The Week of January 23rd:10 things eft’s been reading

From Fred Smith on Trump to more FMCG going green.

1. Drone logistics is off the ground as startup Flirtey raises some significant cash. Drone delivery startup Flirtey raises $16 million to become a next-gen UPS. [TechCrunch

2. Wal-Mart looks to consolidate its eCommerce offerings on the back of its acquisition. Wal-Mart to Shake Up Online Team, Cut Prices in Amazon Fight. [Bloomberg]

3. In a weird turn of events, mall owners are filling vacancies with online retailers looking for urban warehousing. See our D3 retail report for some stats backing this transition up. Mall Owners Find Relief From Unlikely Source: Online Retailers. [WSJ]

4. Click and collect isn’t a new concept – yet many retailers continue to struggle with it. Apparently only 31.6% of shoppers find picking up in-store to be a smooth process. Retailers haven’t perfected buy online, pick up in store yet. [Internet Retailer]

5. In another major sustainability move by the major FMCG companies, Unilver has decided that all of its plastic packaging would be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Unilver pledges to go green on all plastic packaging. [Supply Management]

6. [VIDEO] I think we all try and imagine what’s going on in an Amazon fulfilment center on cyber Monday. (or is it just me?) Here’s a video of it. [GeekWire]

7. In June, we did some research into chatbots and their usage in supply chain. At that time, only 7% of respondents were using them. Maybe that’s about to change though, UPS has just launched its own version. Meet the UPS chatbot. [UPS]

8. Scania and Toyota are going to be conducting a 3-year truck platooning trial this month in Singapore. Singapore hosts first full-scale autonomous truck platoon trial. [engadget]

9. We all heard when they applied for the license, but Amazon has begun actively serving as a freight forwarder for products from China to the US. Amazon adds ocean freight to the pieces of the shipping puzzle it controls. [TechCrunch]

10. [VIDEO] As the new president implements new policy, a lot of questions marks remain on how his protectionist policies might affect trade. Fred Smith (FedEx’s CEO) weighs in. [CBS]


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