Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:
- United Parcel Service has been cleared for a first-of-its kind federal approval to begin setting up a fleet of unmanned aircraft (drones) to deliver health supplies and eventually consumer packages throughout the U.S. Amazon and Uber are vying for similar approvals.
- Amazon has plans to increase its offline presence and will open a chain of U.S. grocery stores, initially, in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. In the Los Angeles area, the company has signed about a dozen leases, with the first five stores likely to be in dense urban areas such as Woodland Hills.
- Uber’s Uber Freight is expanding its service to allow truckers to pick up already-loaded trailers for transport, thereby going head-to-toe with traditional freight-transport companies. Uber is also rolling out logistics services to compete with digital brokerages. Uber has noted that its app will allow carriers using it to book multiple loads at one time, a service that it sees as helping truckers plan better and reduce the number of miles spent hauling empty trailers.
- And, just when you thought you’d heard it all in the plant-based foods arena, KKK has determined that it will reinvent the unpopular margarine products like Flora as “vegan butter,” which might be helpful to KKK, which paid an astonishing $8 billion to Unilever in 2017 for their margarine brands.
- Amazon plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from Detroit-based startup Rivian Automotive, as it seeks to reduce its carbon emissions.