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Amazon is reportedly using a micro-fulfillment center solution from Dematic at its first grocery store not named Whole Foods outside Los Angeles, sending a loud signal to the rest of the market that an MFC capability is critical to success and maintaining market share in the red-hot e-grocery sector.
Amazon is severing delivery contracts in five states, affecting about 1,300 drivers, eliminating partners it says aren’t meeting delivery standards, according to Bloomberg and other reports. Two years ago, Amazon began a program to help entrepreneurs start up delivery businesses, creating less of a need for the existing contractors.
Ahold Delhaize USA said it plans to close the Midwest division of its Peapod online grocery delivery business to focus on expanding operations in the more lucrative East Coast, where most of its stores are located. Dutch-based Ahold said the Midwest operation of Peapod represented $97 million of the $1.1 billion in online sales in the U.S.
FedEx is diverting some Express deliveries into its less expensive Ground network to drive efficiency and build ecommerce package density after parting ways with Amazon in 2019, according an internal memo obtained by the WSJ. FedEx will redirect residential Express packages to Ground as they get close to their destination.
Deliverr, a startup that uses data and a network of warehouse partners to strategically position inventory and enable fast ecommerce deliveries, has raised $40 million in a new funding round, bringing its total raised to $70 million. The funding round was led by Activant Capital and included 8VC, GLP and Flexport founder Ryan Petersen.
The effects of California’s AB5 law are widespread, requiring thousands of gig workers and independent contractors to be reclassified as employees. This means delivery firms doing business in California are updating their operating models to adhere to the law. One such firm is OnTrac, going to a master contractor model.
UPS and self-driving technology company Waymo are running a pilot program for autonomous vehicle package pickup in the Phoenix area, using Waymo’s minivans to shuttle packages from UPS stores to a UPS sorting facility. Last year, UPS took a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company.