WEST COAST WIPEOUT: LOS ANGELES, LONG BEACH IMPORTS STILL SINKING
Key Point: The combined import activity for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach dropped last month to the lowest volume since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Los Angeles imports were down 41% and Long Beach exports were down 35% year-over-year.
Why the drop? One expert cited the following factors:
- Consumer demand is down globally
- U.S. inventory levels are high
- Longshore worker negotiations are in process
- Lunar New Year prompted extended factory closings
Others say shipping volume is moving from the West Coast to the East Coast to avoid labor problems and backups that are increasingly plaguing the West Coast. Furthermore, advances in shipping services make Eastern U.S. ports of call — ports closer to the majority of the U.S. population — more feasible.
Are we witnessing a trend instead of a temporary situation?
AMAZON’S POST-BEZOS EXPERIMENT HASN’T GONE EXACTLY AS PLANNED
Key Point: Amazon stock prices are falling and the company has already cut 27,000 jobs this year. Given the overall state of the economy, the transition from Jeff Bezos to Andy Jassy as CEO isn’t the sole reason for the downturn, though. Many more companies than Amazon are facing the heat.
Here’s an excerpt from an email that Jassy recently sent to Amazon employees:
“For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.”
Jassy is fighting to keep the company profitable more than to push it forward right now — but that mindset may need to change. How can Amazon recover losses and get back on track? CNBC suggests this: “He’s eventually got to find new engines for growth.”
THIS STARTUP HOPES TO PAY USERS $50 A MONTH TO SELL COMPANIES THEIR DATA
Key Point: There’s a flip side to every story, and concerns about advertisers losing user data due to privacy restrictions is no exception. What if companies began paying users for that data? That’s the concept behind Caden, a startup company launched with funding from the founder of Yahoo. Promises on the Caden website include these: “Control your data. Learn from your data. Earn real money for your data.”
New users right now will probably not earn more than $10 per month by downloading and using the Caden app, but the company hopes to see that return move towards $50 per month “if Caden can turn around the ad tech industry.”
Here’s the pitch from Caden’s founder, John Roa:
“The way we see it, these companies are losing a lot right now: the ability to market to their customer, to even understand who their customer is — [Caden provides] the best data, the most accurate data, fully consented, fully provenanced.”
Will companies pay to get data directly from the consumer, rather than funnel their budget to data “siloed within an app” or bought from a third party? And how many users will opt for a process that returns even $50 per month? You decide. Here’s the article.
GOOGLE RELEASES ITS AI CHATBOT BARD TO PUBLIC USE
Key Point: ChatGPT and Bing beat Google to the punch, but public access to Google’s Bard chatbot is now underway. Google is inviting users to get their names on the waiting list now. The first round of public access is limited to users in the United Kingdom and United States.
Many people remain concerned about the reliability of AI and the many potential problems the technology can create. Others are anxiously awaiting access.
Google’s take on the situation runs along these lines:
“Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web … these new AI features will begin rolling out on Google Search soon.”
For those anxious to get their hands on Bard, you can access Bard here.