Industry round up: Partnerships take the last mile lead


Industry round up: Partnerships take the last mile lead

August 31, 2018

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A round up of this month’s last mile and delivery tech news…  

Delivery partnerships drive new growth in Chinese marketplace

Starbucks stands poised to benefit from a new partnership with Chinese giant Alibaba to improve delivery across 150 of its Beijing and Shanghai locations from next month. The move comes following Alibaba’s acquisition of Chinese last mile delivery specialist fleet Ele.Me back in May.

According to a recent article in The Motley Fool: “This first partnership shows how Alibaba can use to go after China's $10.7 billion food-delivery market. The options are almost limitless.”

And with the overall goal of capturing more than 50% of the Chinese food delivery market, partnerships like this show how Alibaba will use Ele.Me to expand the last mile sector and digitise delivery options in China.

The question now is: how will this impact other brands in the region? And what are the global implications of partnerships like this one for the last mile?

The trouble with increasing pressure on gig economy drivers

A new report shows that gig economy drivers and couriers are likely at higher risk of crashing due to the increased time pressures that come with these sorts of jobs.

The findings, which were featured in The Guardian, show almost half of drivers who had picked up work through an app had damaged their vehicle as the result of a collision at some point in their work.

“As more workers enter the economy and competition rises, the number of hours they need to work and distances they must travel to earn a stable income both increase,” said the report’s author Heather Ward.

What’s the PostTag take on this? Watch this space.

Flipping the model comes at a high price for AWS

In a recent WSJ article Shaleen Devgun, Schneider National Inc.’s CIO, noted that “transportation and logistics companies have to become technology companies.”

Having flipped that idea on its head, Amazon is now reaping the rewards - albeit at a high cost, adds founder and head analyst at Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, Cathy Morrow Robertson.

Given that Amazon’s delivery costs increased some 34% to more than $6 billion in the first half of 2018, the challenge for the company now becomes balancing the cost of the last mile against its aims of improving efficiency and increasing sales volumes.

But with a third-quarter outlook that Robertson describes as “bullish”, it’s no surprise that “delivery will continue to be a challenge for Amazon as it enters the second half of 2018”.

Want to join the last mile conversation? Become a member of The Last Mile Consortium Group on LinkedIn today.

Nicole Lyons