Delivery

Alphabet Leads Covert Meeting To Discuss Tech In Logistics

Alphabet Holds Secret Meetings With FedEx, Others About Logistics

Alphabet recently held a secret, closed-door meeting with shipping companies like FedEx during what it called the Alphabet Advanced Logistics Summit, according to a report by CNBC.

The purpose of the meeting was to talk about potential investments in the field, and new strategies regarding logistics and delivery.

Alphabet’s research and development unit, called X, and another new company that was spun out from Sidewalk Labs, called Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), hosted the event.

“We frequently bring together stakeholders from across various industries to exchange ideas and brainstorm ways that technology can deliver innovative solutions in areas like logistics,” an Alphabet spokesperson said.

Most of the people at the summit were from different teams at Alphabet, but there were representatives from JD.com, Deliv and Flexe, among others.

Alphabet said it wants to be able to expand its logistics capabilities and keep up with rivals like Amazon and Alibaba. Alphabet also recently invested $550 million into JD.com, China’s second-largest online shopping service, and in March it started selling dome JD.com goods.

SIP was created to focus on technology based iterations in urban areas.

Possible ventures being considered, according to meeting attendees, were “Accelerating Fulfillment and Delivery” and “Automated, Advanced Warehousing.”

Alphabet, during the summit, was especially focused on analytics and predictive processes to help with sales.

One of the presentation slides, called “Key Question No. 3,” said “Expansion in the breadth of a fulfillment network requires either the flexible, low CapEx approach of an on-demand warehousing or a standardized, partially-automated facility using modular robotics.”

There was also discussion about drone delivery and how it could be used. Alphabet recently made a deal with Walgreens on the first commercial drone delivery service in the country.

Another slide, called “Key Question No. 1,” read “As last-mile delivery alternatives proliferate with the emergence of new companies and technologies, we anticipate the emergence of a marketplace to bid last-mile delivery across a wide range of options.”

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