UPS 2019 Rate Increase of 4.9% Given 3 Weeks Before Effective Date

| Mike O'Brien

Less than three weeks before the new prices take effect the day after Christmas, UPS announced its 2019 rate schedule, including an overall increase of 4.9% for its ground, air and international services, leaving shippers scrambling to adapt at the busiest time of year. See what charges went up and what it means.

Instacart Pricing Change Leading to Threats of a Shopper Boycott

| Mike O'Brien

Instacart, the same-day grocery delivery company used by many grocers, is dealing with customer ire as freelance shoppers fulfilling the orders are passing up some jobs due to a change in the pricing structures. Also a number of shoppers have taken to Twitter to call for a boycott of the service due to a drop in their wages.

Amazon Misses Jeff Bezos’ Bold Deadline for Drone Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

In late 2013, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos boldly proclaimed on the popular CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” that drones would be delivering orders for its customers within five years. But apparently, the future isn’t now according to a report in the Seattle Times.

Report Finds U.S. Retailers Underperforming in Key Omnichannel Categories

| Mike O'Brien

Given all the attention paid to buy online pickup in store including its popularity with shoppers, only 28% of U.S. retailers currently offer the service, compared to 64% of British retailers providing its cousin, click and collect, according to a report from OrderDynamics. Retailers here were also found lagging in other categories.

Walmart Testing Same-Day Grocery Delivery in China

| Mike O'Brien

After beefing up its grocery delivery chops here, including automated kiosks and crowdsourcing, Walmart is now testing same-day grocery delivery to customers in China through a hookup with WeChat and delivery service Dada. This is separate from Walmart’s partnership with JD.com, although both have invested in Dada.

Three Tips to Prevent Porch Piracy Over the Holidays

| Maria Haggerty

With the holidays upon us, porch piracy is on the rise as opportunistic thieves pilfer deliveries. Ecommerce brands are often left with two choices: Replace the stolen items free of charge or risk losing customers and future revenue. By taking preemptive measures however, you can reduce theft and improve the bottom line.

Here’s What You Can Expect with the FedEx 2019 GRI

| Victor Zhou

FedEx announced a 4.9% general rate increase (GRI), matching increases from both itself and UPS in recent years. As each carrier will target different increases in their rates between services, weights and zones to net the overall average increase, here’s a deep dive look at how the FedEx GRI breaks down among its shipping services.

Kroger Finds Its Voice … Ordering

| Mike O'Brien

Grocery giant Kroger is adding voice ordering to its online arsenal, interestingly hitching its wagon to the Google Assistant voice app and not to Amazon’s Echo, at six of its associated brands, the company announced. See what else Kroger is up to as well as other tech skirmishes in the escalating online grocery wars.

Amazon Expands Free Shipping for the Holidays, Hires More Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

Pouring more water into its moat, Amazon has totally eliminated shipping charges this holiday season, removing the $25 threshold for non-Prime members on items ordered in time for Christmas delivery. Amazon is also hiring and managing thousands of seasonal delivery drivers to handle the holiday crush.