Friday in 5 – interesting news bits from around the supply chain horn, served up in one spot to keep you up to date.
This week: We may be losing our jobs to robots – in fact, a new study says each 1 robot costs us 6 jobs, an Austin based startup is challenging UberRush and becoming the next FedEx killer, Wal-Mart is beating the pants off Amazon in apparel, a startup thinks could be the future of international cargo transport by planning to cut air freight costs in half with drones, and Amazon unveiled its long-rumored grocery pickup concept store in two Seattle locations.
Are we losing our job to robots? Each 1 costs 6 jobs, a new study says
It looks like we’re already losing our jobs to robots. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research examined the impact of robots in the workforce between 1990 and 2007. It found that one robot in the workforce led to the loss of 6.2 jobs within a commuting zone where local people travel to work, Recode reports. The robots also reduce wages, with one robot per thousand workers leading to a wage decline of between 0.25 % and 0.5 %.The study was produced by the economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, who used a model where robots and humans competed against each other.
Austin based startup is gunning to be the next FedEx killer instead of UberRush
When Uber unveiled its same-day delivery service, UberRush, it was supposed to be the FedEx killer, dominating local business deliveries and changing how businesses move goods around a city. Two years later, UberRush is still only in the three cities it initially launched in, while a new name has been quietly growing around the rest of the country. Dropoff, an Austin-based startup, has expanded into five different states and 12 cities in the last two years, CEO Sean Spector told Business Insider.
Wal-Mart is beating the pants off Amazon in apparel, and it’s fighting to keep it that way
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been on an e-commerce apparel acquisition tear, purchasing sites like ModCloth, MooseJaw and ShoeBuy in recent weeks. The purchases aren’t just part of an apparel effort at Wal-Mart, but an effort to compete with, and fend off, Amazon.com Inc., which is also making a push in the apparel arena. Amazon has been adding private label brands at a pace as robust as Wal-Mart’s acquisitions. By KeyBanc Capital Markets’ count, Amazon has at least 14 private-label apparel brands in the U.S. and U.K., nine for Prime members exclusively. Analysts there estimate that the e-commerce giant has a $14 billion-plus apparel business.
A startup’s plan to cut air freight costs in half with 777-size drones
Commercial passenger jets fly at an altitude of around 30,000 feet or higher. Imagine sitting in a window seat of one of those giant aluminum tubes a few years from now as it makes its way across the Pacific Ocean. Picture looking down about 10,000 feet below. You just might see what one startup thinks could be the future of international cargo transport. The idea is simple: Shipping by air is fast, but expensive. Boat is much cheaper, but very slow. So why not send all those boxes and packages on an un-piloted, amphibious Boeing 777-sized drone that can fly point to point and eventually drop off as much as 200,000 pounds of cargo at a seaside port? It would carry that cargo at about half the cost of normal air freight thanks to a more efficient use of fuel and the lack of an expensive crew.
Amazon may be debuting the future of grocery shopping
The future of grocery shopping opened in what once was a sleepy Scandinavian neighborhood in Seattle this week and it looks very Amazonian. The company unveiled its long-rumored grocery pickup concept store in two Seattle locations, though for now they’re only for employees as the online giant works out the kinks. AmazonFresh Pickup locations allow Amazon Prime members to order groceries online, make an appointment to pick them up and then drive through and have the grocery bags loaded into their trunk by an Amazon employee. No money changes hands as the entire transaction takes place via the Amazon app or at home on the customer’s computer.