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Second Autonomous Lane Added by FedEx, Aurora in Texas

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is expanding its pilot program with Aurora Innovation, creating a new autonomous linehaul route between Auroraā€™s terminals in Fort Worth and El Paso, TX, making the 1,200-mile round trips weekly with a monitoring driver on board. The two companies began the runs in March, adding to another between Houston and Dallas.

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DeJoy Outlines Drastic USPS Network Overhaul

| Mike O'Brien

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy outlined plans to streamline facilities and delivery networks to make them more efficient by significantly reducing the number of processing plants and delivery units, eliminating redundancies in an effort to improve performance.

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Domestic Parcel Growth Much Slower in 2021

| Mike O'Brien

While U.S. parcel volume rose nearly 6% to 21.5B pieces in 2021, it was the slowest growth in five years, and considerably less than the massive 31.5% gain in a pandemic-driven 2020, according to Pitney Bowes’ annual index. It also showed smaller carriers growing rapidly but still holding a tiny percentage of the overall pie.

smart loading zones Automotus

Smart Loading Zones Program Moves Ahead

| Mike O'Brien

A pilot program creating smart loading zones for last-mile deliveries in Pittsburgh is seeing progress in terms of easing congestion from double-parked vehicles, and will expand next to Omaha, with four other sites being selected for launch later this year.

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Ryder System Inc. Target of Takeover Bid by Private Equity Firm

| Mike O'Brien

Ryder System Inc. has become the target of a takeover bid by Miami-based private equity firm HG Vora Capital Management, at a proposed price of $86 per share, a 28.4% premium to its 30-day average, according to an SEC filing. Ryder, whose stock surged in response, has itself has been acquiring 3PL assets and investing in technology.

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USPS Cubic Pricing a Benefit for Heavier Items

| Mike O'Brien

Adding a cubic pricing option for users of USPS Parcel Select Ground product will be a boon for shippers with small, dense and heavy packages but not so much for others, experts said ahead of the July 10 live date for the change. In general, packages must be under 20 lbs. and thereā€™s a 50,000 package a year minimum.

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Amazon Recruiting Rural SMBs as Couriers

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has quietly been recruiting local businesses in rural areas across 10 states as part of its fulfillment network, earning cash on the side for making deliveries of ecommerce orders in hard-to-reach places for contract couriers, according to Recode. They can earn up to $2,000 a week with the side hustle but assume liability.

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E-Grocery Sales Down 3.8% in April, Dogged by Inflation

| Mike O'Brien

E-grocery sales in April fell 3.8% to $8.1 billion, while order volume was down 5.8% as nagging inflation and the ongoing return to stores hit both order frequency and the number of active online users, according Brick Meets Click and Mercatus. The sector has been giving back some of the the healthy gains it saw in 2020 and 2021.

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USPS Postmaster Warns of ā€œUncomfortableā€ Mail Price Hikes

| Mike O'Brien

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the U.S. Postal Service will be forced to initiate ā€œuncomfortableā€ price increases for market dominant USPS products such as first-class mail, marketing mail and periodicals, while shippers using Parcel Select Ground can benefit from use of cubic pricing.

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Shopify Acquires Deliverr for $2.1 Billion

| Mike O'Brien

Shopify is acquiring asset-light last-mile startup Deliverr for $2.1B, further building out its fulfillment infrastructure and giving it a counter-move to Amazonā€™s new Buy With Prime that extends the Prime experience to other retailers. But the question is, will it be enough to enable Shopify to gain ground on its much larger competitor?