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The last mile: Robots take to streets for local delivery

ZDNet

A company that makes an innovative robot that may one day challenge Amazon drivers for their urban deliveries, is newly buoyed by a seed round announced this week. Refraction AI, an automation firm founded in 2019 and creator of the REV-1, a low-cost, lightweight autonomous delivery robot, will use its $4.2 million raise for customer acquisition, geographic expansion, and product development. Last mile logistics, the challenge of getting goods from smaller distribution hubs, often based on the fringes of cities, to final delivery destinations, is the achilles heel of speedy logistics. Amazon has moved heaven and earth, first via USPS and now with a fleet of its own delivery trucks and drivers, to ensure speedy last-mile delivery. The reason that last mile logistics is such a headache for logistics companies is because it's where large, efficient shipments become individual logistical challenges fraught with unique handling requirements, finicky directions, and uncertain coordination with customers.


walmart-slowly-expanding-uber-grocery-delivery

Engadget

Walmart has been testing a grocery delivery service since 2013, when it expanded from San Francisco and San Jose to the Denver market. The company is now expanding the delivery service to two new cities: Customers in Dallas or Orlando can now order groceries from Walmart.com and have them delivered via an Uber ride. The process is pretty simple, which is what you want when you're grabbing groceries online. You can order online on your desktop or mobile browser, place an order and then arrange a time for delivery.


Walmart expands grocery delivery with help from Postmates

Engadget

Can't make it to one of Walmart's pickup towers to snag your online grocery order? Don't worry: Now you can have it delivered via Postmates. And it all sounds pretty simple, too. Either place your order via the Walmart website or grocery app and then pick a delivery window. There's even a promo that first-time customers can take advantage of that waives their first delivery fee.


JD.com expands logistics services to include parcel delivery

ZDNet

JD.com has launched a parcel delivery service in China, tapping its logistics network to support its foray into the lucrative market. The e-commerce giant said Thursday its new service would enable consumers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to send packages inter-city and across mainland China via the JD.com mobile app. The US online retailer finally introduces Amazon Prime in Singapore but the launch has been described as "piecemeal", which should give Alibaba even more room to expand its own footprint in the region. It said it planned to expand service options to include various delivery timing, including say-day or two-day delivery, and high-value items such as luxury products and high-end consumer electronics. The courier service also would eventually be available to any residential and business customer in mainland China.


iPhone X: How Apple makes sure your Christmas delivery isn't ruined

The Independent - Tech

When a new iPhone is announced, and at high-volume times of the year like Christmas, the Apple team in charge of logistics is hard at work. For deliveries to the UK, Europe, the Middle East and beyond, that team is based in Cork – I met them to hear every detail of the process.