,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Now, even railroads are adding jobs

Even railroads, which cut payroll substantially following a recent peak of 248,100 jobs in April 2016, are adding jobs year over year as well as month to month, the BLS data show. The annualized employment comparison turned positive for the first time in 14 months in August.

Trucking added 4,900 jobs in September from August, and increased hiring 2.3 percent year over year, representing a gain of 33,100 jobs. The preliminary increase in trucking’s headcount last month followed a 5,900 job gain in August that put carrier payroll above 1.480 million.

That’s evidence of a definite uptick in hiring in August and September, after trucking employment increased steadily but in smaller amounts through much of 2018. That may signal for-hire trucking firms, despite a driver shortage, are doing a better job attracting workers.

Warehousing was the clear winner among the industrial transportation sectors. Warehousing firms created 8,400 new jobs in September, a 5.3 percent year-over-year gain. Courier firms added 5,100 jobs, following up a 3,600 gain in August and 7,200 increase in July.

Jobs growth did shrink in September, with the 134,000 new hires being the smallest number in a year. Economists had expected the US to add 185,000 jobs. But with the US hitting what has long been considered full employment, it’s increasingly difficult to make such high numbers.

The higher warehousing and courier payrolls are a forerunner of e-commerce growth this quarter. Amazon recently announced a $15 an hour minimum wage starting Nov. 1, raising the ante in the battle for blue-collar and younger employees.

UPS last month said it would hire 100,000 temporary workers to handle the shipping peak this holiday season, a 5 percent increase from the 2017 pre-Christmas autumn peak. FedEx plans to add 55,000 workers, a 10 percent increase year over year. XPO Logistics will add 8,000 workers.

Contact William B. Cassidy at bill.cassidy@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @willbcassidy.

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The Future Of Delivery Services

Streamlining Delivery Systems

The world of delivery is changing, and with new technologies revolutionizing the way that our products are delivered to us even more, it can be difficult to see where the future of delivery is headed. There are a huge number of companies looking to try out new technologies on the market to help streamline their delivery services even more. Here, we’re taking a look at the future of delivery services to see where the future lies beyond standard delivery options and parcel delivery with sites like parceldelivery.com. Without further ado, the following technologies are the ones that are set to revolutionize delivery services.

Drone Delivery

One of the major advancements in delivery services is the use of drones to deliver parcels. Companies like Amazon Air are looking to carry packages around the UK helping to improve the reliability of the service and speed by which packages are delivered. While there are a number of restrictions with this type of technology, for example, the amount of space available for a drone to land, lightweight products, living within range of an Amazon depot, and the drone only being able to fly during good weather conditions in daylight hours, this could be the start of something very different for delivery services to implement.

New Delivery Cargo Systems

This intricate vision was presented by Mercedes in January, and is nicknamed ‘The Vision Van’. The idea behind this is to cut down the time that it takes for packages to be sorted and then delivered, and it can organise and prepare a number of parcels for manual drop off purposes. The van is controlled by a joystick, and is powered by electric and designed to produce zero CO2 emissions. In addition to this, the van features two drones, meaning there is room to autonomously deliver various types of parcels by air too.

The Mole

The Mole is a concept developed in Cambridge, UK, and relies on a network of underground pipes/underground Royal Mail system in order to avoid all sorts of traffic congestion. The Mole is designed to deliver a large number of goods to businesses and suppliers currently and was trialled in Northampton where results suggested that The Mole has the potential to provide long-lasting benefits to towns suffering with high levels of congestion. If this system is successful, the initiative would be able to cut down costs and bypass traffic problems.

With robots likely to be on the road in the very near future, driverless cars looking to dominate traffic and underground mail systems delivering packages to our door without the need for a mailman, technology really is providing a new future for delivery. While it’s unlikely to see the disappearance of the standard parcel delivery service in the very near future, we could one day see a depreciation of need for traditional Royal Mail postmen and women. Technology truly is dominating the world and it’s easy to see how much of an impact technology can have when it comes to streamlining the delivery process for parcels and post in the future.


