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Door To Door

The World of Transportation

Edward Humes

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Car crashes - four American die every hour. Caris, in theory, just a shipping container for people, so it should be easy to engineer them for safety and efficiencey. But cars have evolved into objects of culture, power, status and habit.

On one hand we have the near-magical ability to bring goods cheaply from the fartherest corners of the Earth, and on the other wehave crushing commutes - LA drivers spend an average 80 hours a year stuck in traffic. The typical car sits idle for 22 hours a day, and costs $12,000 a year in fuel ownership and and operating expenses.

Estimated cost of loss of productivity bc of traffic jams: $124 billion in America alone.

Except for trained professional drivers, there are no 'good' drivers - just bad and less bad ones. "Accident" is a lie we tell ourselves - virtually every crash results from deliberate negligence, recklessness, or law-breaking.

Smartphones have more transportation embedded in their production and distribution than any other consumer good than cars. But unlike cars, smartphones are a transportation reducer. By supplanting newspapers which would otherwise have to be carried to distribution points (the energy and carbon footprint of a single newspaper is about the same as driving acar one km). By replacing trips to the bank to move money around, to receive and pay bills. By replacing a host of other objects like cameras and music players, GPS devices and calculators, which would otherwise have to be transported to stores.

Until the 19802, it made sense for RCA etc to be vertically integrated. Shipping, pre-containers, was expensive,subject to constant pilferage, and you could never be sure when your goods would arrive.

Tim Cook got to be Apple's CEO bc he was amaster of the logistics supply chain. Apple's most impt product shifted from a few million computes a year to tens of millions of iPods to hundreds of millions of iPhones, the whole thing depended on parts suppliers who could keep their prices low by moving everything just-in-time, and not having to hold inventory of either raw materials or finished product. And none of this would be possible without containers.

Chinese labour is 1.8% of cost of an iPhone. Total overseas labour is only 5.3% of price. Materials cost 21.9%. Profit is 58.5%. So China makes SFA from iPhones, while Apple, the American company, makes heaps. China keeps that slim margin by virtue of having a huge installed base to do the assembly.

America makes 94 billion alim cans a year, which means 293 cans of beer, soda, juice for every man, woman and child in the country.

The can's main purpose is to transport huge amounts of single-serve beverages more efficiently and cheaply than any other type.

The big benefit of aliminium is that it can be infinitely recycled, and it is cheaper to reclaim aliminium from used cans than it is to refine it from raw bauxite.

We hate using public transport bc our mind perceives the time spent waiting for the bus as lost time, but doesn't see the time spent sitting in traffic queues the same way.

Texas Stae Fair caviar stuffed Twinkies for $125.

US road toll 35,400 dead and 2.5 million injured in 2014. One year of car crashes produces more dead and wounded than in every war America has ever participated in.

People think they're watching the road while they're talking on the phone, but in fact their brains are failing to perceive at least half the info that is being presented to them.

Domino's real business isn't food production, it's logistics control. The individual franchises are in the pizza business, but Dominos makes its money by arranging the supply of supplies to those franchises.

Perhaps Henry Ford's main contribution to the C20 and beyond wasn't the automobile but the traffic jam.

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