As it continues to hit roadblocks in the U.S., Amazon has announced a partnership with the UK government to experiment with drone delivery of small parcels through its Amazon Prime Air unit. Meantime 7-11 has beaten Amazon to the punch, delivering Slurpees and other essential items to a family in Reno, NV in the first U.S. commercial drone delivery.
Following on the heels of FedEx’s move earlier this year, UPS plans to update its fee structure for larger parcels, decreasing the size of items that incur an extra $10.50 handling charge. Under the new rule, packages with a long side of 48″ or more will be subject to the charge as of June 6. The previous threshold was 60″.
Continuing its relentless push into logistics to shore up carrier network capacity issues, Amazon has struck a deal with major air transport firm Atlas Air of Purchase, NY, leasing 20 of its Boeing 767-300 jets and taking up to a 30% stake in the company. Atlas is also a supplier of transport planes to UPS.
A final hurdle to FedEx’s proposed $4.8 billion acquisition of Dutch carrier TNT Express NV has been cleared via an unconditional approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The deal has already been blessed by authorities in the EU and Brazil, after an initial challenge last fall by the former. The deal will bring FedEx close to parity with UPS in Europe, or possibly launch it into second place behind EU market leader DHL.