Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Tag: Delivery Services

Where Will We Be in 20 Years?

Where Will We Be in 20 Years?

Business
This article is part of our latest DealBook special report on the trends that will shape the coming decades.“Demographics are destiny.”It is a phrase, often attributed to the French philosopher Auguste Comte, that suggests much of the future is preordained by the very simple trend lines of populations. Want to understand how the power dynamic between the United States and China will change over the next 20 years? An economist would tell you to look at the demographics of both countries. (China’s economy is likely to overtake the U.S. economy by 2028, but remain smaller on a per capita basis.)Want to know how much lithium we’re going to need to mine to make batteries over the next 20 years? Demographics will most likely provide the answer. (We are likely to need 13 to 42 times the amount we...

Teamsters Vote for Sean O’Brien, a Hoffa Critic, as President

Business
Sean O’Brien was a rising star in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 2017 when the union’s longtime president, James P. Hoffa, effectively cast him aside.But that move appears to have set Mr. O’Brien, a fourth-generation Teamster and head of a Boston local, on a course to succeed Mr. Hoffa as the union’s president and one of the most powerful labor leaders in the country.A Teamsters vice president who urged a more assertive stand toward employers like the United Parcel Service — as well as an aggressive drive to organize workers at Amazon — Mr. O’Brien has declared victory in his bid to lead the nearly 1.4 million-member union.According to a tally reported late Thursday on an election supervisor’s website, he won about two-thirds of the votes cast in a race against the Hoffa-end...

Amazon on the High Seas

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.Mammoth shipping containers packed with dehumidifiers in the Pacific Ocean provide a glimpse at how the pandemic and Amazon might be shifting shopping as we know it.Earlier this year, a company called Aterian was in a jam with its hOmeLabs brand of dehumidifiers. You may have read about how difficult and expensive it has become to move goods around the world, and Aterian was feeling the pain.The company was being quoted prices of $25,000 or more to haul a shipping container of products from factories in China to its shoppers in the U.S. The same shipment typically costs about $3,000, Aterian’s chief product officer, Michal Chaouat-Fix, told me. Then Amazon got in touch and offered to put the dehumidifiers ...
Uber Lost $2.4 Billion, Thanks Largely to Didi Investment

Uber Lost $2.4 Billion, Thanks Largely to Didi Investment

Technology
China’s crackdown on its big tech companies continues to have reverberations around the world. On Thursday, Uber said it lost $2.4 billion in its most recent quarter, largely because of its investment in the Chinese ride-hailing company Didi.The Didi investment weighed heavily on what was otherwise a fairly upbeat quarter for Uber, as both customers and drivers increasingly returned to the road. The loss was 123 percent more than the same quarter a year ago, when Uber’s business was reeling from the pandemic.Since Didi, China’s largest ride-hailing company, went public in July, it has faced increasing pressure from Beijing on data security, privacy and worker protections. The crackdown caused Didi’s stock price to tumble and led to a $3.2 billion hit for Uber, which sold its Chinese busine...
New Digital Companies, Old Ad Habits

New Digital Companies, Old Ad Habits

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.I don’t have anything against ads. They make it more affordable for us to watch “Monday Night Football” and read The New York Times. I love a well-made weepy TV commercial.What I don’t love are young companies that are becoming addicted to ads — to our detriment and maybe theirs.DoorDash this week started giving more prominent placement to restaurants that pay for their listings to appear when people search for pizza or tacos. Its competitors Uber Eats and Grubhub offer similar ads. Instacart, a grocery delivery start-up, is further expanding its paid product placements. Even Amazon keeps turning over more shopping real estate to merchants that pay to blare their dog beds at us.At their best, ads can help ...
New York Bike Delivery Workers Band Together for Safety

New York Bike Delivery Workers Band Together for Safety

Business
Seven nights a week, starting around 9:30, Vincent Carrasco cheers and whistles at food delivery workers as they ride their bicycles into Manhattan after crossing the Queensboro Bridge. The message he’s sending? “Someone’s looking out for you.”Mr. Carrasco also delivers food for a living, and he takes up his nightly post to make this stretch of East 60th Street feel less desolate, to deter crimes against delivery workers, who have faced a surge in robberies. On one evening last month, nine others joined him after making plans to gather through groups on WhatsApp and Facebook.It’s a scene being repeated around the city at the otherwise isolated spots where, delivery workers say, they feel most threatened. They set up the patrols themselves because of what they consider to be an inadequate r...
These Apps Deliver Food and Misery

These Apps Deliver Food and Misery

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.Many of the delivery businesses that have sprung up in the last few years make no financial sense and may be turning us into monsters.I’m talking about app-based companies including Uber, DoorDash, Gopuff and many others around the world. They aim to bring us groceries, cooked meals, a home cleaner, cases of beer or a trip across town — all better, faster and cheaper than how we’ve always done things.I’ve tried to be open minded about these app companies. They are the logical next step in our consumer culture, and they create new types of jobs. Deliveries of anything under the sun might also put the power of Amazon into the hands of local businesses and preserve what we like about Main Street with handy, 2...
Food Delivery Apps Sue NY Over Fee Limits

Food Delivery Apps Sue NY Over Fee Limits

Business
The three largest food delivery platforms have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn New York City’s cap on the fees they can charge to restaurants.The lawsuit, filed by Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Thursday, was the latest confrontation in an extended battle that began nearly two years ago, when the City Council first discussed a possible cap.The Council held hearings where restaurant owners complained of paying fees as high as 30 percent, saying that fees were levied even on calls that did not result in orders.No action was taken until the coronavirus struck New York, forcing many restaurants across the city to close their dining rooms and making delivery the only option for survival. Saying that it wanted to send restaurants a lifeline, the Cit...
Uber shows signs of pulling out of its pandemic slump.

Uber shows signs of pulling out of its pandemic slump.

Technology
Uber is recovering from the pandemic and the driver shortages that followed, the company said on Wednesday. The company’s revenue in the second quarter grew 105 percent from the same period last year, to $3.9 billion, slightly higher than analysts expected. Uber also recorded a rare profit of $1.1 billion, thanks to the initial public offering of the Chinese ride-hailing company Didi, of which Uber owns an 11 percent stake.Excluding that one-time gain, Uber said its adjusted losses were $509 million. Uber last recorded a profit in the first quarter of 2018, when it sold off parts of its businesses in overseas markets where it faced challenges. The company remains on track to reach its goal of adjusted profitability in the last three months of 2021, Nelson Chai, its chief financial officer,...
Uber Records Rare Profit Thanks to Stake in Didi

Uber Records Rare Profit Thanks to Stake in Didi

Technology
Uber is recovering from the pandemic and the driver shortages that followed, the company said on Wednesday. The company’s revenue in the second quarter grew 105 percent from the same period last year, to $3.9 billion, slightly higher than analysts expected. Uber also recorded a rare profit of $1.1 billion, thanks to the initial public offering of the Chinese ride-hailing company Didi, of which Uber owns an 11 percent stake.Excluding that one-time gain, Uber said its adjusted losses were $509 million. Uber last recorded a profit in the first quarter of 2018, when it sold off parts of its businesses in overseas markets where it faced challenges. The company remains on track to reach its goal of adjusted profitability in the last three months of 2021, Nelson Chai, its chief financial officer,...