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Top 10 Most Popular Courier Services in the World

There was a time when runners or men on horses or even pigeons were used to deliver messages. Imagine a world without courier and delivery services in the present world? It seems impossible doesn’t it? It wouldn’t be exaggerated to say that we are very much dependent on Courier services in one way or the other. The current craze of shopping online too has the courier services at its background. So yes they form a sort of life line for logistics, products or simple mails to move from one point to another. Let us find out about some of the most popular courier services in the world.

10. DTDC:

It is an Indian delivery company offering global services as well. It was founded in the year 1990 and since then has widened its network around the country. Today it has one of India’s Largest Domestic Delivery Networks and covers over 10,000 pin codes across the nation. It is headquartered in Bangalore and handles over 11 million consignments per month. Though it needs substantial improvement with respect to customer care; it still is one of the most popular courier services in the country.

9. Japan Post Group:

It was born after the privatization of the hugely successful Japan Post in the year 2007. Though following that the privatization was put on hold, the company rose to become one of the largest postal services in the world. With plans to achieve complete privatization in three years’ time to raise funds for the devastation caused by tsunami, nuclear disaster and earthquakes; Japan Post aims to achieve even greater heights in postal and packaging delivery services.

8. YRC Worldwide:

With its corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas, YRC Worldwide is one of the largest companies which specialize in shipping industrial, commercial and retail goods. It is one of the oldest pioneers in this industry. Dating back to its modest beginnings in the year 1924 by A.J. Harrell, the company now offers supply chain solutions for heavyweight consignments and cargoes. The company resurfaced from a near bankruptcy situation and has only grown thereafter.

7. PostNL:

It was earlier known as the TNT N.V and is a mail, parcel and e-commerce corporation with operations in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. It was formed after the demerger of TNT N.V which offered express delivery services in over 200 countries. It is one of the foremost delivery services in the world with FedEx, DHL, and national post carriers such as US Postal Service and Royal Mail as its major competitors.

6. Schenker AG:

Schenker AG is a logistics company with its headquarters in Berlin, Germany. It has over 91000 employees and around 2400 offices around the world. It claimed to be the foremost company in Europe with respect to land transport for delivery of logistics. An excellent shipping and delivery company; it is known widely for its high quality accurate services.

5. Royal Mail:

It is the government owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Though it is owned by the state; there are plans to privatize it up to 90%. It is one of the oldest delivery services in the world and has over 176,000 employees. The figures available for the year 2006 show that the Royal Mail delivered 84 million items every working day. That is quite a large number and shows the reach of the company. Royal Mail is also known for its superior quality service and high guarantee of delivery.

4. Blue Dart:

It is the number one Domestic Courier and perhaps the most popular courier service in India. It offers timely and excellent delivery services. With DHL holding a major stake in the company, its standard of operation has also increased exceptionally. Today it has become South Asia’s leading courier, and integrated express package Distribution Company. Together with DHL it covers around 33,739 locations and service more than 220 countries in the present day.

3. United Parcel Service, Inc.:

It is commonly referred as UPS and is an American package delivery company with global operations. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States it was founded in Seattle in the year 1907. It is known to deliver over 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries around the world. Its courier express service is one of the best in the world.

2. FedEx:

It is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, US and is an American global courier delivery services company. The name FedEx is actually an abbreviation for Federal Express. It was founded in the year 1971 and is today one of the top most courier services in the world. Its major competitor around the world is DHL Express. Frankly both are excellent and the competition between the two only aids the customers.

1. DHL Express:

It is a division of German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL. It is the world’s top delivery services company when it comes to sea and air mail. It was founded in the year 1969 and today is the undisputed market leader in its sector. Its global headquarter is based in the Deutsche Post headquarters in Bonn. It is also provides services in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Burma so it really isn’t surprising that it is in the number one position.

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Uber Has Bigger Problems to Worry About Than the Shutdown

For companies like Uber and Lyft, the biggest 2019 headlines will come when they go public, as long as the federal shutdown ends and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gets back to work. But the more important news may be 3,000 miles away in Sacramento, where lawmakers will have to deal with the fallout from a sweeping 2018 state Supreme Court verdict. The decision made it much tougher for companies to label workers independent contractors rather than employees—a direct threat to the business model of ride-hailing companies, among others. “We cannot just put our heads in the sand with respect to the future of work,” says Evan Low, a member of the California Assembly who co-chairs the legislature’s tech caucus. “Status quo is unacceptable, and you will start to lose money.”

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