Today’s Pickup: Tesla’s truck may not ride in Europe; pushback on Morgan Stanley’s Amazon forecast

Good day,

In its current form, the Tesla Cybertruck would not be street legal in the European Union, writes Carlton Reid on The European Commission has strict automotive testing and safety protocols, and the Cybertruck as currently designed would fail many of them, including stringent pedestrian and cyclist protection standards, Reid wrote. “Perhaps when it finally reaches the market sometime in 2021 or 2022, the futuristic-looking electric vehicle will have been modified to meet EU standards, but that would mean significant changes having to be made to the Cybertruck’s angular stainless-steel shell,” he said. Reid surmised that Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk may want to sell the truck exclusively in the U.S., where many motor vehicles are exempt from pedestrian protection protocols.

Did you know?:

According to consultancy Gartner Inc., 85% of logistics leaders forecast a 5% increase in their 2020 outsourcing budgets. 


“Lingering questions over the parcel industry’s ability to capture value from B2C’s revolution remain a concern.”

— Benjamin J. Hartford, transport analyst for investment firm Baird, in a Dec. 16 note on 2020 trends.

In other news:

German labor union calls for pre-Christmas strike against Amazon

Verdi, a German labor union for two Amazon logistics centers, is calling for a strike ahead of Christmas to demand higher pay, Reuters reported. (

Eurozone manufacturing activity drops again

Manufacturing in the eurozone contracted to 45.9% in December, the 11th monthly consecutive decline, according to an IHS Markit monthly purchasing managers’ index. The composite results — a weighted average of both manufacturing and services — remained unchanged at 50.6. (Financial Times)

Uber reportedly in talks to sell India food-delivery business

A deal, which could be announced as early as this week, would see Uber unload the costly Indian operations of Uber Eats to competitor Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. (The Wall Street Journal)

XPO to close Missouri facility

XPO Logistics, Inc. will close a facility in Hazelwood, Missouri, resulting in the loss of 166 jobs. The facility has been operated for Prestige, an XPO customer. In a notice filed with the state, XPO said employees may have the opportunity to switch to other locations. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Transport Topics)

Iowa DOT chief resigns

Mark Lowe resigned after Gov. Kim Reynolds asked him to step down. He leaves his post on Jan. 10, according to the Des Moines Register. (KWWL-TV)

Final thoughts:

Investment firm Morgan Stanley & Co. published a report last week forecasting that if current volume trends hold, Inc. will be shipping 6.5 billion parcels a year by 2022, well exceeding volumes of FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc. Hogwash, says Satish Jindel, a longtime transportation consultant. For Amazon to ship such volumes, its sales would have to grow by 160% between 2019 and 2022, Jindel reckoned. “It would be an insane estimate unless (Morgan Stanley) is modeling some large acquisitions for Amazon,” he said in an email. Jindel, who has never been a fan of Morgan Stanley’s work, said the firm is pushing incorrect volume distribution estimates for Amazon in its analysis. He also took issue with what he believes is the survey’s scant sample size of 300 customers and 48,000 packages analyzed over 10 years. The firm’s research team “should [go] back to school for a course in statistics” before publishing such reports, Jindel said. “The report has [a] lot of colorful charts but [is] based on misguided data and lacks in substance,” he said. Jindel did agree with Morgan Stanley’s assessment that Amazon is now shipping about half of its own packages. Morgan Stanley did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Hammer down, everyone!