Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (January 12, 2024)

We got our first snow of the season last Sunday. Not too much, about 4 inches.

Two days later, more than 2 inches of rain fell, as the temperature climbed above 50F.

Snow is all gone, just mud and puddles left behind.

Winters in Boston are not what they used to be.

Moving on, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

Dallas, TX: The Hub for Drones and Driverless Trucks

D is for Dallas. Apparently, it’s also for drones and driverless trucks.

“Walmart plans to offer drone delivery to most of the [Dallas] region this year,” reports Sarah Nassauer in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s more from the article:

Walmart will partner with Wing, a unit of Alphabet, and Zipline, a global drone delivery company that works with healthcare providers and others. Walmart is currently offering drone delivery in a limited way in Dallas. After the expansion, drone delivery from Walmart will be available to about 75% of the Dallas-Fort Worth population, the company said. The drone companies handle delivery, while Walmart provides goods and access to shoppers. 

Meanwhile, Kodiak Robotics introduced this week “the world’s first driverless-ready semi-truck designed for scaled deployment.” Here are some excerpts from the press release:

[The truck] is equipped with all the necessary redundant safety-critical hardware, including braking, steering and sensors, as well as the software required for driverless operations at scale. Kodiak’s sixth-generation truck further enhances the overall reliability of the technology by building on Kodiak’s five years of real-world testing that includes 5,000 loads carried over more than 2.5 million miles. This new truck will be used for Kodiak’s driverless operations, which it plans to initiate between Dallas and Houston in 2024.

Will drones gain the most traction and deliver the most business benefits by 2030 or will it be driverless trucks? It’s still an open question, and a lot more needs to happen on the technology, regulatory, and other fronts for these transportation modes to become widely used, but it seems like Dallas is the place to look for some early clues.

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims