Mike O'Brien

mobrien@accessintel.com / MikeOBmcm

Mike O’Brien has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations for … well, quite a while. At Multichannel Merchant he focuses on the world of direct-to-customer operations and fulfillment, editing MCM’s weekly O+F Advisor newsletter, and programs the annual Ecommerce Operations Summit conference. Previously Mike was a senior account executive for Marx Communications, a boutique public relations firm working with marketing and advertising technology companies. Other past work includes stints as a media relations consultant for a concert promoter, a marketing communications specialist for a pharma software firm, a research analyst covering corporate e-learning and a daily newspaper reporter on every beat imaginable – except sports.

UPS Offers ShopRunner Trial to My Choice Members

| Mike O'Brien

Five months after investing in two-day ecommerce delivery and returns service ShopRunner, UPS is partnering with the company, offering a year’s free subscription to the 47 million U.S. members of its My Choice program. ShopRunner’s 100+ retail partners include Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Chico’s and Kate Spade New York.

FedEx Express Decides Not to Renew Amazon Contract

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has decided not to renew its air shipping contract with Amazon, which expires June 30, in a seeming reaction to Amazon’s growing delivery prowess, including construction of a new air hub outside Cincinnati. Amazon’s ground and international business with the carrier remains intact for now.

Capabilities, Adoption Growing for Ecommerce Fulfillment Robots

| Mike O'Brien

Ecommerce fulfillment robots are trending up. The entry point for ecommerce companies is now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of multiple millions, and can be scaled up as needed. This report from MCM examines the players, the state of the art, advancing capabilities and results being seen by ecommerce companies.

Amazon Unveils New Robotic Hybrid Drone-Plane

| Mike O'Brien

You just knew Amazon wasn’t going to get shut out of a DOT sanctioned drone delivery pilot program a year ago that let in Google, a FedEx/General Electric/Intel team and Uber, and take it lying down. The ecommerce giant unveiled a bold new delivery system that’s part drone, part aircraft and part robot that uses sensors, AI and ML.

Pace of Demand for Ecommerce Fulfillment Center Space Slowing

| Mike O'Brien

After years of hyper growth, demand for industrial space, especially ecommerce fulfillment centers, will slow between now and 2023 as supply has caught up, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The availability rate of industrial space is projected to rise from 7% in 2018 to 10.3% percent in 2023.

Amazon Makes 10 Million Items Available for Prime One-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon just turned up the heat in the three-way battle for dominance atop ecommerce sellers, announcing more than 10 million items eligible for its new one-day delivery standard via Prime. This compares with 220,000 items available for free next-day delivery from Walmart, announced in mid-May, and 35,000 from Target ReStock.

Locus Robotics, RightHand Robotics Strike Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

Locus Robotics, makers of autonomous mobile robots for fulfillment, and RightHand Robotics, creators of a stationary robotic picking arm, have partnered to work on joint solutions that combine batch picking and conveyance with automated sortation.

FedEx Will Go to Seven-Day Delivery Year-Round in 2020

| Mike O'Brien

Starting in January, FedEx will make deliveries seven days a week to meet increasing demand from ecommerce shippers, while diverting about 2 million packages per year from the U.S. Postal Service’s last-mile service to build necessary density and shave costs.

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