FedEx Sees Record Revenue, Huge Spike in Ground Parcels in Q1

| Mike O'Brien

Like UPS before it, FedEx reported a blowout first quarter fueled by pandemic-era ecommerce demand, with revenue and profits exceeding estimates and average daily volume in its ground parcel network increasing by 31%. Executives said they are ready for a massive peak holiday season with personnel, facilities and technology.

FedEx Rolls Out Average Rate Increase of 4.9% for 2021, Adds a Late Fee

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx announced its 2021 rate schedule, once again with a 4.9% increase for its ground, express and home delivery services, lower than some observers had expected, and the addition of a late fee for unpaid invoices, which UPS has had in place for years. FedEx is also adding surcharges for high cost and out-of-the-way areas.

E-Grocery Sales Down 20% in August, But AOV, Regular Usage Increasing

| Mike O'Brien

While total e-grocery sales in the U.S. declined 20% in August vs. June to $5.2 billion, other factors indicate strength in the sector, such as growth in average order value and repeat usage intent, according to a survey by Mercatus and Brick Meets Click. AOV reached a high of $95, the survey found, 32% higher than a year ago.

Walmart Flytrex drone

Walmart Launches Second U.S. Drone Delivery Pilot in North Carolina

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart on Sept. 9 launched a second pilot drone delivery program, this time in Fayetteville, NC, using a control system from Israeli firm Flytrex, zipping grocery and household items to nearby customers. This is in addition to a program drone program Walmart launched in April in Grand Forks, ND, again with Flytrex.

With So Many Deliveries, Customer Relationships Are Key for DTC Brands

| Asaf Hachmon

The monumental shift to ecommerce is causing businesses to re-evaluate their fulfillment experience to make sure they get it right. At the heart of that process is understanding how to improve the status quo by putting the customer relationship front and center. The stakes are high, but those who get it right will see substantial growth.

Amazon Prime Air Gets FAA Approval for its Drone Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its delivery drones beyond visual line of sight of the pilot, removing a key roadblock to its eventual goal of deploying aerial fulfillment for Prime customers in less than a half hour.

Google-Ware2Go feature

Ware2Go, Google Fast-Free Shipping Offers Aim at Conversion Lift

| Mike O'Brien

Ware2Go, a UPS-owned provider of fulfillment on demand through partnership with warehouse owners, via an integration with Google Shopping, lets merchants offer free shipping early in the search and discovery process on Google, aimed at increasing conversion. Ware2Go handles fulfillment through its partner network.

Mitigating Hefty New Parcel Shipping Surcharges this Holiday Season

| Jennifer Doles

Parcel shipping services will be in high demand for peak holiday season as more consumers are shopping online in the midst of COVID. And a new wave of peak surcharges from major carriers poses a significant burden for ecommerce shippers – and they’ve already hit. Here are ways to mitigate the costs coming into peak season.

USPS Head DeJoy Facing Heat from Congress on Agency Changes

| Mike O'Brien

The House approved a $25 billion relief package for the beleaguered USPS, a measure not expected to pass muster in the GOP-led Senate, as new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is undergoing intense scrutiny in Washington over changes he is initiating. A second hearing before a House panel is scheduled for today.