Flexport is undergoing another reshuffle at the top, with former Amazon logistics executive Dave Clark departing, replaced at least for now by once-again CEO and founder Ryan Peterson in a shakeup pointing to a reset to the company’s core freight focus and a pullback from its aggressive growth plans. But experts wonder how Flexport will fare as freight volumes and rates fall in tandem globally.
Better Trucks, a Chicago-based parcel delivery firm, has enlarged its footprint through opening new locations in Texas and partnering with West Coast-based GLS U.S., giving the two firms same-day to two-day coverage of 32 markets in 20 states, representing 40% of the U.S. population. The deal is similar to the joining of regional carriers OnTrac and Lasership in 2021, though on a smaller scale.
CaPow, an Israeli company with a continuous power supply for warehouse robots eliminating charging downtime, has struck a U.S. partnership to expand here, selling into robot makers, 3PLs and companies with fulfillment/distribution networks. CaPow delivers power continuously via a system using copper foil transmitters mounted on fixed points, paired with similar receivers on the robots.
Amazon aggregators, companies using massive capital to acquire and roll up top sellers to gain economies of scale, continue to fall on hard times as market forces have squeezed the model and forced them to shift their focus from an arms race to a profitable growth trajectory. They now look to grow existing brands and launch new products, only sparingly doing new acquisitions, an expert says.
U.S. consumers are sending out mixed signals on their spending habits and financial self-assessments, according to management consulting firm Kearney, with over 50% saying they’re living check to check, even as retail sales rise, inflation is down and mall traffic is up. The firm also found consumers views are often at odds with the kinds of fixed categorizations endemic to the retail industry.
Tailored Brands, a menswear and formalwear retailer that includes Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, needed to anticipate customers’ evolving preferences for various style, color and size choices in its tuxedo rental business. CTO Scott Vifquain and Gurhan Kok, founder of Invent Analytics, talk about how AI-based technology was applied, and the results so far in our MCM CommerceChat podcast.
FedEx, sensing an opportunity against its main rival, has posted a general rate increase for next year three weeks earlier than usual and lower than the current year’s figure, coming in at 5.9%, as UPS is dealing with a new union contract cost that the Teamsters estimates at $30 billion over five years. Analysts believe it will lead to a rethinking of UPS’s approach to its GRI strategy.
In an unusual move, Amazon and Shopify have formed a partnership that lets Shopify merchants integrate Buy With Prime at checkout through an Amazon app in Shopify’s store, with the latter quick to note that merchants still control their brand and customer data within its administrative dashboard. The app will be available to all U.S. merchants in September.
Amazon is testing pricing for non-Prime members to get free shipping in selected areas, raising the threshold from $25 back to $35 – the same as for shoppers who aren’t members of Walmart+ – as it probes the potential to increase order value when shoppers add items. Amazon has yo-yoed the order threshold as it reads the tea leaves of analytical data on shopper behavior and pulls the levers.
More retail and ecommerce companies are forging partnerships with third-party logistics providers (3PL). They’re realizing fulfillment and shipping demands will continue to outstrip their internal capabilities. To address this growing need, Multichannel Merchant’s Top 3PL directory is a curated listing of over 60 profiles of leading providers. The submission period is now open for our 2024 directory.