Descartes Acquires Shiptrack for Start-to-Finish Solutions
On Nov. 6th , a global leader in uniting businesses in commerce by providing cloud-based logistics and supply chain solutions, acquired , a provider of cloud-based mobile resource management and shipment tracking solutions, in an effort to combine their respective technologies and experience to improve the final-mile in the delivery process, among other aspects.
“We believe there is a permanent shift in buying preferences underway that will continue to see an increasing number of goods being bought online,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO, in a statement. “Descartes continues to invest in our e-commerce capabilities to make sure that our customers, large and small, can fulfil orders and meet delivery commitments efficiently. ShipTrack complements this strategy, and, when combined with our advanced Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite of solutions, fills a gap in the market. We’re looking forward to working with the ShipTrack customers, partners and team of domain experts to help the final-mile carrier community capitalize on these changing market dynamics.”
Shiptrack co-founder Shawn Winter noted in a statement the shared sentiment of the importance of final-mile carriers and expanding upon their resources and availability: “Our platform helps final-mile carriers meet that challenge head-on with powerful workflows across delivery processes and the ability to expose information to consumers in real-time,” said Winter. “By joining forces with Descartes, we see an opportunity to create a truly differentiated product that combines our advanced final-mile solutions with Descartes route optimization and reservations capabilities.”
2020 has been an important year for the e-commerce sector, as more and more people are ordering packages online, making the streamlining of any supply chain, in all aspects, essential to thrive in a more demanding market.
Chris Jones, Descartes EVP, Marketing and Services, echoes this sentiment, and goes on to elaborate on the effectiveness of Descartes’ logistical solutions “This year has accelerated a shift in customer buying preferences, and we see an increasing number of goods being bought online and delivered to homes,” Jones explained. “We’re always looking for opportunities to expand our ability to serve the greater e-commerce ecosystem. The benefits of the acquisition go beyond our shipper customers, as the ShipTrack solutions help logistics companies as well. Many logistics companies actually work with other logistics companies to serve broader markets, handle spikes in demand and provide a broad array of services. ShipTrack excels at integrating these organizations together so they can act as one for their shipper customers.”
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany