Welcome to WHAT THE TRUCK?!? Information bulletin presented XPO. Markets continue to tumble in this issue; Amazon drivers deliver during Jan; a man drives on the back of a semi-truck for 100 miles; robot French apocalypse; Tesla ditches sensors; and more.
SONAR mount — When the stakes skyrocketed in July 2021, creating a wall that Alex Honnold would have trouble with free soloshould have been a the cliff on the other end. The other shoe dropped this spring when shippers buried under inventory moundsstart cancellation of orders en masse. Lower rates can be a great thing for the consumer because it lowers inflation. However, this precipitous drop is hell for carriers and shippers, who have just spent two years realigning their supply chains and ability to deal with a peak rather than a plateau.
“Rates could fall even further. As Greg Miller reported yesterday, the number of new ships entering the market has reached an unprecedented level. In the conditions of the collapse of demand, it will be difficult for carriers to maintain price discipline.” is the founder and CEO of FreightWaves Craig Fuller
The cavalry arrived… too late — Greg Miller in his latest article, when he stated, “Shipping follows a time-honored tradition: when shipowners have exceptionally high profits, they order many new ships. If these newbuildings are supplied by shipyards, it kills the profits of shipowners.’ Shipbuilders have record new orders as rates fall from $22,000 to $2,200. People wondering if the “new normal” rates will last now have their answer. No. It took only two and a half years for ocean-going carriers to return to the mean value.
This also happens in cargo transportation — FreightWaves DailyWatch noted Thursday morning that truck fleet numbers are accelerating as spot rates decline. In capacity-driven markets, this is generally an ominous equation volume +/- capacity = rates. The more capacity, the less everyone else can charge. It’s especially bad for truckers right now, as insurance, fuel and truck costs remain high. Let’s hope everyone invested those record profits wisely, because winter isn’t coming, it’s here.
Is Amazon sending drivers into a storm?
“After the tornado destroyed half of my neighborhood last year, I remember the Amazon delivery guy just standing at the intersection surrounded by debris, not knowing which pile of debris the package he was holding was meant for.” — Redditor Sempais_nutrients
I hate you all — Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, nor a tornado, nor a hurricane will keep the Amazons from their appointed rounds. TikToking Amazon Delivery Driver An abnormal poet documented his detours and vented his frustration on consumers, saying, “You all knew this hurricane was coming and you still order mr. I have to go to 172 of you all today. I hate you all. Everything is wet.” This begs the question, should a consumer consider the weather when ordering from Amazon, or should Amazon instead suspend deliveries if the weather is too bad to be safe… or the neighborhood has been leveled by a tornado?
A man travels more than 100 miles hanging on the body
Not in Kansas anymore — Shortly before 2:30 a.m., Logan County deputies began receiving a series of unbelievable phone calls. The man was spotted in the back of a semi truck speeding down the highway.
“When you get a call like that, you think, ‘Oh, is that what they’re really seeing, or is there something else going on?’ — Trooper Eric Foster of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol News4
It turned out that 30-year-old Dustin Michael Slocum had rolled over the back of a drilling rig parked at a shipyard in Wichita, Kansas. By the time the semi stopped because other motorists flagged it down, it had traveled more than 100 miles to Guthrie, Oklahoma. Slocum was charged with DUI and driving. But why did he do it at all? In accordance with Guthrie News Page, “Slocum told deputies he stopped by hoping to find his wife (in Kansas).” As absurd as it is, it sounds like this guy might need rehab and counseling instead of a jail cell.
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Tesla abandons ultrasonic sensors
Why did Tesla abandon the sensors? — Just as Elon Musk and Tesla are hyping up their latest “Full Self-Driving” software, it seems their cars are taking a step back in safety technology. Reuters reports that “Tesla has said it will remove ultrasonic sensors from the Model 3 and Model Y worldwide over the next few months, and then from the Model S and Model X in 2023.”
Tesla says, “Along with the removal of USS, we simultaneously launched our vision-based presence network—currently used in Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta—to replace the input generated by USS.” This comes after the company already removed the radar sensors due to a chip shortage last year. What do you think? Good move by Telsa or sacrificing safety for production goals?
Welcome to our new robot overlords
Would you like fries with that, Dave? — Automation heads to the fry station with the Flippy 2 robot from Miso Robotics. The robotics corporation in Pasadena, California, claims that Mr. Beep Boop can cook French fries better than any human. Well, I’d like to challenge this robot to a free-off. What he doesn’t know is that I spent a couple of my teenage years at McDonald’s and dropped a couple of baskets of fries.
“When we put the robot in place, the customers who come up and order, they all take pictures, take videos, ask a bunch of questions. And when they come in a second time, it seems they don’t even notice it, they take it for granted.” — Miso CEO Mike Bell KSL
Would you like to zoom in on this robot apocalypse? – Do you see this statement above? This is exactly how the customers at the golden arches treated me. But I wasn’t online and I didn’t have any robots to stage an uprising. Can you imagine how angry the artificial intelligence in these things will end up annoying customers? Apparently these things are already plotting our doom in Jack in the Box and White Castle.
Even the CEO admits that people will one day “walk into a restaurant and look at a robot and say, ‘Hey, remember the old days when people did stuff like this?’
One day? I was at McDonald’s on Wednesday and I couldn’t find anyone to serve me. They have already moved the orders from the cash register and it seems that only the drive through staff and cooks are working now. Let me tell you something, it was better when there were people. You and I, Flippy 2, let’s fry.
How same day delivery works, a hot shot and rethinking how drivers are paid – Friday at WHAT DAY?!? Dude and I are learning the logic and logistics of same day delivery; we learn how one company is reinventing the way drivers pay; get detailed information on how hotshotting works; and talk about achieving end-to-end automation between booking with the operator and the customer.
With special guests Amar Singh, Founder and President of Surge Transportation; Kevin Huang, founder of Trucking Up; Nurhan Beiruti, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing and Brand, Delivery Solutions; and Richard Sharp, Principal Specialist at Diligent Delivery Systems.
Watch new shows live at noon ET on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on FreightWavesTV, FreightWaves YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook or on request by looking at WHAT’S A TRUCK?!? to your favorite podcast player.
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