Driverless trucks – still several years away?
Many of you may have already heard about the “driverless” truck convoy that made its way across Europe last week. The results are now in: the project was considered a success and many government officials are getting behind the project. One thing to note is that the trucks were not truly driverless during this first phase of testing. Each truck had a cabin crew monitoring the situation and controlling the steering wheel. The automation came mostly in the form of accelerating and braking, both big factors when it comes to transportation efficiency metrics.
One major aspect being tested during this journey was the idea of platooning. The trucks drove very close together in order save fuel and use the roads more efficiently. They communicated acceleration and braking data with each other through wireless technology. These types of trucks are expected to be allowed on European roads by the end of the decade. European transport ministers are meeting this week to discuss the results of the platooning experiment and the future of transportation. This technology can only be widely successful in cross-border situations. The problem: in some countries, for example in Germany, trucks (and cars in general) are not allowed to travel that close together. This means certain road laws will have to be adapted. My question: how am I supposed to merge onto the freeway with a platoon of trucks travelling inches apart blocking the way?…
Read more on this potentially game-changing trucking experiment here.
Alibaba – the gateway to China’s e-commerce market for Mondelez
Mondelez, the company that produces OREO cookies, announced a new partnership with Alibaba Group in order to establish itself on the Chinese market. Mondelez set a goal of reaching $ 1 billion in global e-commerce revenue by 2020, and a strong presence in the growing online commerce snacking market in China will certainly help the company reach that goal. The partnership provides Mondelez with access to Alibaba’s network of marketing and logistics companies in order to better promote and distribute their snacks across mainland China. The OREO cookie manufacturer also agreed to invest more in its presence on Alibaba’s Tmall storefront, offering a wider range of products to shoppers as well as exclusive product offerings. The “OREO-Colorfilled” is an example of one such product, which allows Tmall shoppers to design their own OREO packaging.
Mondelez is not alone in its new partnership with Alibaba. The online retail giant recently expanded its offering to partners which now includes a suite of services such as supply chain management, data analytics, cloud computing and marketing. Other notable companies that recently joined forces with Alibaba are Unilever and Metro Group.
Read more on this story here.
Fashion Revolution Week April 18 – 24
The fabric and apparel industries have found themselves in a lot of hot water when it comes to ethical and sustainable sourcing in recent years. A report released by SCM World suggests many companies have recognized the problem and plan on investing money in the creation of fair labor standards and ethical sourcing practices. A major trigger for the spotlight on the apparel industry was the collapsing of the Rana Plaza complex in Bangladesh, which resulted in the death of over 1,100 clothing industry workers. Many companies are now being held accountable by consumers when it comes to fair working conditions along the fashion supply chain.
One annual movement, referred to as The Fashion Revolution, will be taking place from April 18 – 24. Consumers are encouraged to contact their favorite apparel brands during the week and ask them “Who made my clothes?” This social media movement is expected to attract tens of thousands of participants. Those companies that have taken the time and resources to be able to answer that question will have a definite competitive advantage over those brands that leave the masses hanging.
Find out more about The Fashion Revolution here.
Have a great weekend!