Supermarket Amazon, Brexit, Home Delivery, Start-ups, Blockchain and more

Logistics in the News – Week 40

A lot of interesting things in the news this week, which you may have missed. Please find a roundup of the main news and background items for the past week below. You can read the full articles by clicking the link in the tweets.

Online supermarket Amazon

Most people, including myself are still shopping for groceries at brick & mortar supermarkets. In the Netherlands only 1.7 % does their grocery shopping online. The European country with the highest percentage of online grocery shoppers is England with 6.9%. The adoption in the US is similar: 7%. There is still a huge growth percentage in this market, so naturally Amazon is moving in.

For the better part of the last decade, Amazon Fresh has been an enigma. Now, with a change to its pricing this week, one thing has become clearer: Amazon is indeed very serious about this business…. In the three years since, Amazon has expanded Fresh to a few more markets: San Francisco, then the New York metro area and, more recently, Boston, Baltimore and London, too…

The Brexit-effect on European logistics

That a Brexit will have an effect on European logistics is a given. What effect that will be, and for who the effect will be positive and for who negative, is still very much an unknown. This article goes into the potential effects, and quotes several European logistics leaders who give their take on Brexit.

No matter what decisions the U.K. and the EU may ultimately make in regard to Brexit, they will transform Europe and redefine its role in trans-Atlantic trade in the post-Brexit era.

At the moment, things are still very speculative following the referendum, but as the first shock subsides, it will be important for all involved to keep a cool head and begin planning for the new phase after Britain leaves the EU.

The freight transportation and logistics industry will play a major role not only in economic restructuring, but also as important advisors in the negotiations between governments. No matter how the political framework is restructured, their interest is to guarantee and provide a free flow of goods throughout Europe in the future as well.

Why should you be at home?

Descartes’ Chris Jones gives his views on what’s in store for the future of home delivery. Almost all of the 5 hot topics are about getting the product to the consumer with more accuracy. Consumers want small delivery windows, so they don’t have to be home for long periods of time. Also they want the freedom to choose when this small window is. This puts a strain on the delivery companies. Planning gets increasingly complex. The solution in my opinion is to make sure that every house is equipped with a mailbox that can receive parcels, so there is no need to be home. This makes planning and scheduling easier for delivery companies, with less missed deliveries. And the same goes for consumers, who don’t have to wait an additional day, or drive somewhere to pick up their parcel. I’ve written about a Dutch solution for this problem in December of last year.

With the seasonal flood of consumer demand about hit the retail industry, advanced home delivery solutions can play an important role in success. Based on a benchmark study¹ of retailers using home delivery technology in diverse industries worldwide, here’s what companies are actually doing in five key areas to capitalize on the home delivery opportunity.

  1. Harmonizing Delivery Across Channels
  2. Prioritizing Customer Choice
  3. Blending Traditional + Customer-focused Metrics
  4. Finding New Revenue Opportunities
  5. Uncovering the Potential of Dynamic Booking

Startups: “We are not the Uber of anything!”

Transforming or disrupting existing industries, markets and business models is exactly what most startups want. The freight market is no exception. Logistics Viewpoints has talked to various freight-related startups to get their view on the international freight market. None of them likes to be compared to Uber, while often the media speaks about the Uberization of this or that.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether the Uber model can transform the freight industry. But the technology startups focused on international shipments – ocean or air – are quicker to embrace comparisons to other large tech platforms like Priceline, Orbitz, or Expedia.

I like infographics

I really do. If you do too, check out my collection on my infographic board on Pinterest. This one is on the history and potential risks of the industrial internet of things. With IoT devices integrated in power grids, power plants, and factories, security is key. The infographics contains several actual exploits and hacks that were done recently.

Industrial IoT attacks could cause result in significant economic harm, mutilate a company’s reputation, and, as was the case with the Flame and Stuxnet worms, damage a nation’s defence capabilities. To illuminate the high stakes of large-scale IIoT hacks, in a recently published infographic GlobalSign tracked the history of IIoT security leaks.

Blockhain. What it is and what its potential is

You must have heard about Blockhain, but do you know what this is? This post on The Next Web gives a quick explanation of what it is, and how it is transforming business models.

According to a SWIFT Institute Working Paper, it is the robustness and relative simplicity of the Bitcoin blockchain that has sparked the interest of similar technology to be applied to wholesale markets’ securities settlement as this can potentially reduce costs and risks.

And according to a White and Case report, a similar blockchain can also be used to improve and enhance currency exchange, supply chain management, trade execution and settlement, remittance, peer-to-peer transfers, micropayments, asset registration, correspondent banking and regulatory reporting (relating to “know your customer” and anti-money-laundering rules).

 Interesting reading material

The annual Third-Party Logistics Study is always an interesting read if you are in logistics. Please find a link to the most recent study below.

This year’s results show that as 3PL offerings mature, shippers are increasingly taking advantage of logistics providers’ expertise. Again this year, the most frequently outsourced activities continue to be those that are more transactional, operational and repetitive.

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